I do not make resolutions. New Year's Day usually comes and goes like any other day of the year for me. No weight loss or exercise goals, no vowing to give up bad habits, just a day to put away Christmas present packaging and start taking down decorations. However, as 2010 draws to a close, I feel there are some significant changes that are needed in my life, some things to leave behind and some good habits to pick up. I've often heard it said, "It's never too late to begin again." Thankfully, as a follower of Christ, I wake up each morning to a clean slate and more than enough of His grace and mercy to get through the day if I will just ask Him! But maybe it is a good idea to make some commitments to myself and to God about how I will strive to be more like Him in the coming year. Resolve is not a virtue that I can claim to possess, so I will be totally dependent on God's grace to keep these commitments, and I hope that sharing them here will help strengthen my efforts. So here goes the list, and these are, for me, pretty lofty goals!
1. I will talk less and listen more. For me, specifically, this means not being preoccupied or distracted when my husband or kids are sharing their thoughts or their day with me, giving my undivided attention, and NOT interrupting or "talking over" them (a really nasty habit of mine).
2. I will stop "sweating the small stuff". Michael asked me recently, "Why do you let yourself get so upset over the little things?" I'm sure at the time I tried to defend myself, but I know he was right. Who cares if the kids make a mess giving the dog a bath? Well, I do, but that is gonna change!
3. I will choose not to worry about things I have no control over, quit trying to fix people and situations, and start giving them over to God. I fail in this so often, even though I know He is able to handle things (especially people and relationships) far more effectively than I could ever hope to on my own!
4. I will be more intentional about discipline. I will work on being more consistent with the kids, for sure, but even more so in my own routine and schedule. This will be the hardest one for me, because I am a free-spirited, non-planning sort of gal. Gone are the days when I could easily navigate the day with no plan, no calendar, no schedule. It is time to step up to the challenge and adapt!
5. I will make time to be quiet and listen. I want so much to know God's will for my life, but He'd have to use a megaphone to be heard above the chaos that so often rules my life. The still small voice is being drowned out by the din of activity and busy-ness. I will commit to being quiet before God first thing each day, instead of trying to squeeze in a couple minutes here and there, which, sadly, has become my habit. Does this mean setting an alarm instead of waiting for babies' cries to wake me up? I'm afraid so. Which brings me to #6.
6. I will start getting more rest and wake up at a set time each morning. I am always exhausted, with the dark circles and puffy eyes to prove it! Far worse than the effects on my appearance are the effects on my mood and demeanor... By 5pm I am completely out of patience, kindness, and gentleness! I'm sure my whole family will be grateful if by God's grace I somehow manage to keep this one commitment!
So, there you have it. My 6 resolutions. The list is rather intimidating to me, though I'm sure to some it would seem to be nothing more than common "walking around" sense! Unfortunately, I was not gifted with an abundance of common sense, so I learn by trial and error. Well, mostly I learn by error, but let's not dwell on that. I am hopeful that though my progress is slow, it is still forward progress, and will eventually get me to the goal line. If the goal is to be more like Jesus in the coming year, then I will do my best to make each day count. Hopefully at the end of every day I'll be able to claim a few small victories, learn from my failures and defeats, and wake up with another clean slate!
Happy New Year! Have an inspiring and rewarding 2011!