Small 2º Changes to a Great New Year

It’s a New Year! So many people TALK and really WANT to make changes in their their home, their health and in their heart for God. But be honest. How long does the average New Years Resolutions really last?

For most people, their goal of making a BIG, huge, dramatic change starts … and ends... before the month is out. And in most cases, it's because most people think if you need BIG changes - then that only comes with BIG actions! 

But what if most people were wrong?

In fact, what if BIBLICALLY it was SMALL THINGS that could begin to change everything? What if small things here in 2014 were really the key to your loving Him more, to loving your family better, and even to getting moving towards being in the best shape you've been in in years! 

Jesus tells us, “He who is faithful in a little” is the one who will be rewarded much.

C.S. Lewis put it this way. “This then is the great secret. Good and evil both grow at compound interest. That is why the SMALL things you do each day are of such infinite importance. It is the small things that will turn you into either a heavenly or hellish creature.” (Mere Christianity)

This Month’s Blessing Experience Theme is all about “Out with the bad… and in with the good for 2014. But I’d add that the way we get the bad out and the good into our lives is by taking “small steps” – not dreaming of big changes.

In short, let's start with our friendships and family. Each one of the 5 elements of the Blessing are all incredibly "small things." Each one can easily be a small, 2 Degree change of the steering wheel, getting us moving in a direction towards more greater closeness and caring. 

 For example, instead of relying on that ONE BIG TRIP as a family (that keeps getting pushed off each year) to somehow change everything and make everyone happier and closer... what if you started doing SMALL things? 

Like the 5 elements of the Blessing...

Appropriate Meaning Touch – Build a stronger marriage by STOPPING to give your spouse a 3 second hug before you head off to work – and again when you first come home. EVERY DAY. Yes, you're busy. Yes, you're running late most days or have a million things to do when he or she shows up. But the kids and life can wait... for three seconds in the morning and when your loved one comes home. You'll be shocked how "actions start to dictate emotions" and NOT the reverse. Meaning, as you start acting in small loving ways towards your spouse - 2 Degree changes - just watch your attitude begin to change in small and big ways towards that person you're choosing to value. Or with appropriate touch, take a small child’s hand in yours and pray a blessing over them at night, after a story and as you tuck them into bed.

Spoken Message – Remember, you can WRITE words of Blessing as well as saying them. So how about sneaking out into the garage tonight and putting a sticky note on the steering wheel of your spouse’s car. You can just say “I love you” or pick a verse you like, and personalize it with their name. Like the verse, “I can do all things through Him (Jesus) who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13. On your sticky note, write that verse as a prayer for your spouse. Like, “Lord, help my husband (wife) know that no matter how tough the day gets today, (their name) can do all things through YOU who gives him (her) strength." That kind of "small" note is great for a kid’s lunch sack as well.

Attaching High Value – It's not just couples and families. Have a great roommate? Here’s a small, 2 Degree way to Bless that person's life. Flip through some old magazines you have laying around the house. Look for something that “pictures” a trait of the person you're grateful for. For example, let’s say your roommate has been a tremendous encouragement during a really dark time in your life. Cut out a picture of a chandelier and hand it to her (him) in an unhurried moment. “See this chandelier? To me, this is you. When things were so tough for me. When it seemed so dark and so hard to see things clearly. You’ve brought so much of God's light and direction into my life, to me you're like this expensive chandelier.”

You can cut out pictures to Bless your child (or spouse) as well. For example, flip through some old magazines looking for something that "pictures" a “character trait” (not a physical trait) that you feel and see that God has placed in that child's heart. At the dinner table, put it your picture on their plate before you serve them dinner. Then explain it to them at the table. For example, if they're a young child who been a great helper, then cut out a picture of a mommy kitty with kittens. Say, “See how this mommy cat is taking such good care of her young? Sweetheart, God has put a servants heart inside you. You do such a great job of helping me take care of your littler sister, it's amazing. The Lord has made you a lot like this mommy kitty and I'm so glad He did!” Then be sure and bring his or her dinner! (Maybe even with a special, healthy desert! There are some!).

Such a SMALL thing - a 3 second hug or cutting out a picture of a chandelier or a cat - but watch how much ground you gain in building a closer family and friendships if you'll just look for those small 2 Degree ways of Blessing your loved ones! 

Next up: Ideas on how small 2 Degree changes can help strengthen your heart for God and even your health as well here in a New Year!

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