Is Your Year Half-Full or Half-Empty?

    by Sally Matheny 
     January. (Do you hear the collective sighs?) For some, it is the beginning of a new year, but for many January marks a halfway point.  
Is your year already half-full or half-empty?

Students of all ages are in deep contemplation about the remainder of the school year. Many shake their heads, discouraged there’s another six months to go.

Teachers are not excluded—not even us homeschool moms. Winter months tend to chill our creativity and our enthusiasm. Sometimes, we’re as sluggish as the kids. On the other hand, some are in a frenzied panic about the quickly approaching end-of-grade tests and exams. 
This may be a pivotal point for other people as well.  Perhaps, you are half way through medical treatments, or the first year without a spouse, or without a child. Maybe you have six months to complete a project, meet a deadline, or turn things around financially.
Whatever your circumstances, do not despair. I’m here to remind you that your year is half-full! Think of all the things you’ve accomplished this year. Yes, some days were arduous. You had to learn how to stand firm and how to let go. Some battles you had to fight more than once. Most likely, there are more obstacles ahead. But look how full life has been and how far you’ve come!
You are wiser (and some of that wisdom came after making a few mistakes).

You are stronger (if not physically, then spiritually).
You are richer, maybe not financially, but think of what you’ve gained so far. Make a list and don’t concentrate solely on material things.
        Did you earn new friendships? Has your knowledge and understanding increased?
How has God blessed you in the midst of the trials? What have you learned by walking through the fires of life, that you may not have learned otherwise?

How has your past six months equipped you to encourage someone else?

   “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done 
   without hope and confidence.”  -Helen Keller

And speaking of faith, William R. Inge said,
   “No Christian can be a pessimist, for Christianity is a system of radical  

Now, that’s a motto to take and run with—radical optimism! We have heard that all things are possible with God, but do we really believe it?
Radical trust in God means we give our best for the task that lies before us. We must do our part whether it is to study, to teach, or to work. We are to laways persevere with prayer and thanksgiving. We ask God to enable us do His will and then we must trust the outcome to Him. His unfailing love is a fundamental truth we can depend on.

Is there something pessimistic in our speech, in our actions, or in our thoughts that needs changing? Do our attitudes reflect our trust in God?

Fuel yourself with God’s Word. Call on His Spirit to reignite your passion to finish the race. God will give you what you need. Charge on, dear friend, charge on!

What about you? What helps you stay optimistic about the future?