How to Approach a New Year

ALT="Three horses in the snow"

Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

A new calendar faces us. New challenges, new goals, new opportunities. And honestly, a lot of the same-ol’ same-ol’ repetitions we could do without.

Yet, in spite of all those things we have no control over, we can choose to control our responses to them.

Note that I said response not reaction, for those are two very different words that we often confuse. The confusion begins in childhood, and I see it in my grandchildren when they defend an outburst or retaliation by crying, “But he made me mad!”

He made you?” I ask. “He (or she) has that much power over you?”

They don’t like that last question.

Learning the difference between response and reaction is as hard for adults to learn as it is for children. But it’s part of the whole free-will thing God gave us.

Praise—like love and forgiveness—is an attitude choice. Though we usually bounce into these three conditions via emotional triggers or reactions, they are also choices. This means we don’t have to be limited to how we feel.

Sometimes I feel like recycled horse feed, but I don’t have to let that emotion rule my day or life. I can still praise God for Who and what He is.

Will we face overwhelming days ahead?


Will we be ecstatic about positive developments that come our way?


God told the Israelites after their long, circuitous journey to the Promised Land, “… choose today whom you will serve,” (Joshua 24:15). 

We always have a choice in how to approach a new year.


Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
Habakkuk 3:17-19 

We always have a choice. Share on X

ALT="book cover with cowboy on horse with cattle"


Psalm 37 … The verses continued from the lefthand page to the right, familiar lines that carried childhood memories of her mother reading to the family on winter evenings. The psalm held so many promises of God’s provision, and so many warnings against harmful choices.

Mary’s gaze fell first to “fret not,” repeated three times in the first eight verses—an insistent reminder that worry accomplished nothing. Mary was an expert in that regard. All her fretting had done nothing but weaken her faith. ~Hope Is Built



Inspirational Western Romance – where the hero is heroic.ALT="free book"FREE book via quarterly Newsletter!

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest 

Blog | Goodreads l InstagramBook Bub


#WesternRomance #CowboyRomance #HistoricalFiction #ChristianFiction

(c) 2023 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.