My sister posted this on her facebook today, and I couldn't agree more:
This past year has been a lesson on learning to depend on the Lord and how he draws us to Himself out of His loving kindness. It has also been a good opportunity to practice extending kindness to others. One of the main things that I tried is so small, but turned out to be so profound: to smile at people more. It may seem like such a tiny thing, but I am AMAZED at the response of even perfect strangers I came in contact with throughout the days. There was not one person that didn't smile back at me. But the really profound part happened on the inside. By the simple act of smiling at someone, I was training my heart to respond in kindness to people. It was just this small, tangible thing. You should try it!
About a month ago, I started asking the Lord to give me a word for this next year. The past years, I have always had an inkling or an idea or a couple times it was just BLARINGLY obvious. This year it wasn't that way at all. I had no idea. So I just started praying about it. My favorite time to pray is in the shower because I am all alone, can shut the curtain to everything else, and can honestly talk to God. So everytime I was in the shower, I prayed about it. I started thinking through the ideas of contentment, fulfillment, and happiness. What does God really think about those things? What does His word say about these things? What does He want me to know about these things?
The Lord brought the Beatitudes to my mind and this particular chunk of scripture found a resting place in my heart.