Here we are. This is a new year. We have been blessed to make it thus far, but not everyone is feeling jubilant. Not everyone is celebrating. Many people are feeling sad, depressed, afraid, inadequate, bitter and sad. Some people feel as if they have nothing to be happy over.
I teach our women's ministry every Monday evening at my church. One Monday I challenged the women to learn how to see things differently, how to focus on the right things rather than allow their circumstances to rob them of their joy and happiness. Sometimes life will not present us with circumstances that give us a sense of happiness. Sometimes everything around us seems bleak. But despite what things may look like we have the ability to change our perspectives and create our own sunshine where there is none. All you have to do is change your perspective. When we change our perspectives we'll discover that we have more to celebrate than we thought.
Some people feel as if they need to wait until they accomplish something big in order to celebrate. Some are waiting for something big to happen to them in order to feel good about themselves. Some people are waiting for some external circumstance to validate them. They are overlooking the fact that we must learn how to celebrate the little things before we can truly appreciate the big things. We must learn how to thank God for the little things before we can ask God to do big things.
Start with the little things.
OK. Maybe you didn't get that house you wanted. Maybe you didn't land that dream job. Maybe you didn't make the cut, make the team, win first place, win the grand prize, graduate, succeed in that business venture, etc. Maybe you don't feel as if there is anything in your life right now to throw a party over. Well, you might just be wrong. Think about it this way: Here are a few acheivements you may be overlooking, acheivements that merit a party:
*You didn't give up on your kids
*You didn't give your kids away
*You're bigger and stronger than you think because you managed to survive on a job that most wouldn't be able to survive on
*You didn't lose your cool on your crazy boss
*You handled the situation better than you normally would
*This time you didn't yell back or respond with anger
*You drunk more water today
*You ate less sweets today
*You finally said "no"
*You overcame your fear and made an attempt
*You defeated the fear of failure and rejection and took a chance
*You signed up for that gym membership
*You started writing that book
*You began educating yourself
*You managed to forgive that person
*You decided to be the bigger person
*You told the truth
*You held on to your integrity and dignity
*You stood up for what you believe
*You didn't stop believing
*You refused to give up your faith
I'm sure you can add a few items to this list. The point is: you have a lot to celebrate. In fact, what you should do is take yourself out and celebrate your own small accomplishments. They may seem small to others, but they're really a big deal. Celebrate them! Don't wait for someone else to recognize them. You acknowledge them. Appreciate who you are and what you've accomplished.
Satan is a master of keeping you focused on your failures. How about you flip the switch on him and focus on the little blessings and little breakthroughs God has brought into your life. Then you'll realize why it's so significant that you're here, that you are still alive. You are a testimony of God's grace. You are a cause for celebration. You are important. You were created for a purpose. Celebrate the fact that you exist and that you exist with a purpose.