Happy New Year! As the ball dropped upon the year of 2021, ringing in the year of 2022, we began to think of all that is to come. Often as the hustle of the Christmas season comes to a close and we put all the decorations back in storage, things seem bare. We are met with the reality that it will be several months before we see color and life from mother nature. When was the last time you really reflected on the purpose of winter? If you are anything like me, you often think of it as a season to get through until spring. Like all things created by God, there is great purpose. Winter being one of those. Winter provides us with the beautiful state of still. It is a time of hibernation and reflection. It is nature’s way of forcing us to slow down, a state of renewal.
Growing up on a farm as a young child gave me a unique perspective on winter. One of my favorite memories with my father was just after a three-day blizzard. We walked down to the barns to check on the horses and make sure the fence was still intact. Once we got about halfway back to the house he just stopped and turned to me in the middle of the gravel road. He turned around and told me just to listen. We stood there absolutely still and silent in the moonlight and gleaming powdered snow. All I could hear was my own breathing but absolutely nothing else. He told me to quiet my body and mind and just listen. He told me to open my heart to God. I felt a presence of peace and renewal come over my body. It was then I learned to appreciate the true purpose of winter. I share this with you to provide you with that same opportunity just to stop. Right now, in this very moment. Put down your phone, close your computer, turn down the lights or go outside and just listen. When was the last time you just stopped moving, thinking, and just prayed and felt?
The idea of renewal comes from an instance of resuming an activity or state after an interruption. The new year is a time when people sometimes believe that they need to create a whole new way of living, a drastic change in their life. However, that type of change can be difficult to maintain. Instead, what if we were able to evaluate certain areas of our life and renew our behaviors in a way that leads us to living our best possible selves. Coming back to doing things in ways that we know are what bring us peace and happiness while promoting overall strong mental health. I challenge you to a seven-step process to renewing your best self and living your best version of you.
I start with the idea of recharging. We begin with the idea of setting boundaries. These are boundaries that you are going to set with yourself not for other people. Make the commitment to get rid of negative thoughts and self-doubt. We all encounter problems in our life, it is completely inevitable. However, how we think and approach these struggles makes the true difference. Remind yourself of how you have overcome struggles in your past, that you can make good decisions, that life provides us with a series of start-overs, and this is your chance. Recharging your mind and focusing your thoughts on your strengths and gifts shifts your perspective, providing that sense of renewal.
Next, we need to move to the idea of revamping. Take a look at your calendar for the year of 2021. Where did you spend most of your time? Was it doing something that is productive or that you enjoy doing? What are the significant moments of the last year that you remember? This is a time to rewrite your story and how you want it to look. We are given the gift of time, that is why it is referred to as the present. So now how do you want to spend your time? Yes, we all have to work to make a living, but are you really living or just going through the motions? Are there changes that need to be made in your home, office, relationships, spiritual connection, or even personal health? This could be your chance to live in a way that you said you always would. Revamp your time to reflect what matters most to you and commit to those things.
If your home is anything like mine, when we are inside more often because of the cold temperatures, I quickly realize how much stuff we truly have. This next step comes from the idea of recycling. Take a look around your home and assess the spaces and function that they serve. Select an area of your home to bring a new life or purpose to. This can be a drawer in a room that you clean out the old and put a new daily devotional and the handmade cards your kids made for you. It can also be that painful task of clearing out things from a loved one that is no longer there or doing a complete overhaul of your garage. Recycle your space to bring healing and renewal when you are there.
When we think of winter we often associate it with sleep—dark and dormant. Did you know that inside that bare tree, it is actually working to renew the strength in that big trunk so that when the time comes to sprout leaves the tree projects healthy levels of chemicals out to all its branches? I give you this analogy to help you picture doing this for yourself in the idea of refreshing. Is there an area of your life that you can bring a sense of renewal to? This idea comes from creating a new energy that was not there before. It can be something really simple like buying fresh flowers for your home, sending a card to a friend you have not spoken to in a long time, or joining a new group at church. This sense of refreshment can remind us that we are completely in control of our thoughts and feelings. We too, like that tree, can project happiness and self-satisfaction to those around us.
Within this seven-step process we have talked a great deal about some changes we can make for good. The next step is returning. When was the last time you listed out what you value most of all? Can you write a list right now of ten things that are most important to you, numbering them from most important to least important? Now that you know what is important, ask yourself, does my life and the choices that I am making align with what matters most to me? Within that list do you see the very things that give you pride and purpose? If your answer is no, then you have some realignment to do, there is no better time than right now! I challenge you to return to what you value most in this world and live your life in a direct reflection of those values.
After spending so much time reflecting on your life you may come to a place where you realize you need to reinvent some of the patterns in your life. This act may take several days of truly focusing on some of the problems in your life and why they occur. Once you are clearly able to define the problems in your life, is there a common denominator? Most often there is, and it is YOU! My director always says, “Patterns are the greatest predictor of future behavior”. However, there is good news! Every pattern can be broken, so this journey begins with asking yourself: What patterns do I want to change? How do I plan to change? You have the chance to reinvent your life and the ways you are living. This will take time and commitment. You will have setbacks, but because you are smart, you will recognize yourself slipping back into those past patterns or behaviors and quickly correct yourself back on track. Here is your chance to reinvent the best you.
The very final step in the journey is reinvesting. This word can be applied to several facets in your life. It is truly where you see it being most applicable. Does it speak to how you apply your mind and where your thoughts begin? Could it be about your time and the things or people you give your life to? Does this word correlate directly to your finances and how you invest your earnings? Or does this apply to your gifts and how you choose to use them? This last step of reflection asks us to look at ways that we are expelling our time and energy and reflecting on the purpose that it serves. Reinvest in the things that bring you back to what matters the very most.
As you reflect on your own path and journey to renewal, I leave you with a few final thoughts. While we stray from the habits that we know need to be ever present, we are given a chance to recognize their absence and bring them back into our lives. Just because they have not been a constant, does not define you as a failure. Rather, it is a chance to start over and be better than you ever were before. Here is your opportunity, what will you make of it? Happy New You!
A huge "THANK YOU!" to everyone who gave a year-end gift. Because of your generosity, we were able to exceed our year-end goal by over $25,000! This moves us forward as we continue to grow and progress in our long-term plan. Our Partners are the best!
As we look back at 2021, we are amazed at what God has accomplished through Peace Partnership. Our goal is simple: to help struggling people find peace in their lives. Your generosity has been so humbling and has helped us provide healing for so many each year.
Thank you, Devyn Horsley, for your recent gift and your belief in what we do! We appreciate you!
Thank you, Children’s Services Fund of Jackson County, for your technology grant disbursement. We are so thankful for the opportunity to purchase our tech needs.
American Family Charities, we are grateful for the approval of our grant. Your gift allows us to offer hope to local families.
Thank you, John & Kelly Whitwood, Jondy & Heather Britton, Patrick & Britni Curtis, Michael & Julie Hirons, and Stan & Deb Oglesby for your very generous year-end contributions. We are beyond grateful for your generosity.
A special thanks to High Street Baptist Church for your generous annual gift and continued partnership.
Carolyn Eldridge, we are so thankful for your first-time gift.
Zarda Foods, thank you for your annual gift that will help impact so many lives in our community.
Erin Dunn, Cheryl Julo, Kyle & Tiffney Hoffman, Kevin Cohan, David Glasgow, Tom & Debbie Reed, Sandra Kaderly, Lee & Debbie Miller, Roger Lantz and Jason & Val Schram, thank you for your year-end immediate impact gift.
A special Thank You to our faithful monthly supporters: Mike & Jan McGraw, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, Cory Young, Jenny Glasgow, Craig & Samantha Compton, Roger & Jennifer Madsen, John & Vicki Hefner, Tamara Stroud, Church at Coffee Creek, Stone AMP SEO, John & Keshia Otradovec, Zane & Melissa Morerod, Matt & Kristy Newton, Jondy & Heather Britton, Rick & Jan Britton, Diane Smith, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Kevin Quinn, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Linda Hartman, Lone Jack Baptist Church, Brent & Amanda Miller, Clayton & Pam Wooldridge, Demi Raveill, Stan & Linda Byrd, Jeff & Lacey Cherry, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Jon & Naomi Thompson, Jon Brody, Dave & Rosie Bourland, and Greg & Jennifer Spears.
We appreciate you!
Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets in our 2nd Annual Christmas Lottery. We sold a total of 228 tickets and together we were able to raise $12,400. This fundraiser was so much fun and we appreciate everyone who participated.
Thank you to Eric & Tonya Mater, Dorsey Embrey, Friends of Rick Brattin, Aaron Parra, Joey Zarrillo, Jon & Kayla Dold, Jeffrey Hagan, Mary Cairns, Betty Manes, Pam Wooldridge, Seth Reising, Amy Johnson, Paul & Kiran Worcester, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Briana Collins, Krista Martin, Mark & Cindy Hillenburg, Spencer Watkins, Nancy Wade, Jacob Sanders, Rene Fracassa, Daniel Arnautov, Tisha Gildehaus, Glenda Morrow, Lori Chally, EPR Properties, Holly & Bryan Tucker, Lisa Larson, Joe Morrow, Lauren Baker, Hilary Tichota, Metcalf Auto Plaza, and John & Kimberly Shrader for your December raffle ticket purchases.
Not sure how you can get involved? Contact our Director of Development, Athena Brattin at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816.272.0653 to find out how you can join our team of Partners. To make a donation through our website, please click on the link below.