|bitter, a photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto on Flickr.|
- Are you Disappointed? It's easy to work up unrealistic expectations. For me, this Christmas was just a little less than I'd wished for because our family group was so small; many loved ones were missing. While it's tempting to relive uncomfortable times and dwell on them, the Bible shows us a better way. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). Those old expectations will never be met, so take a deep breath and cast it up to the Father. Then wait for His peace.
- Do you feel Lonely? Maybe you got together with loved ones over Christmas and now it's just you and your family—as usual. Try livening things up a little! It doesn't have to be a big deal, just pick your clothes up off the floor and invite a couple of girlfriends over for a mug of tea, go on a shopping trip (take advantage of the after-Christmas sales), or check out the nearest bowling alley or ice skating rink.
- Did you Fail? I don't know how many times I told myself that I was not going to eat another slice of cheesecake, but it rarely worked. If you overindulged, stopped exercising, or forgot to send a card, then you could be feeling pretty upset at yourself. Here's my advice (and Paul's): don't beat yourself up. Philippians 3:13-14 says, "...one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." You have an upward call, and there is a prize at the end. Forget what lies behind and look at today—and only today.
- Are you Bored? Now that the holidays are over, it's back to the daily grind, right? Not necessarily! A little break from the ordinary can give us some perspective on our everyday lives. When I got back from a family vacation in September I was excited about exploring our local area like a tourist; the vacation stimulated my thoughts and helped me see things differently. Get creative: how can you put a little Christmas spirit into every week of the year? Playing music through the house, making goodies for friends, watching favorite films with the family...what else can you come up with?
- Do you Dread the New Year? You might not realize how powerful your thoughts actually are. So many times we create bad situations because we expect them to be bad. If you're already anticipating breaking your 2013 resolutions, you've set yourself up for unhappiness. Think of all the ways you can celebrate this fresh start. The slate will be marked clean—you'll have another chance to make a difference and enjoy all the blessings God has for you!
How are you going to enjoy this week?