Fresh Start: Get a Fresh Attitude in 2017

Too many times I’ve heard people say “That’s just how I am. I can’t change.”

When you think about it, what that really means is “I’m beyond God. He’s not powerful enough to fix me.” And mixed in with that is also a dose of “I don’t want to put in the work to change.”

Now I’m not Pollyannaish about this. I’m all too familiar with my own faults. We all are born with weaknesses (as well as strengths). But the good news is that we have a God who is in the renovation business and promises to transform us. He tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18:

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Choose Your Attitude for 2017

As we can see in the above verses, God can redeem the weaknesses in our lives. We may always have certain tendencies, but I believe His transforming power can cause us to walk in victory, whether it’s an immediate transformation or a process.

If you happened to miss the first post in this series, you can read it here: Fresh Spirit. For today, let’s focus on an attitude to cultivate for 2017. If you’re grumpy, pick joy. If you’re constantly complaining, cultivate a spirit of thankfulness. If you worry too much, choose trust. Having the desire to change is one thing, but how can we actually do it?

Fresh Start Action List

  1. Become aware. Ask God to point out to you when you are copping the attitude you don’t like. Sometimes we are so entrenched in our habits that we don’t realize how we are acting. Pay attention to the words you say and the thoughts you think. We can’t change things we aren’t aware of.
  2. Make the choice to stop the behavior and choose a different one. Pray for strength to switch your current faulty attitude to the new one.
  3. Brainstorm ideas with God on things you can do to cultivate the new attitude and things you must stop that lead to the bad attitude. For example, if complaining is your downfall, pick one area that you frequently complain about. Resolve that for one hour you will not say one bad thing about it. The next day make 2 hours your goal, and so on until you’ve gone an entire day without complaining about that one thing. On the flip side, to cultivate thankfulness, start a Top 10 Thankful List that you fill in every day. Before you know it, you’ll have established a habit of gratitude.
  4. Commit to doing the hard work to change yourself. Maybe even ask someone to be your accountability partner. It may not be easy or quick, but commit to doing the work that it takes to change. When you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply start again from where you are.

Remember, God is in the renovation business. If need be, He can take you down to the studs and build up from there! May 2017 be the year of a fresh attitude.

Pray on!

Nature Up Close: Transformation

DSC_2841As I was working in my garden tonight, I was delighted to see five caterpillars (I think they’re monarchs) on my dill plant! What a treat to get such a close-up view of them doing what they do best–eating. I love observing the small, often unseen creatures in nature. As you may or may not know, the tag line to Only By Prayer says “where the sacred and everyday meet.” When I take time to stop and intently look at the little things in life, that is one way I am ushering the sacred into the everyday.

I ran into the house to get my camera to capture these fascinating critters. Take a look below. I was able to capture it in mid-bite!


The life cycle of the caterpillar and its metamorphosis into a butterfly (or moth) is a wonderful analogy to our lives with Christ. When we give Him control of our lives, He is able to transform our lives into a thing of beauty — to a degree that we would never be able to attain on our own. It does take some work on our part, though. Just like the caterpillars are muching away gluttonously to fuel their transformation, we also need to be taking in God’s word and participating in spiritual disciplines to grow. God has put the food in front of us, but if we don’t eat it, we’ll never realize the potential that He has given to each one of us.

Let’s munch away today!