We live in an age where it is easy to focus on fear. Through our media (social or otherwise), we are bombarded with news that can foster fear. I like a quote by Nelson Mandela that says, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

I echo that sentiment. The New Year often promotes contemplation and introspection about our focus going forward. We have a choice about that focus.

We can choose to relive bad moments in our past (sometimes repeatedly!). We can choose to focus on all the negatives in our lives and in the world around us. All this can breed fear.

To breed hope, we can choose to focus on finding at least one thing in every day for which to be grateful. When we do this, it helps promote hope that tomorrow will bring something else for which to be grateful. Zig Ziglar says, “Our favorite attitude should be gratitude.”

Is this always easy? NO! As I write this, I am “preaching to myself” as well. However, what sounds better – living in fear or living in hope?

I do not believe that hope is naiveté. We do not have to pretend all is right with the world to have hope. Blessing #31 in my book, Blessings, My Child, is based on the Scripture, Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.” (NIRV)

This is THE reason we can have hope and be grateful!

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