January 2007 Newsletter
the beginning of a new year! 2007 is off an running,
and I'm playing catch up, as usual. Nevertheless, this
month's article is appropriately linked to possibilities,
which have been on my mind quite a bit lately.
while discussing with a friend the possibilities I believe
exist in each of us, I found myself making this declaration:
"If only you could see yourself as I see
realization came to me as we were agreeing on our
fundamental difference when it comes to our perception of
others. "You look at someone you've just met and
assume there's nothing special about them, until they
somehow prove it;" I explained, "but I look at them, and I
know there's something special inside that even they don't
know about yet!" he agreed.
you could see yourselves the way I see you, your
possibilities would know no bounds. That's what this
month's article is all about. I hope it blesses you
and sets you firmly on the path to a happy and fulfilling
by: Rhonda Jones
Whenever a calendar event is approaching, I’m always
fascinated by the history surrounding the creation of the
auspicious date and the evolving manner in which it’s been
observed down through the years. During the month of
January, of course, we observe the celebration of New Year’s
Day. The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all
holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about
4000 years ago. The Babylonian New Year celebration lasted
for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of
celebration, but it’s probably safe to say that modern New
Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.
particular holiday, maybe more than any other calendar
event, actually makes the calendar, itself, a point of
interest. In the years around 2000 BC, Babylonians
celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March
23, although they themselves had no written calendar. Late
March actually is a logical choice for the beginning of a
new year. It is the time when Spring begins and new crops
are planted. The purely arbitrary date of January 1, on the
other hand, has no astronomical or agricultural
of you are probably familiar with the beginning of the
Chinese New Year, a 15-day Spring Festival period beginning
in mid-January on the first day of the first lunar month of
the Chinese calendar. Akin to the Chinese calendar, the
modern Hebrew or Jewish calendar is a rule-based lunisolar
calendar, meaning it measures months defined in lunar cycles
as well as years measured in solar cycles. This form of
calendar is distinct from the purely lunar Islamic calendar
and the almost entirely solar Gregorian calendar.
you thoroughly confused yet? The difference stems from
whether the passage of time is measured based upon the
journey of the moon or the sun or some combination of the
two. It does get a little confusing for me, I admit. And
since it isn’t a topic of general conversation, we sort of
take it for granted. But the point is this: diverse
perspectives exist regarding when a new year begins.
New Year begins on January 1 only for cultures that use a
365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of
the New Year in 46 BC, when Julius Caesar developed a
calendar—the Julian calendar, of course—which would more
accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.
However, in the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's
Day to December 25 to coincide with the birth of Jesus.
Then they changed it again to March 25, a holiday called the
Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII
revised the Julian calendar—creating the Gregorian calendar,
which is now the most widely used in the world—and the
celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.
It’s no wonder we can’t keep our New Year’s Resolutions; we
don’t even know for sure when to begin!
yes, the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions. Oh, and don’t
think for a minute that you can use all this calendar
confusion as your excuse for breaking yours. You’re on your
own there, my friend. And it’s probably time to be taking
stock of your current situation, because we’re fast
approaching the dreaded date of January 24th.
there’s another calendar date you need to be aware of,
because it’s purported to be the most depressing day of the
year. According to a British psychologist, Dr. Cliff
Arnall, as reported by Jennifer Carlile of MSNBC, our
collective misery annually peaks on January 24.
specializes in seasonal disorders at the University of
Cardiff, Wales, created a formula that takes into account
numerous feelings to devise peoples' lowest point.
The model is: (W + (D-d)) x TQ
M x NA
equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather,
(D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q)
time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels
and (NA) the need to take action.
about it. The
wearing you down.
sinking in debt after the holidays.
with yourself for
breaking your New Year's resolutions.
And let’s don’t even talk about the added factor of chemical
imbalances in the brain, as is the case for sufferers of
Seasonal Affective Disorder…aptly abbreviated SAD.
Carlile reported, Arnall found,
while days technically get longer after December 21,
cyclonic weather systems take hold in January, bringing low,
dark clouds. Meanwhile, the majority of people break their
healthy resolutions six to seven days into the new year, and
even the hangers-on have fallen off the wagon, torn off the
nicotine patches and eaten the fridge empty by the third
week. Any residual dregs of holiday cheer and family fun
have kicked the bucket by January 24.
“Following the initial thrill of New Year's celebrations and
changing over a new leaf, reality starts to sink in,” Arnall
said. “The realization coincides with the dark clouds
rolling in and the obligation to pay off Christmas credit
card bills.” Back to reality.
Remembering this prompted me to begin to wonder about the
practice of creating New Year’s Resolutions. Why do we do
it? If Arnall is correct…if most of us have already broken
our commitments to ourselves in 24 short days…why do we
bother? What’s the point of New Year’s resolutions, anyway?
tradition of New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to
153 B.C., when Janus, a mythical king of early Rome, was
placed at the head of the calendar. The Romans named the
first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings
and the guardian of doors and entrances. Janus was always
depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and
one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at
the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans
imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to
the new. Many Romans looked for forgiveness from their
enemies (i.e., the past) and also exchanged gifts before the
beginning of each year (i.e., the future). They began a
tradition on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches
from sacred trees for good fortune and, later, nuts or coins
imprinted with the god Janus became more common. Janus
became the ancient symbol for resolutions.
always thought of New Year’s Resolutions as a "do-over."
Remember that phrase from our youth? If you screw up,
you just call for a "do-over!" That's what New Year's
Resolutions seem to be. They are commitments we make
to a project or habit or lifestyle change that is generally
interpreted as advantageous to us. Theoretically, these
commitments go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain
until the set goal has been achieved.
Thinking about how this project planning and implementation
process is intended to work makes me cringe just a bit,
because it’s all too close to the corporate life I lived for
over two decades. In some ways it seems unnatural to apply
this business-like planning approach to our personal lives,
but in essence we’re doing just that when we establish new
goals for the new year. Just as in the business
environment, our New Year’s Resolutions are an attempt to
look out over a long-term window of time, forecast what
challenges and opportunities will be encountered, and, based
upon that forecast, establish short, medium, and long-term
goals. The trick to accomplishing those goals in the
business world is to underpin them with sound plans and
resources. After all, identifying a destination isn’t of
much value if you don’t plan the route and prepare for the
journey you’ll take to get there. Perhaps it’s failure to
do this necessary underpinning that brings about the
downfall of not only our business plans but also our
personal resolutions as well.
Personal Coaches at
www.proactivecoach.com claim that it’s a matter of being
more specific with your resolutions. Citing research
showing that the percentage of people who maintain new
year’s resolutions falls sharply as the weeks go by—past the
first week: 75%, past 2 weeks: 71%, after one month: 64%,
after 6 months: 46%—they say, don’t give up; but revisit
your resolution to make it more specific, so that it’s
easier to follow. “I will go to the gym 3 times a week” is
much more specific than “I will get into shape.” Even more
specific would be: “I am registering for a class” or “I am
hiring a personal trainer.”
reminds me of a newsmagazine article I recently read by
comic and talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres. In the witty way
few can, she delivers her advice for keeping New Year’s
Resolutions, which she refers to as “a long, nasty list of
present faults and future failures.” Ellen says to keep
your list short and don’t always focus on what’s wrong with
you. Her list, while humorous, quickly becomes a series of
steps to continue doing what she’s already doing, such as,
never go to beauty school, keep on not smoking,
and hold off on exercise. Sounds like a set of
resolutions with which most of us could be successful, but I
can’t exactly say they live up to the spirit of the age-old
think there’s more to our failure to achieve New Year’s
Resolutions than unrealistic goals, a superficial lack of
specific objectives or the absence of a plan. Assuming any
of us possesses the wherewithal to write realistic and
specific resolutions and sketch out a plan, despite how
rudimentary our skills may be, there must be some deeper
issue behind our failure to achieve our New Year’s
Resolutions…a reason that stops us from planning…one that
may even stop us from ever making New Year’s Resolutions at
all. I think what we lack…that which is critical to our
successful achievement of our commitments or anything else
in life…is hope.
Personal Coaches say even if you do try and fail, there’s
something to be learned from your failure to keep up your
resolutions. It challenges you to learn to deal with all of
yourself: the part of you that wants to do better, as well
as the part that is resisting. They claim that once you get
more curious about this process, you’ll find it has the
potential for liberating tremendous energy toward reaching
your goals. This reminded me of something I heard Oprah
Winfrey say recently.
The January 5 episode of Oprah contained never-before seen
outtakes from her daily talk show, part of which were scenes
of Oprah fielding questions from audience members after the
broadcast signed off. If you have an automobile as old as
mine, you might be able to tune your radio to 87.7 FM where
a broadcast of the local ABC TV affiliate can be found, and
that’s where I heard part of the show. A young woman asked
Oprah what had been the best advice she ever received from
her good friend and internationally honored writer, poet,
and speaker, Maya Angelou. If you don’t know Maya Angelou’s
story, you need to hear it before you hear Oprah’s answer to
April 4, 1928, Maya Angelou was born as a black female into
the poverty of the pre-war south. She was molested at age
seven by her mother’s boyfriend and did not speak again for
five years. Shuffled between her grandmother in Arkansas and
her mother in St. Louis, she experienced the overwhelming
deprivation that was to be the hallmark of her growth and
later life’s work. At the age of sixteen, young Maya
conceived a child. Through the ensuing years she managed to
find her way as a single child-parent to support and raise
her son in a segregated, poverty-stricken environment.
Maintaining her dignity in the face of prejudice,
harassment, and violence, she did not give in to the despair
of those surrounding her. Maya Angelou did more than
survive. She expressed her spirit in poetry. She sang.
She danced. She wrote autobiographies of her journey,
essays on living, and poems to inspire both individuals and
nations, and she has been honored by universities,
presidents, and world leaders.
Maya Angelou gives thanks for the hardships of life, which
shaped her character, taught her mettle and challenged her
to give her all to everything she attempted. "We all enter
this world as lumps of coal," she said. "It is the heat and
pressure of our lives that enable us to become diamonds.
The first gift has already been given. You are here, alive
on this earth on this precious day. Take all it has to
offer you and give back everything you’ve got. When you
feel the heat, honey, look inside and see the shining."
Based upon that advice, Oprah’s answer to her audience
member shouldn’t surprise you. She said Maya Angelou’s best
advice to her had been to always give thanks for the
challenges in your life. Even in the middle of a crisis,
she explained, you need to be thankful for the problems you
face, because it is those challenges that allow you to learn
and grow into the person you were born to be…in Angelou’s
words, to become diamonds.
What is it that makes it possible for us to survive the heat
and pressure to become diamonds? What was it that made it
possible for Angelou to overcome the challenges of her
life? And, for heaven sake, if she can overcome that, what
is it that allows us to keep our measly little New Year’s
Resolutions? The answer is hope!
want to learn about yourself—both the part of you that wants
to do better and the part of you that resists—check the fuel
level in your hope tank. Hope is the only fuel on which
your engine can run!
always try to write these monthly articles to coincide with
an appropriate theme for each month. Last month’s Christmas
article was focused on peace, and I already knew the
February article would naturally be about love. What
I never imagined, until it was revealed to me during a walk
on the same day I heard Oprah’s comment, was that those two
articles would bookend this one about hope. And now
that these puzzle pieces have fallen into place, it makes
perfect sense. Peace. Hope. Love. Listen for those
messages in the remainder of this article.
just returned from a week-long Stephen Series Leader’s
Training Conference in Orlando, hosted by St. Louis-based
Stephen Ministries. There I joined 457 other men and women
from across the U.S. and Canada to learn how to implement
and manage a system for providing one-to-one Christian care
to individuals struggling with crisis. The thought of
writing a January article about hope had only occurred to me
mere days before the trip, so I’d had no time to think about
it or research it. And the days and nights were so full at
the conference; I had no time whatsoever to spend on it.
Little did I know I didn’t need to. The story I needed to
reinforce my lesson of hope was unexpectedly handed to me on
a silver platter on the second-to-last day of the
conference. Somehow, I have a sneaking suspicion that’s
exactly how it was supposed to happen...
days into the conference, I found myself growing weary of
all the interaction. It was a surprising development for
someone like me who craves such a thing, but on the first
30-minute break following lunch, I simply didn’t want to
talk to anyone. The warm breeze and bright Florida sun felt
good on my face, so for a few minutes I moved about outside,
weaving in and out of this little group of three and that
little group of four, purposely not making eye-contact with
anyone to avoid being drawn into a conversation. For a
while, all the talk around me was like white noise. None of
it actually registered in my consciousness, and gradually I
realized my thoughts were turning to the topic of my
upcoming newsletter…hope. Maya Angelou’s simple advice
worked its way to the forefront of my thinking. Then, as if
on queue, I became intensely aware of a conversation
underway next to me.
I found out how much they spent on that new building at
church, I was furious!” The man grumbled, as he continued
to describe in detail how many dollars had been raised and
how many dollars had been spent…on an albeit amazing and
much-needed facility, he reluctantly admitted. Yet still he
found something about which to complain. I’m from a small
start-up church. We just hope for enough donations each
Sunday to pay the rent again for next Sunday! I couldn’t
help wondering how he would feel if they weren’t so
prosperous…if they were unable to raise the funds for that
turned to walk away and turned right into another
conversation between three men. “There wasn’t a thing wrong
with our old carpet; but, oh no, according to my wife it
had to be replaced!” He continued, “And of course, once
we had new carpet, we had to have new drapes!” He
griped on about his wife’s efforts to keep his home looking
fresh and inviting, and I couldn’t help wondering, how would
he feel if he went home from this conference at the end of
the week and his wife simply wasn’t there anymore? What if
by some tragedy he didn’t have her around to worry about
making his house a home? I wonder how he would feel then.
moving and soon, as if someone other than me was operating
the radio dial, another conversation between three ladies
tuned in. They were complaining about the conference.
Specifically, I remember one lady saying that she felt she
should complain to someone about the video support.
(Sounded to me like she was already complaining to
someone.) Now, keep in mind, I’m a professional trainer
with a considerable amount of program planning and event
coordination experience. So I know what I’m talking about
when I say this conference was the closest to perfection in
its planning, organization, support, and execution as you
will ever find anywhere. Each day I’d been awed by their
accomplishment, knowing how much advance and
behind-the-scenes work was necessary to make it look so easy
and flawless. As I paused briefly to listen to this woman’s
complaints, I couldn’t help wondering, if this woman can
complain about this, how in the world would she feel if she
attended a truly poor conference?
couldn’t take much of that conversation, so I inched forward
to find a quiet place. I hadn’t wanted or intended to
eavesdrop, but it had seemed to have been out of my
control. Then, finally, in that quiet place, I simply found
myself convicted. For in that moment, all the gripes and
complaints and negative comments I’d heard, even within my
own team, and regrettably, even from my own lips, came
flooding back to me. “Why is he or she behaving that way?
There’s too much sodium in the food. Why are they feeding
us so much? It’s the pastor’s fault our Stephen Ministry
program isn’t working. Why do we have to implement the
program in the manner they are teaching us?” (Never mind
they have 31 years experience!) It had been one negative
perspective heaped upon another and now, with powerful
force, it had all slapped me in the face.
could we possibly follow Maya Angelou’s advice to give
thanks for our problems…to be grateful especially in the
midst of bad times…when we humans can’t even be grateful
when we’re enjoying overwhelming prosperity?! Is it so
unnatural for us to be grateful? Is it so much easier to
complain than to give thanks? Is it even possible anymore,
after what we’ve become in our Western society, for us to
follow Angelou’s advice? These were the nagging questions I
carried back into the next session of the conference
following the break. The session, ironically, was about
Throughout the training, experiential activities were
designed to facilitate the trainees to meet new people, step
outside their comfort zone, and try new skills, in order to
more fully grasp the concepts. On one occasion, when they’d
absolutely insisted we pair with a stranger, I’d sought out
and met a woman named Jeanne. Every other time, however,
I’d taken the easy way out and stuck with my four teammates
from Knox Area Rescue Ministries. But, for some reason,
when we were once again instructed to find someone we didn’t
already know with whom we could engage in a listening skill
practice, my teammate, Kathy, and I hesitated.
Finally I asked her, “Do you want to just do this with me,
or would you like to take this opportunity to meet someone
one scan around the room to see 456 people quickly pairing
up—men with men, women with women—before asking Kathy
again. Once more, she hesitated, and when she turned away
this time a woman from the front of the room was making a
beeline for her. Their eyes met, and they immediately began
looking for a place to sit.
really been ready to do the exercise with Kathy, but now my
decision was made for me. This time when I looked around, I
initially saw no one left standing. I literally thought
that somehow I was the only person in the room without a
partner for the exercise.
you need a partner?” I heard one of the conference
facilitators ask from behind my left shoulder and, when I
turned, he was pointing left. I looked, and all the way at
the very end of the expansive conference room, a good thirty
or more feet away, stood one woman.
the two of us could be seated so far apart and yet end up
without a nearby partner for the exercise was
mind-boggling. But we smiled across the room to one
another, and she began walking in my direction.
noticing how impressive she was, as she made the long walk
across the room to where I was waiting. Her orange jacket
complimented her glowing complexion, and her fitted slacks
highlighted her slender, toned figure. She moved gracefully
around and through the many conference tables and chairs.
No way would I have guessed this youthful, vibrant woman to
be 64-years-old. And I can tell you this, beyond a shadow
of a doubt, never ever would I have guessed her to be a
the exercise called for us to share with one another a loss
we’d experienced, this lovely woman from Omaha, Nebraska
quickly smiled and said, “Oh, this is an easy one for me. I
know exactly what I’m going to talk about. I’m a 12-year
breast cancer survivor.” That stunned me… but only half as
much as the rest of her story.
mother died from breast cancer at the same age she is now.
All three of her female cousins have had breast cancer. Her
brother died with stomach cancer. Her sister had breast
cancer at 30 years of age, and has since had cancer 14
times, miraculously enduring as many surgeries and rounds of
chemotherapy. Her family has lived with this dark cloud
over their heads for the majority of their lives.
knew, with our family history, that I couldn’t take any
chances. I had to have a complete mastectomy.” She said.
But she’d seen the effects of the radical surgery on her
mother years earlier and was terrified at the prospect for
first I didn’t know if the cancer was localized, or if I had
a chance to survive. Then when I learned I could survive, I
didn’t know what I was going to look like. Think about what
that kind of surgery does to a woman!” she exclaimed. “Our
femininity is tied so tightly to how our bodies look,” she
explained, and in that moment, although I’d never really
seriously considered it before, looking at this striking
woman, I knew exactly what she meant.
“That’s why I got involved in Stephen Ministry,” she said,
“so I could help other women with breast cancer!”
began helping her surgeon prepare newly diagnosed women
immediately after completing her reconstruction. “I told
him I wanted to do it,” she smiled. “I show them what they
will look like after reconstruction, answer the difficult
questions they have, and just spend time with them helping
them through it. I never hesitated. I knew this was what I
was supposed to do.”
amazing, yet normal woman just like you and me, turned her
most terrifying life experience into a life-changing message
of hope for so many more women.
and that’s actually not the entire story.
weeks after her mastectomy, her husband and brother-in-law
were in a plane crash, along with her brother who was
suffering through the final stages of stomach cancer with
the help of a full-time morphine pump. In his last days,
he’d wanted to visit old friends, and he loved to fly. So
her husband, a licensed pilot, had flown him and his
brother-in-law in a small four-seat aircraft to visit a
friend in Texas. He was holding up well, and the trip was
going beautifully. There was no reason to expect that
trouble loomed on the horizon.
they took off for the trip home, a small door on the bottom
of the plane, which had not latched tightly, popped open.
The plane will fly with the door open, she explained, so
there was no major cause for concern. Her husband simply
decided to make a short loop back around to land the plane.
But the severely hot, humid conditions that day made it
impossible for the craft to achieve adequate lift to clear
the nearby power lines. One of the wings clipped a power
pole, sending it crashing to the ground on its top short of
Believe it or not, all three men survived.
Shortly after the impact, her brother-in-law crawled out a
back door. But with the front of the plane engulfed in
flames, her husband and brother hung upside down still
strapped in their seatbelts. Her husband struggled to free
himself and then her brother, only to discover he couldn’t
find an exit. He unsuccessfully tried to kick out the
windshield until his shoes melted to the glass and his feet
and legs were severely burned. Determined not to die in
that fire, she said, through all the raging flames and black
smoke, he miraculously noticed the open door in the back of
the plane. Both of his legs were broken in multiple
locations, but the adrenaline surging through his body and
his determination to live enabled him to drag her brother
out the door before collapsing on the ground. They were met
there by a brave photographer, who’d been capturing shots of
a nearby bicycle race. He ran over and dragged the two of
them to safety seconds before the plane exploded.
brother and brother-in-law walked away with only minor cuts
and burns. Her husband, on the other hand, suffered several
broken bones and other injuries and spent months in the
hospital recovering. She—with drainage tubes still inserted
and over two months prior to her reconstruction
surgery—raced to be with him and never left his side.
was a blessing!” she exclaimed wide-eyed, and I stared back
equally wide-eyed. “I’d been estranged from my brother for
many years," she explained, "and we had all this resulting
strife in our family. But that experience brought us all
back together. Everyone came to the hospital, and we sat
there together and cried together and laughed together and
reminisced…and we healed. The following Spring my brother
was able to die in peace, and we were all able to let him go
peacefully, because we’d had that precious time together to
October newsletter, I wrote about choosing to open your
gifts, mainly by looking for the silver lining in bad
situations…especially in the seemingly tragic days of our
lives. But I have to admit I wasn’t prepared to look
face-to-face into the eyes of someone who’d accomplished it
so dramatically. My new friend ran with me across the
crowded room to introduce me to her husband, who’d also made
the choice, after his recovery from the injuries sustained
in the plane crash, to become a Stephen Minister and Leader
in order to care for others struggling with a life crisis.
Peace, hope and love emanated from the two of them, leaving
me overcome with emotion…tears streaming down my face. In
that moment, I knew, if these two can do it, it isn’t beyond
the reach of any of us. And I also knew with equal
certainty I was supposed to meet her and hear her story in
Meyer, well-known author, speaker, teacher, and radio and
television personality says, “Happiness and joy do not come
from the outside. They come from within. They are a
conscious decision, a deliberate choice, one that we make
ourselves each day we live.”
is a conscious choice.
Reflect upon Maya Angelou’s life story and, if you’ve ever
heard her speak or read any of her works, there can be no
question that this woman is peace-filled, hope-full,
and love-inspired! Maintaining our commitments to
ourselves to live the life we desire, despite our current
circumstances, is clearly made possible by refusing to lose
hope. And it’s that hope that gives us peace
and frees us to love! If I didn’t already know that,
it was proven to me this week.
life were easy, there would be no need for hope. It would
have no purpose. We know what hope is, because we already
have it. We’re born with it.
isn’t something we find in our environment. Our environment
may be completely hopeless, but that doesn’t mean we
isn’t something we catch from someone else. Others may
inspire us, but hope isn’t something anyone else can give
have to find hope within us. As was the case with Angelou
and the husband and wife I had the privilege of meeting at
the conference, we simply must persevere to have hope. We
must choose to be full of hope. We must allow the
inspiring stories of others to stir the hope within us.
also wrote, “Our thoughts are silent words that only we and
the Lord hear, but those words affect our inner man, our
health, our joy, and our attitude.”
is the secret…attitude…an attitude of gratitude.
pay attention to this, because this is what the past week’s
experiences have taught me. Hope exists in all of us. But
it has been kicked and stomped down deep inside to the point
that we’ve lost sight of it. All we can see anymore are the
negative perspectives holding it down. In that state, if we
allow ourselves to stay there, it is easier to just focus on
what we don’t like and look for the faults in others and
negatives in everything. Either consciously or
subconsciously, we think it’s those low expectations that
prevent us from getting our hopes dashed again, don’t we?
But we must recognize this learned behavior for the
self-sabotage that it is! Angelou’s advice is correct.
Gratitude is the key that opens the door and releases all
that downtrodden, pent-up hope squashed deep down inside
each of us.
what I hear when I listen to Angelou, and the breast cancer
survivor, and the plane crash survivor. I hear gratitude
for the painful and challenging days of their lives, for it
is in those days they truly discover who they are.
in the midst of seemingly overwhelming problems we find hope
inside ourselves…just waiting patiently to be discovered.
An attitude of gratitude releases our hope, and on those
wings of hope we can soar to previously unimaginable
Honestly, now, don’t those simple New Year’s Resolutions,
like eat less and exercise more, seem awfully
easy to achieve in contrast to the stories I just shared?
hope for you is that in this new year, more than ever
before, you will draw inspiration from the amazing true
stories all around you, and realize how much hope is in your
tank waiting to be used.
dawn of each new year, I usually just revisit my perennial
resolutions to prioritize, economize, and
exercise, about which I’ve written in a previous January
newsletter. But I now think perhaps the most important
resolution we can make is to resolve to be grateful for
our issues, challenges and problems, so that we might
release the powerful hope within us.
that resolution, and everything else we hope for will become
possible in this new year!
Be The Light!
You'll never be the sun
turning in the sky.
And you won't be the moon
on a moonlit night.
And you won't be the stars
although they burn so
But even on the deepest
you will be the light.
You may not always shine
as you go barefoot over
You might be so long
or you might walk alone.
And you won't find that love
but that love is always
So even when the dark clouds
you will be the light.
And if you lose the part
when love turns round on
leaving the past behind
is knowing you'll do like
you always do.
Holding you blind.
Keeping you true.
You'll never be the sun
turning in the sky.
And you won't be the moon
on a moonlit night.
And you won't be the stars
although they burn so
But even on the deepest
you will be the light.
"You'll Never Be
The Sun" recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, & Dolly
CD: Trio II
Written by: Donagh
Long ©1994 Little Rox Music (ASCAP)