My new pink Moleskine, journal for 2016
My new pink Moleskine, journal for 2016

This month Dawn at Random Journal Day initiated the option for journal keepers or bloggers to respond to any of 20 prompts. Some appear below in green print. [the rest here] Even if you don’t journal or blog, you might want to give these prompts a ponder. They just might get your thinking churning and help heat up the January-cold room of your mind.) Meanwhile, brick red print below indicates content from my January 2nd journal entry (edited somewhat). What’s uncanny is how much of it responded unknowingly to her prompts before I read them!

(How would you respond to each green question or quote that follows?)

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” -T.S.Eliot

I’ve started my new journal on the second day of this year rather than the first.

[On the first I got hit slam bang with a big black funk, evidently from organizing my photographic past, and that kind of froze up my forward thoughts along with the ink in my pen. (Just kidding, but boy is it cold out there now!)]

But the late start’s good in a way. That first day seemed to belong with “the old,” the emotional past, in so many ways. The second throbbed with eagerness, stretching away from that past to this year’s future. 

IMG_0681 (3)


Tis the season to…

It’s good to have a point we call “new” each year.

January First in its winter frozenness might seem an odd time for it, but it is a useful and usually opportune seasonal spot in which to come aside for a few moments, or hours, even a day or two if we get a timely weekend for it, and consider what we might want to build into the next earth year, to gain and to live.

One person I plan to invest in this year:

My thoughts lately have been of my need to be kind—especially to myself! Perhaps because a song has been echoing daily in my head.

The song on repeat in my head.

This one, by Andrew Peterson. If you listen you will hear the repeating “Be kind to yourself…” leading up in the refrain to what hits home for me with the punch line, “You’ve got to learn to love your enemies, too”!

Sometimes I can be one of my own worst enemies, I know.

I often treat myself most unkindly. I tend to be harder on, more demanding and judgmental toward, myself, than toward other people who make the same blunders or slips. I tend to work far harder to support and further others’ dreams and goals and their becoming the beautiful unique shining being God designed them to be than I do for myself.

Unselfishness is good, as is considering others more important than yourself, but what I’m talking about here is not just that. It seems more like timidity brought about by bullies, but I’m not sure who have been this sort of bullies recently in my life. It seems it might be me, at least in part—though I don’t know why this should be…

So I see I have already responded to Dawn’s journaling prompt,

My One Word for this year:

Kind. In my journal is a printout of the word’s definition, harvested from our big heavy unabridged Merriam-Webster’s I lugged upstairs to copy on my computer at my comfortable payer-place table. 


Is all that a little too selfish? Would I want to let the world know the one word that I’m thinking of choosing for 2016, and that I mean primarily kindness toward myself? I have my misgivings.

So I asked God for His perspective.

Husband wanted to listen to another Paris Reidhead sermon on Sonday, as we’d done a couple other times, and knowing it was my turn to pick the message, (without a clue as to what any were about), I prayed for God to lead me to exactly what I most needed to hear.

Quite randomly, almost blindly, I chose… [#34 on the website list].


What Paris Reidhead said in a sermon on “The Greatest Commandment” (Mt. 22:37-39) about the definition and importance of proper self love brought tears to my eyes, and wonder to my heart at how God responds in two-way conversation to our seeking questions:

[Paraphrased from notes I took]:

Sin is the decision and purpose to fulfill one’s own selfish desires, to please ourselves primarily, even at others’ expense: “I will do what I want to do. I set my will to please myself (rather than God). I will decide how to be happy, what I will do with my time, my life, my body…”

To love God is not the natural man’s tendency.

At this point I began to feel uncomfortable about choosing kindness to myself (“too”) as my aim for 2016. Wouldn’t that be considered selfish? Yet even as I began to squirm, he went on to talk about love, including the importance and definition of proper self love: 

The essence of love is to desire the best for someone—their highest good, well-being, fulfillment, blessedness, happiness, fairness and right treatment. Proper self love desires the same thing. We should want our own highest good, fulfillment of what God made us to be, blessedness, happiness, etc. but not at another person’s expense. The greatest commandment’s second part says, “Love your neighbor as yourself…”


I resolve…

to be kind… to myself, too.



Linked to Random Journal Day

9 thoughts on “Thought Prompts for the New Year

  1. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit…i think when we’re kind to ourselves, kindness can flow to others 🙂

    1. Two great insights, Lynn! I think so, too. And when we stifle kindness, to anyone, including ourselves, surely we must stifle its flow to everyone else. Tying that thought in with your reminder that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, I am also reminded of where it’s going to come from, and Who I need to go to and hang out with to get filled with it. So glad you stopped to comment. A blessed new year to you!

      1. PS. Commenting here on your poetry, Lynn, because I can’t connect by any of the three methods offered on your blog… Love, really love, Nose-talgia, and was pained by Fudge Curmudgeon. (Ouch!) heh

  2. Sylvia -oh my! What a powerful post! So thankful that you ponder your path via journaling and share your insights…proper self love is a journey I have been on for the past few years…your post is an affirmation from our heavenly papa that we are on His path! Looking forward to what He brings our way during the cold yet good winter months…I’m learning to embrace this season with a fresh fervor.

    1. Thanks so much for *your* affirmation, Kel! It was actually a hard post to publish. It really stirred up a lot of emotional turmoil for me. I guess it was an important point of breakthrough for me, like perhaps happened for you a few years ago. I love reading the cheerful evidence of where you are in this journey, on your blog–and of how other people are benefiting (like me) from your Soul Dare tutorials and seminars. What a wonderful fellowship! And yes, what a wonderful Papa, showing us these things! Rich blessings to you in the New Year, friend!

  3. I love that definition for the essence of love…it is not selfish to love oneself. We should want embrace the fullness of what God has planned for us. For when we do, we are then able to share with others and we are honoring God who so graciously showers His blessings upon us!

    Blessings, Joan

    1. I like the way you put it, Joan: “We should want to embrace the fullness of what God has planned for us.” You are so right in what you a\say about it. It’s also true that if we don’t, then we cripple our sharing with others and our honoring of our gracious God. Thank you for this.

  4. Sylvia…I know I read this…but why didn’t I comment? I think I must have read it on my phone. I so appreciate your beautiful sharing…I love that Moleskine journal, I have become quiet fond of them this year. Please forgive my tardiness in commenting…it has been quiet a crazy new year. I agree that with your comment about the late start and baggage. So true! Much love, my friend.

    1. Oh, dear friend, there’s certainly nothing to forgive! I do this same kind of thing, a lot (visit someone on my iPad and wait to comment till I have a convenient keyboard–then too often forget!) And I can tell you’ve had tons on your plate, as well. Thanks to you for all these wonderful prompts! (And the others, which I plan to revisit soon). Looking forward to your upcoming new series. (I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but it wouldn’t go through dunno why. Will try again later. (If I don’t forget!!!) 😉

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