As we emerge from 2021, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the next year needs to be for me. This past year fell almost laughably short of what I wanted it to be, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for everything that God provided for myself and my family during the last twelve months. You can be disappointed and still be thankful for what you have. This new year, though. I’m looking down the barrel of turning 50 and I’m not sure I like the looks of the downhill slope that I’m preparing to encounter. So, some things have got to happen to ensure that I don’t start rolling toward the bottom of this pit too quickly.
First of all, I’ve decided to stop begging people to cooperate with me. I feel like that’s all I’ve done for the last 49 years and quite frankly, I’m tired of it. I bend over backwards to make sure that things are the way they need to be and I don’t see myself being met even a quarter of the way most of the time. So, starting now, no more of that crap. From now on, if a person doesn’t want to step up and be responsible for their part, I’m not picking up the slack for them. Not anymore.
Second. My faith has grown stronger over the years, but my willingness to be a part of a church has truly all but disappeared. The problem with organized religion is that it seeks to put God into a neat, little box and only let him out when it’s convenient or good for the bottom line. I have never put much stock in that kind of spirituality, so, no more boxes. I don’t intend to go back to limiting my worship of Christ to what others around me feel is acceptable. Not that I kept others’ standards from allowing me to fully connect with Him on my own. It was more that when I was in church, I allowed myself to be less than what He wanted me to be because that person was too big for church. That person had more to offer than what a clique-driven church would allow. And so, I toned myself down and in that, I failed to walk out the purpose that God has given me. But I won’t do that again.
Third. I’ve always been one to say what’s on my mind, though sometimes I’ve been admittedly more cautious than I needed to be. Ever the peacekeeper, I chose to tiptoe around the big issues until around the middle of last year. About halfway through the year, however, I decided that it was past time for me to speak up and I started to say more about current events and how we should be fighting for our freedoms and for the safety and humanity of children and those who cannot protect themselves. And I’m far from being done talking about those things. So, next year, be prepared to hear much more from me. I’ve got a lot more to say.
So, even though this is a new beginning or sorts, it’s really the coninuation of some things that have been growing for a long time. Sometimes silently, sometimes with a bit more volume, I’ve been gearing up for the fight of a lifetime. And now that it’s time to step onto that battlefield, I have no fear. I know where I’ve been and who has been with me and for the first time in a long time, I know where I need to go.
I wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Be blessed and don’t be afraid to speak the truth.
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.