The new year is upon us and we each have our own dreams and aspirations as to what that year will hold for us.  Life really comes with no guarantees, but here are some simple ways to make this year happier for you.

  1. Start each day with a prayer of thanksgiving.   We all have so much to be thankful for and it is good to remind ourselves of all God’s blessings.  Don’t assume that those blessing will always be there; life happens, God loves a grateful heart. (Psalm92:1)
  2. Pray everyday for specific direction from God as to what He wants us to do with that day.  We will have a lot less frustration if we just allow God to dictate His plans for our day.  He aways knows just what we need and what things will benefit us. ( Jeremiah 29:11-13)
  3. Look for the positive .  There is always a positive and a negative to any situation or circumstance.   If we look for the good, we will feel better.  When our legs ache from too much shopping, thank God that we have legs to hurt.  When we want to grumble about our dinner, thank God that we have enough food for ourselves and our families.  When the wind blows our hair and the sun burns our nose, thank God that we are healthy enough to go outside.  You get the idea? (Philippians 4:8)
  4. Smile a lot.  A smile can be just the thing that can turn someone’s day around.  Don’t smile at just your friends, but also your enemies, strangers, and those who treat us badly.  A simple smile can make such a difference and it won’t cost you a penny.
  5. Do random acts of kindness at least once a week.  This doesn’t have to be something major; take some paper towels and toilet paper to your local homeless shelter,  cook a big pot of soup for a friend,or read a book to a child.  These are all small things, but much appreciated by those in need.  this doesn’t take much time or money, but what a blessing you will receive. (Acts 20:35)
  6. Give away some money once in a while.  I know that waitress can use and extra $10. to care for her family, and you probably won’t even miss it.  Choose once a month to give up pizza night and  bless someone who is struggling pay the gas bill.  We can never out give God, but wouldn’t it be fun to try? (II Corinthians 9:7)
  7. Find a place to volunteer.  Give of yourself, not just your time or your money, give a part of you.  There are so many choices of places to volunteer; soup kitchens, schools, libraries, hospitals, animal shelters, homeless shelters, social agencies, church groups and so many others.  If you pray about where God wants you, He will tell you. (Matthew 25:35-40)
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