Well, 2011 has just about come to an end. It's hard to believe how much quicker time goes as you get older. I feel like it was just the other day that I was writing in my diary on January 1 talking about the interesting dates this year (1-1-11, 1-11-11, 9-10-11, 11-1-11, and of course 11-11-11! Yes I am a nerd, I know). Now all those dates have come and gone. Lately I've kept myself so busy that I haven't really stopped to reflect on the year that has gone by. Did I accomplish anything? Is there something worth remembering? I think that the answer would be yes to both of those questions even if nothing big happened. It's the little things that keep us going. In her books, Karen Kingsbury refers to those moments when we find something to laugh about or reflect on as whispers of encouragement. She got the idea from 1 Kings 19:11-12 "And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." We may think that we'll only see God through major events or miraculous signs, but really where we find Him most often is through a still small voice. A rainbow in the clouds, a butterfly on a blooming flower, a baby's laugh, a cat's meow, a puppy cocking it's head, a fond memory, the fellowship of friends and family...those "little" things add up pretty quick when you change your focal point.
So, as we enter into the year 2012, whether you have many New Year's resolutions or none at all, look for the whispers of encouragement that brighten your day. When you feel down or discouraged, don't let negative thoughts take over. Something I did a few days last year that I should do more often was keeping a list of positive things. At the end of the day, I wrote down 5 good things that happened throughout the day. Some days it may be harder than others to fish out those moments, but when you look back later on, at the very least they could make you smile.
To all my faithful readers who have made it this far with my poor, neglected blog, or to anyone who has just recently stumbled upon it, I hope you have a blessed 2012. Happy New Year!