“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Matthew 6: 26-27

Holidays are a natural time for self-reflection, as many of us are able to spend some time away from work or school. Unfortunately, when we look into the mirror, we often aren’t very pleased with who we see looking back. So we make resolutions to improve in certain areas of our life, such as developing healthier eating habits, spending more time with family, and exercising the body and mind with more regularity.

But why don’t we do this all year long, instead of only during holidays or weekend retreats or summer camp? What if every week we took a minute or hour or day to reflect on who we are and where we are right now?

Could it be that we’re afraid of self-reflection because we won’t be happy with what we find?

Walking by faith is hard. Letting go of control is hard. Living with deep pain that just won’t go away is hard. Real life is really hard.

The truth of the matter is, we aren’t promised tomorrow. Therefore, we cannot wait for our circumstances to improve before we choose gratitude for who we are and where we are in life. Instead, let’s choose today, right now, to be thankful for the blessings we have, large and small.

Keep a “gratitude journal” and write down every day a few things for which you are thankful. Pray for those who have less; share the gifts you’ve received with others, and do so generously. Resolve to stay “tuned-in” to your life and the lives of those whom you love. Choose to embrace grace – for others and for yourself.

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” – Genesis 1: 27, 31

If we can somehow manage to accept ourselves and where we are as “very good,” then we may not be so hesitant to look in the mirror, because the person looking back will be full of faith, hope and love. Then, just maybe, our eyes will see more clearly the opportunities we have all around us to draw closer to God and to our neighbors, in the good times and the hardest times.

What’s keeping you from looking in the mirror today and accepting who and what you see as good, and even “very good”?

Grace & peace,