Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some Thoughts for the New Year

When I was five years old one of my most prized possessions was my Strawberry Shortcake doll. I had the lovely version from the '80s that blew strawberry-scented kisses when you pressed her tummy. I knew she had been a relatively expensive Christmas present, and I treasured her.

Years ago my mom found her and sent her to me, along with all my old Strawberry Shortcake miniatures. My girls have had a great time playing with my old relics.

However, I have a friend whose two-year-old has a unique talent for finding Sharpie markers I never knew I had and coloring walls or other miscellaneous surfaces with them. (She also has a knack for having potty-training accidents every time she visits, but that's a topic for another time.) So after a recent play date this is what I found.
Yup. My old Strawberry Shortcake doll covered in permanent marker that I have yet to find a way to remove.

Abby looked at me and looked at my doll. "Are you mad?" she asked.

I surprised myself with my response. "No. That would be a waste of energy," I said.

And instantly I wished I had the strength to apply that wisdom to all of my life's difficulties.

If every time someone said or did something thoughtless or ill-intentioned I had the strength to just take a deep breath and let it go...

I could think about why they feel the way they do or act the way they do...

I could choose to remember that sometimes it's better to be kind than right...

Or I could remember that being frustrated or angry only wastes my energy. The bigger the frustration the more energy I could waste. (I have four small children. I need all the energy I can muster.)

I could remember Him.
Of course, by myself I don't have the strength to just let offenses float past without latching onto at least some of them. But then again, He never asked me to do it by myself. And when I pray for help to forgive and let go, He answers. And those answers are beautiful.

The change to a new year is often a time to reflect and set goals. It seems to me no coincidence that New Year's follows so closely on the heels of Christmas, when thoughts of Christ (and desires to follow Him more closely) are fresh in our hearts. As for me, in 2015 I would like to be a little kinder, a little more forgiving, and a little quicker to reach out and serve others.

I want to be a peaceable follower of Christ.
Picture by Brent Borup, courtesy of LDS media library
I want to be more like Him.

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