~ “Dream big. Work Hard. Stay focused and surround yourself with good people who believe in you and want more out of life. “ ~ Unknown
As an elementary teacher, I have implemented for a few years now a favorite holiday tradition where in class we make stockings for the holiday season. As not everyone celebrates Christmas, they were deemed “kindness stockings.” Filled with compliments from the classmates and small treats from me, the infectious excitement fills the air! Never underestimate the power and value of a paper bag stocking, a few well-chosen dollar store trinkets and validation statements on paper slips to a group of kids. It truly brought so much joy to their hearts and mine and that “best day ever” vibe that I wish I could bottle.
Smiling, I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing if all days were so joyful and could be this exciting? Clearly, we all have our ups and downs, which is perfectly normal. As we begin a new year, I find myself taking inventory of what I want my life to look like moving forward. What do I want more of? What do I want less of? Who do I want to be twelve months from now, other than simply twelve months older?
In the Little Mermaid story, Ariel does some soul searching and takes inventory of her own. At first glance, one may perceive that Ariel leads a very full and interesting life under the sea. Yet, despite the “gadgets and gizmos aplenty,” she lacks true fulfillment. As she does some deep reflecting, she determines she wants more than this watery world, day after day. I am sure we have all experienced that discontentment and frustration at times with our day-to-day realities.
In a podcast I was listening to this week, it was stated that frustration is wonderful. Seriously? The reason being is it stirs something within us when we are discontented with the status quo that is our lives. Frustration serves as a catalyst within us and, as our little mermaid friend, it motivates us to want something different and more for ourselves.
In my last blog called Don’t Lose the Victory, I shared about the need to always look for the good and not let the lows of life keep you down. I am believing for such great things for 2024 for you and me. I want so much more than the everyday grind that life can be. This week with my kiddos at work we had a lesson on what is your “one word” for the new year that you want to manifest more of in your life? A difficult choice indeed. On my short list was gratitude, good health, positivity, laughter and spiritual growth, but one that stood out for me personally, was joy. Here is why joy was at the top of my list.
MORE JOY PLEASE
My life has been riddled with grief and loss so heavily these past few years, it has changed me and gutted me to the core. I am not the same person I was before, but that is ok. Through the dark times, God has brought beauty from the ashes as His word says. It has brought a new sensitivity to those around me and an even deeper compassion for those grieving. It has also brought a greater appreciation for the people that I love and the gift of life I have been given. Not to sound cliche everyone, but life is truly precious, and I intend to live it to the fullest to the best of my ability. This year I am pursuing joy and joy I am coming after you hard! I can choose joy every day, despite what comes my way. Joy is not dependent on my circumstances, as happiness is a choice. A little formula I learned in Sunday school says how to have true joy. It stands for Jesus first, Others second and You last. Helping others and spreading positivity brings me so much encouragement. It helps me get the focus off me. Love God and love people continue to be my life goal this year.
So, what are you believing for in 2024? What do you want more of in 2024? Dream big my friend! We are in it together and I am here for you. Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com and I can agree with you in prayer for your heart’s desire for this new year!
Until next time,
Ephesians 3:20 NCV ~ God can do much, much more than anything we ask or imagine.
Little Lesson Learned: Wanting positive change is a beautiful thing.
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Tags: happy new year, perseverance, mental health, positive attitude, growth mindset, mental health support, goal setting, faith building, encouragement, christian blog
Dana Romualdi is a Canadian elementary teacher, social worker, blogger, author, motivational speaker and recording artist. She has a passion for helping others and spreading much needed encouragement. She lives in Canada with her husband and two grown children. When she is not working or blogging, she enjoys drinking coffee, watching Netflix and reading great books.
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