Starting a New Year by Sherry Kyle


A friend of mine once said, “You never know the unexpected wonders of new change. Watch for them!”

new-year-1 The holiday season is full of wonder—Thanksgiving, the birth of Jesus, turning the calendar to a new year. Come January 1, there is anticipation and expectation. If I’m completely honest, a bit of apprehension too. What is the year going to hold? Will I accomplish my goals? Have good health? Grow in my relationships—with God, my family, and friends, too?

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do choose a word and a Bible verse for the year. For 2016, the word I chose was joy from Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

romans-15-13 Whenever I needed an attitude adjustment, I thought about how God is the only one who can fill me with joy and peace. My job is to trust him so that the Holy Spirit’s power will be evident in my life. Needless to say, I was not always successful in the joy department, but overall, I had a joyous year. I felt content. And for the most part, I was at peace.

With only a few days left before the New Year, I’m praying about what my new word and verse will be. In the meantime, I want to be open to what God has for me. To wait with eager anticipation that he will answer my prayers in the ways he sees fit. To help my kids, who will all be considered adults this year, understand their roles. To accept that change, big or small, is to be expected.

And to see the unexpected blessings in change by:

  • Having a new mindset . Instead of being scared of the unknown or viewing change as negative, we can make a decision to see the positives and focus on how we can grow through the experience.
  • Believing we are capable . Fear of the unknown can paralyze us if we let it. Instead, rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to help us through any situation. He will give us strength.
  • Realizing others are watching. By handling ourselves in a positive way, we have the opportunity to encourage and inspire others when change happens in their lives too.
  • Finding ways to grow. Let’s face it. Life is difficult. But when we view life as a learning experience, we can take change in stride and allow it to build our character.
  • Looking for the blessings. Not all change is bad. Many times it is good. No matter what, there will be blessings if you have the right attitude and outlook.

Unexpected Wonders Box

Teach your kids the gift of gratefulness with this Unexpected Wonders Box. All you need is a pad of paper, a pen, and a place to store the blessings for a full year. Otherwise, collect these items for a more polished look.

What you need:

  • Cardboard box and lid wonder-box
  • Clear tape
  • Pen or marker
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Small pad of paper
  • 16 inches of string or yarn
  • Wrapping paper

What you do:

  1. Wrap the cardboard box and lid separately. (Optional: Decorate with sequins, buttons, glitter, etc.)
  2. Cut a slit on the top of the lid so that slips of paper can slide through.
  3. Tie one end of string to a pen or marker and tape the other end to the lid.
  4. Wrap ribbon around your box to keep the lid in place.
  5. Place the box in a well-used spot in your home.
  6. Set the small pad of paper next to the box.
  7. Tell your family to write down what they are thankful for throughout the year.
  8. Read through the blessings or “unexpected wonders” at the end of the year.

As a mom to four almost-grown kids, I cherish the time spent with them.
Yes, change is evident, but I can still hold them close even when we are apart.

Now that’s a blessing!

kyle_sherry_01 Sherry Kyle is the author of books for tween girls, including a Gold Mom’s Choice Award winner, and new releases The Girl’s Guide to Life and Love, Lexi: Letters to God . She also writes novels for women set along the coast of California, where she makes her home with her college sweetheart and their four children. When she’s not writing, Sherry spends her time reading, having coffee with friends, and decorating her beach home. You can visit her at , Facebook , Twitter , and Pinterest .