Happy New Year everyone! I’m looking forward to a wonderful 2015 for all of us. Like many people, I have taken time to do some soul searching. To soul search means to look inside you and weigh the things that make you better as well as the things that hold you back. As I started my reflection, I immediately thought about how faithful God has been to me, which has led me to three things I’m committed to having more of in 2015. They are: Prayer, Rest, and Nature. To simply explain each, I want to communicate more with God, talk to Him and listen to His guidance, which is prayer. I want to learn how to be happy to wait on His will and not get anxious when I’m uncertain, which is how we find rest. Finally, to enjoy what He has already given us instead of always looking to some future prayer request to make me happy, which is what nature does for me because I absolutely love trees. These may seem like basic things but I’ve found that many times the way to more peace is to go back to the basics. We don’t always need to get fancy stuff to be happy. For example, sometimes all we really need to do is go somewhere we can enjoy fresh air, smell grass, feel a cool breeze, and watch clouds. Whenever I’m out, especially when I get to go on a hike, I’m reminded that when God finished making the world, He Himself said that it was good, and to enjoy nature is to enjoy a most wonderful gift we already have been given.

My wish for all of us is that we will thrive in 2015 by taking care of the things God has already put in our care. Nature, as I mentioned is one of them, but there are other amazing things that we have as well such as our bodies which were meant to be developed and kept healthy. As I’m sure David will write a post about how everyone should work harder, which I agree with 100%, I also want to balance this view with being more committed to rest. To thrive doesn’t simply mean to achieve. It also means to have joy, to be energized and excited. You’ll lose those if all you do is work work and work. I need to do a better job with this next year and really discipline myself to exercise, rest, eat healthy (Yikes!!!)

Another thing that’s important to do well in order to thrive is to be disciplined about sticking to commitments and fulfilling goals. It’s easy to share our dreams but the more goals we set and don’t stick to, the more we are showing ourselves that we are not good enough to achieve our goals. That hurts our confidence and prevents us from realizing our dreams. Instead we should discipline our thoughts (there’s that word again: discipline!), and we need to learn how to stick to things until they’ve been achieved.

I started this post thinking of the word thrive but as I write it sounds more and more about discipline. I guess that’s because we won’t thrive if we lack that. It’s something I know I need more of in my life, and I need to start in the areas I’m already in, which are my health, my relationships, my work, my finances, and most importantly my spiritual life. To be honest, a lot of this is new to me as I’m not used to a very disciplined lifestyle. But I see the benefits and I’ve realized that the people that succeeded in achieving their dreams became that way because they were disciplined. I don’t want to look back and wish I did more with my talents.

I’m excited for 2015. It’s going to be even better than this year. But I also know that We have to do our part, to mature and grow, to study and become wiser, and to work hard and be disciplined. We weren’t meant to simply exist or survive but to thrive and be amazing. So let’s thrive.