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Wayne Russell
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My favourite seven-letter word

25 July 2014, 16:33
Someone made a statement recently that really stuck with me: "Wayne, you have changed over the last two or three years." I began thinking about it and yes, I have changed. I am generally more positive about my past, my present problems, and the future than I was three years ago. My general outlook on life HAS changed.
But how? How have I changed? Why have I changed?
I thought about it for a while and then it dawned on me. A seven-letter word has changed me. A word that I have a greater respect for today than I did three years ago. A word that I always thought was important (mostly in principle), but a word I actually stopped fully believing in. The word is 'choices.'
In life we have choices. From the mundane choice of which cereal to eat for breakfast, to huge life changing choices: what will I study in college, how many children should we have, where should we buy a house, in whom should I place my faith?
We are largely a product of our choices. The choices I made when I was 16 (decision to live for God), at 18 (stepping on a plane to move my world to Texas), at 23 (moving to Shanghai for the first time), at 24 (coming back to Dallas to complete my master's degree) and many, many more choices (small and large) are having a DIRECT impact on my life today. No doubt about it. Absolutely no doubt!
We get the choice EVERYDAY to decide whether we are going to make the day (in general) good, great, or bad. "Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours." This is my mantra. This is what I live by. I have bad days, but I have far more good and great days. Not because I dodge trouble, but because I don't let struggles, stress, or problems get me down. I get knocked down, but I get up again. I chose to make a day great. This choice is very often the MOST DIFFICULT DECISION OF MY DAY. And making it a great day is full of little other choices to make other moments in the day great. Make it a great play time with my kids, the choice is mine. Make it a great meal with my family, the choice is mine.
I went through major trials in some of my work places in Dallas, but I came out learning a powerful lesson: I can choose to remain positive when everything around me screams for me to be a negative, complaining, unhappy person. 
My first school in Shanghai taught me that children have better days when they start the day believing that they can make today a great day. We need to remind our kids of this truth EVERYDAY. 
At my current school I continue to learn that being a Christian doesn't equal being perfect OR always being happy. We make a bad choice and we learn from it. God forgives us and forgets about the bad choice. We confess, repent, tie our bootlaces up again and jump back into the battle to fight the good fight of making every day count.
Now, let's choose to make today a great day, NO MATTER WHAT!
With something to think about,
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