As we start the New Year, we are reminded in so many ways to improve ourselves. There is a chance to start anew. Life is made up of challenges for us all which can drag us down, but there are opportunities to do better. These messages are all positive and can help us throughout the whole year. One such message I have seen on many social media sites is from Jeffrey Holland (LDS Church leader) who said: “Don’t you quit… You keep walking. You keep trying. There is health and happiness ahead.”

Young woman reading scriptures outsideWe can find wisdom and comfort in that message and many others. Those of us who have lived on this earth longer than most have learned what it takes to start each year anew and just keep trying.

Another LDS Church Leader, Dieter F. Uchtdorf gives us some encouraging words: “Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible—and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you.”

I love that the Rose Parade adopted this year’s theme of “Inspiring Stories.” Inspiring stories always gives us hope and comfort that we can never give up in our life. Perseverance is the drive that keeps up us going even through our most debilitating trials. Many times slow and steady wins the race, as we learn from the story of the tortoise and the hare, but we sometimes need extra encouragement to keep us going.

loving serviceThose heroes who have debilitating health issues or other great trials to overcome to accomplish a goal feed our need to know of someone who was successful. The author and illustrator James A. Owen is the perfect example of this. As a teen he wanted so much to be a comic book writer and illustrate his own pictures. He started to put his comic book together in his teens and had to overcome great odds, as no one would help him. After a car accident crushed the fingers in his drawing hand, he had to re-teach himself how to draw.

In Drawing out the Dragons, James Owen talks about the obstacles which prevented him in filling his

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dream. No bank would take the chance to give him a loan, a crushed hand so he can’t draw, and a rare blood cell disorder which causes migraine headaches were just some of them. Did he give up? No. He persevered and has successfully sold thousands of copies of Starchild, his comic book series, and has published 15 books and still counting on his The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series and Fool’s Hallow series. It is amazing to me how he has overcome so many odds against him. He has pushed himself forward to success when most people would have given up. He tells those who want to listen: “If you really want to do something, no one can stop you. But if you really don’t want to do something, no one can help you.”

At times when we have a low in our life we just want to give up and not care anymore but with the many positive messages we find in many places, we can pick ourselves up and start over again and we don’t even have to wait for a new year. Each day we wake up can be our new start. Just keep trying and don’t give up.

About Valerie Steimle
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.

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