“I hate New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I’m actually making some.” My jaw hit the dashboard of the minivan as my husband pulled into the grocery parking lot. “I accomplished a lot last year, but I need to do more now.” He listed a couple business and personal goals while we listened in shocked silence. Our fun-loving, seat-of-his-pants head of household grinned. “You watch, I’ll do it, too!”
“I actually made a couple resolutions, myself,” the thirteen-year-old chimed in. I surveyed the sky for flying pork.
“What are they?”
“Um, I forgot. I think they’re written down somewhere at home. Maybe on my desk? Yeah, I should probably find them . . . ”
That’s more like it, I chuckled to myself. “Believe it or not, I only made five this year.”
“Is that an all-time low?” David laughed. “Don’t you usually make two dozen?”
“Smarty-pants, I’ll have you know I didn’t have any resolutions last year — just survive publishing a book!”
He had a very good point — I usually over-do the resolutions. I just love, love, love making goals and achieving them. There’s something so satisfying about saying I DID IT! really loud in front of people. Sometimes jumping up and down and saying nyah-nyah, too.
But can I tell you the truth? I’m worn out. I’m tired of chasing my todo list and corralling sticky-notes. I’m sick of the pain in my chest from feeling behind (behind what? I never know for sure). I’m weary of the rushing and the struggling and then mental work-out.
And yet, I’m not done with life, with love, with service, with ministry. I have a husband to help and children to homeschool and ministries to serve in and causes to join. I’m not done doing. I’m just done pushing and pulling myself through it.
So this year, I’m settling into five things that I know would make the most difference in my soul, my spirit, my energy.
This 2017, just 5 resolutions to challenge (but not chastise) myself to keep going.
Not 17 or a dozen or fifty gazillion. Just a handful to grab onto and toss around and see what happens.
1. Develop a prayer habit.
My word for 2017 is prayer. I was spiritually challenged (and personally challenged by more than one person!) on my lack of faith, and I know my faith ran dry when my prayers came up empty. So I’m spending dedicated time on my knees worshiping and seeking God’s face, turning my heart and mind toward him. Twice daily. Alone.
2. Discipline my morning routine.
I know like the back of my hand what it takes to get me going in the right direction each morning, but I have not been doing it. My mornings have been helter-skelter for months, and I have no one but me to blame. So this year, I’m back on my morning routine and you better believe that things will improve around here. Boom!
3. Dash three times each week.
I find it hard to come up with d verbs. But you get the idea — I’m running 3 times a week. Starting next week. blah. It’s the part of my morning routine that’s giving me fits.
4. Don’t spend money.
I am super serious about paying down some debt and scrimping college bill money together, but it has to start with my thrift store habit. Yikes.
5. Demonstrate love in action.
There’s a couple causes, a few political and social issues, that if you even mention them in front of me, steam comes out my ears and my face turns read before the conversation has even begun. Because I feel so strongly and lose valuable energy and sleep fretting “why doesn’t anyone . . . ” I’ve even told my husband numerous times that “If I had another life, I’d devote my entire adulthood to working on . . .” But I never do anything about it. Just fume and fuss. Which obviously isn’t helping anyone with anything.
So this year, I’m changing that. I’m either going to sign up to be part of the solution, or I’m going to shut up. I’m going to get involved, or I’m not complaining. I started off by signing up for a couple things (because I need more to do) and I’m praying about more. Because seriously, friends, we know there are people who need help and hurting souls that need to be saved and injustices that need to be righted. So it’s about time we lived up to our name Good Thing Doers and started doing the good things that needed to be done.
And now I’m done ranting to myself about that!
But resolutions are not enough.
No matter what I need to do this year (or not do), no matter what we want to lose or gain or start or stop, we know that after a couple weeks the going will get tough (or we’ll never get started, in the case of my running) and then we’ll just conveniently lose those resolutions we wrote down and forget about the whole messy business.
It shouldn’t be that way.
Instead, this January and all year long, you and I should be encouraging one another to be the very best version of us we can be. We should be praying for one another and lifting one another up and pushing on another forward in our race to be more like Christ, to finish our own unique course with joy!
So I wanna talk to you about that in real life. I want to help you catch a vision of how God is using you in a unique way right where you are, how He wants to continue growing you and empowering you this year. And I want to help you make His will a reality in your life in 2017.
Because I know, we can all be intimidated by another new year, discouraged from making unmet goals and soon-to-be-broken resolutions. Seriously, aren’t you tired of comparing your seemingly ordinary life to that of Christian celebrities . . . and feeling defeated and devalued? Are you desperate for a new measurement of success — true significance in the eyes of God and your family?
Come join me next Tuesday night January 10 at 9 pm EST/ 8 pm CST for a special “Mommy Jammie Night” chat about how to rock our 2017. I’m going to share with you 6 ways you can definitely rock this new year, how YOU can know you are a success — as a wife, a mom, a homeschooler, a ministry worker, all of it.
I really, really hope you can join me. Bring your mug of tea and questions, and we’ll have a great time! Meet me right here.