Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Never Surrender

The new year is a time for reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the new year.  Sometimes it's good to try a different approach to the goal-setting, especially if (like me) you feel like the way you've done it before is no longer working for you.  I recently joined a great art journalling group on Facebook called Mind.Body.Soul Art Journalling.  The group's creator, Leslie, has the most wonderful blog (you can find it at  She's been running a weekly series called Being Me, and this week's entry was about choosing a word to help focus your goals for 2014.  When I started thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, the one thought that kept coming back to me was overcoming challenges.  2013 saw its share of challengs because of my health, and 2014 likely won't be any better.  I also thought of the need that I have to overcome the negative perceptions I have of myself; I've been carrying those around for so long that overcoming that particular issue is going to be a HUGE challenge.  And I want to challenge myself to try new things, to listen to my heart and not my head when it comes to expressing myself creatively and to become more confident in my own abilities.  After I had come up with my goals, I realized that what they all had in common was that they will all require a large amount of perseverance to achieve them.  So my word for 2014 is PERSEVERANCE. I know that as I go through this year, there's going to be a lot of stumbling and falling, but I also know that when I stumble and fall, I need to find a way to pick myself up and go on.  I've learned that if I can find a way to overcome, or at least find a way to deal positively with, the challenges that come my way I will come out a stronger person in the end.

At the same time as I was trying to choose a theme word for 2014, I came across a Facebook post from the Bible app that I have on my phone about choosing a key verse to focus on for the year.  The one verse that kept coming to mind is James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." There's that word again...perseverance.  Clearly, I'm being sent a message here.  We have a choice to make when we face challenges in our lives: we can let them defeat us, or we can try to find a way to rise above them.  Sometimes finding the strength to go on is really hard.  I know - I've been there.  When those times come, all you can do is take one day, one moment, one breath at a time.  And even if you don't realize it at the time, when you back on the struggles that you went through, you'll realize...I MADE IT!

Until next time,

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