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Friday
Aug 22nd

Stop, look, and listen while crossing into 2010

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happy-new-yearWith only days left before the beginning of 2010 you may have already been thinking about how your life will be different in the New Year.  Is losing unwanted weight on your  to-do list? How about finding a new job? Or moving to a new place?  Do these types of thoughts about your future leave you feeling sort of anxious?  If so, I have three simple words of advice for you to live by as you cross over into 2010: Stop, Look, and Listen! 

Stop!

If you want to move forward with your life in a positive direction, stop dwelling on the past.  Despite the difficulties of 2009, the beauty is that you have been blessed to see a new year.  Don’t sabotage it by retelling, rehearsing, or replaying, in your mind (or to others), the offenses and the losses of ‘09.  Let it go!  Stop blaming others for your difficulties - even if you feel another person’s actions were a factor in your current situation.  You can only control your actions and reactions, so place your focus there.  Finally, stop spending money that you don’t have.  Financial chaos and distress is extremely stressful and one of the top reasons for divorce.  Spare yourself the agony of overspending!

Look!

Take an honest look at the current spiritual, physical, and emotional path of your life.  Look at your fitness level.  Are you living a healthy life that promotes vitality and longevity?  Have you thought about whether or not your habits will increase the likelihood of you living to see your children’s children? Look critically at the company you keep.  Do your friends inspire you to reach your goals, both financial and otherwise, or do they encourage you to squander your time and potential?   Look at your lifestyle.  Are you living above your means to fit in with the crowd or to pacify your discontentment?   Look for ways to cut back on your spending and look for resources - books, classes, or knowledgeable friends-- that will help you develop a goal-setting strategy today.

Listen!

One of the things that I am always telling my children is that God is always speaking to us, but at issue is whether we will listen.  You just may be thinking, “I am a great listener.”  Then apparently you are ready for my next question, “How are you at obeying?”  When you receive good advice, do you listen and take heed, or does your pride prevent you from benefitting from the wisdom of others?  Because we are each God’s custom-made handiwork, He wants us to listen, with our spirit, to Him so that we can hear His unique instructions for our lives.

God willing, at the end of this week I’ll celebrate my 29th birthday…again (at least I feel 29!)  About this time each year, as my birthday draws near, I become reflective-considering what went well, what should have gone better, and what will be different in the upcoming year.  As for me, I am adopting these three simple words - stop, look, and listen - as a quick reference guide to help me stay on course during my journey of 2010.

Before you cross the street of 2009 and cruise over to 2010, will you take the time to stop, look, and listen??  My prayer for you, dear friends, is that in 2010 you prosper and enjoy good health, even as your soul prospers! 3 John 2   Enjoy!

Marcia Humphrey is an interior decorator and home stager who specializes in achieving high style at low costs.  A native of Michigan, she and her husband, Lonnie, have three children.
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