Happy New Year to all of my loyal readers, I wish both of you a happy and healthy new year. Okay, I know by the stats I get that there are more than two of you that read this, not many more, but more. This is the day of the year for reflecting and planning, reflecting on the year gone by, and planning for the year to come. If you are one who likes to make resolutions, then this is a good time for that as well.

I realize in a small way that I am contradicting myself because in past posts I have said that we need to live for today and not dwell inn the past or worry about the future, and this is true. But if we reflect in a positive way that can be a good thing. We need to thank God for the blessings He has given us, even the smallest ones. We need to look at what we can do now and in the future to become better people, better Christians and in my case, a better Catholic.

There are so many out there who don’t think they have any thing to be thankful for. In this culture of materialism that we live they can never have enough stuff. Instead of being thankful for what they have they want more. There are those who only see the bad side of their lives and feel sorry for themselves, hoping that everyone else will feel sorry for them as well.

Today I am thinking back to where I was two years ago, I was living in a house that was falling down around me. The roof leaked, the plumbing was in serious need of repair, there was mold everywhere, my vehicles were held together with zip ties and duct tape. Tonya and I both had health problems, I had only been working part time although it was looking like I might become full-time. Financially we were in trouble, yet with all of this it was one of the best Christmas’s I had in years.

Why? First because I looked at all the things I had, not at what I didn’t have. I had a woman in my life who loves me and that I love with the same intensity. I have two wonderful children each with a spouse that loves them and are good Moms and Dads for my six, beautiful and healthy grandchildren. Although it wasn’t much we did have a roof over out head and we were able to put food on the table. I may not have had a lot, but I certainly had all I needed and more than many others out there.

Second I had finally put my trust fully in God. Prior to that I was what I’ll call a part time believer. I would get to a certain point where I questioned myself if God really was going to help me, if trying to do his Will was really going to make things better for us. I liken it to having to climb over a mountain in order to get to a valley on the other side. You make it to the top but when you get there you can only see fog and darkness down the other side. There are many trails, none of them marked and none that look well traveled. A guide appears but he doesn’t look trust worthy at all. Instead of following him, you go back the way you came.  After several climbs up the mountain I decided to trust the guide, I didn’t want to go back to where I had come as things there were getting worse. We began the journey into the fog and dark and in a very short time the fog began to clear, the dark turned to light, and I understood that the guide did know what he was doing and could be trusted.

I am not at the valley yet. There is still a way to go, and I know there will still be stretches of the trail that will be difficult. But I also know I have a guide that I can follow, that I can trust and who will lead me where I need to go. That guide is Jesus. And as I reflect back over the last year I can see just how far my trust in Him has taken me. While I am certainly not wealthy, not even close, I am better off than I was. I am able to pay the bills, on time no less, and I am working on paying off some debts. I have an inner peace inside of me and I know that no matter what happens with God’s help I can get through anything. I can overcome any obstacle. That is my plan for the future, trust in Jesus all the time, I am turning myself into a full time believer.

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