The coming of a new year and a new decade lends itself to some practice of gratitude, letting go, receiving God’s mercy, and listening for the promises ahead.
This is a 4-part post on a ritual to let the year and decade behind us rest; and prepare our hearts, minds and spirits to embrace all that is to come.
Pardon & Peace
BLESSING: Giving Thanks
Part 1 of 4. Today is all about blessings.
My sister and I have lived together several times in our adult life. The first time we were in our early 20’s. Life was hard – becoming an adult is never easy. We were awkward and funny and brave. We did ridiculous things like leaving our Christmas tree in the back yard until June because we weren’t sure where to take it…or maybe we just procrastinated until summer!
We also carried some big heartaches along with us which sometimes made moving forward slow and difficult. The best part of this season in our lives was discovering new ways to do life. Sharing the journey helped us heal from the past and it propelled us forward to a life waiting for us to embrace.
One of the things we learned to do was count our blessings. Our grandparents instilled a value of gratitude in us. It became a practice we needed in our own lives. As we counted our blessings the disappointments and heartaches began to fade into the background. Joy came more often and stayed longer when it arrived. Now counting our blessings is a life long practice.
Here are some ways to begin counting your blessings and giving thanks for the joys of this year and the decade passing:
- Find a place in your home and office to place pictures that remind you of the blessings from this year and decade. Make your blessings visible!
- Write a note or send a message to tell 3 people how they blessed your life this year.
- Make that phone call or walk across the room and say “thank you” to that person who has walked with you through the hardest parts of this year and decade. Tell them what you most appreciate about their presence with you.
- Take a walk (or bike ride, etc.) and recount all the things you are so grateful for from this year. Let your miles be steps of gratitude to God. Do it with a friend and maximize the joy!
Recalling our blessings helps us to remember that God is always present with us in some way. Even in the darkest places, there is a glimmer of light that remains so we can see our way. What blessings are you grateful for as this decade and year come to an end?
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. – Albert Schweitzer
This Psalm is a great way to give thanks and be reminded of God’s blessings
Lord, your blessings have come in so many ways; we cannot even count them all. You have walked with us through pain and fear. You have offered us mercy in moments when we were falling. You are always finding a way to show us love. Thank you for your grace in our lives. Thank you for your patience to keep waiting on us and with us. Open our eyes to see the blessings you have given us this year that have remained hidden from our eyes. We always need to see more of you.
There Was Jesus by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton
Part 2 of this ritual is about letting go… Confession.