How to start the year well in three simple steps...

It's a new year, and with that comes this feeling that we must somehow make this year count. For me this can seem overwhelming. So, this year I am focusing on three simple steps. You might find them helpful too! 

Step One: Be Grateful
Someone told me recently this quote: 'Comparison is the thief of joy'. Apparently it's something Theodore Roosevelt once said. How true is that! When we compare, we take our eyes off all the things we have and place them on all that we don't have. More leaders, a bigger budget, a supportive leadership team, creative projects starting up... the list just goes on and on. Someone else will ALWAYS have something we can compare ourselves against, and it WILL rob our joy. Gratitude is about taking our eyes off what others are doing, and focusing on where we stand right now. This does not mean that we don't learn from others. But it means that we learn to embrace the ministry we have been given, to live our God given potential. We learn to be grateful for all the ways in which God has blessed us here and now. It is a choice to live differently.

Step Two: Be Grateful 
Choose a practice to help you to be grateful. This is one of the practices I have chosen for this year:
- A short prayer in the morning or evening that acknowledges the blessings of the day. This is a karakia I pray with children at the beginning of a programme, that I often expand to give the children a chance to share the blessings they have experienced. Gratitude is a habit we can begin as young children. 

E te Atua                              O God

Tēnā koe mō ngā painga       Thank you for the blessings
O tēnei rā                             of this day
Amine                                  Amen

Step Three: Be Grateful
Be grateful for the whole year. This is the challenge for me. I start off well, but as the year gets busy then my good intentions go out the window. So, to keep me going all year I am developing a gratitude calendar. Each month I have goals and small tasks to do that help me focus on what I am grateful for. If you would like a copy I am happy to share it. Flick me an email:

Have a fabulous and grateful 2017! 

"Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. 
Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught."
And be grateful. Colossians 2:7 (CEV)



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