Weight loss promotions. Gym membership specials. Sales on age-defying products. Make-up specials that will create a flawless complexion and minimize the appearance of fine lines.
The list is endless – what will we do this year to improve who we are? What will make us more beautiful on the outside so that, God forbid, no one knows that we might be cracking on the inside?
Before I began walking with God, I never gave new year’s resolutions much thought – I didn’t really commit to the few I did make and eventually just quit the habit.
But then last year, it occurred to me that if God is really going to use me for His kingdom and while He loves me right now where I am, He also loves me too much to let me stay there.
Improvements of self are integral to our walk with Him otherwise our faith, and essentially us, remains stagnant. Just there. Very Truman Show-like.
When 2010 was just a newborn of year, I wrote down what I hoped to do or achieve because I had read somewhere that if we WRITE down our goals, we are more apt to follow-through with them.
I often thought of that list throughout the year and knew that I didn’t want to sit here, while 2011 is still a newborn, and realize I hadn’t done a single thing.
The bummer of it all is that I can’t locate that list so perhaps one goal for me this year might be to organize my files a bit… But I do remember some of the more important ones. If memory serves me, my list looked like this:
1. Walk deeper.
2. Understand more.
4. Start writing on a blog and submit for publication.
5. Keep my cool in the daily mothering of my young children.
6. Make my husband feel like he is important to me.
And yes, what are resolutions without the proverbial exercise goals?
7. Work-out at least three times each week.
I’m happy to say that I grew in all areas (but certainly didn’t “arrive), with the exception of #7. :) I’ll try to start that again for the first time this year. Maybe.
Sometimes I think we get so clouded, so weighed down by the intensity of what we want to improve that we forget the simplicity of His desire.
He wants us to yearn for a relationship with Him because He pursues us more often than we could possibly imagine. He wants us to walk deeper, to love more, to dispense more grace.
Should we choose to do this “new thing”, we start to see with fresh eyes.
We begin to realize that our beauty doesn’t come from what we see in the mirror. That we should exercise for stress release and better overall health so we can be in shape to serve His kingdom and not because we want to wear a size 0 jeans. We will see those fine lines for what they are – the road map of a life being lived.
I had planned to write about my new obsession with guacamole and chips today, but I scrapped it for next Monday because I came across the following verse and was immediately inspired:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
See, I am doing a new thing. I’m taking where I was and continuing on. Those resolutions from last year? Yes, they’re the same for this year, too.
He will lead me through the wilderness. He will provide streams in the wasteland.
And may I proclaim His praise.
On this beautiful first Monday of a new year, my list of 1,000 things continues…
251. I am coming off of an absolutely wonderful two weeks of loving my immediate family, visiting dear old friends, and time with extended family near and far. Though it is cliche to say, it was truly a beautiful blessing.
252. I didn’t Facebook (much) and I definitely didn’t Twitter. I didn’t write. I read good, good books. I thumbed through catalogs and magazines without feeling like I should be doing something else. Lovely.
253. New pajama-clad punks on Christmas Eve
254. Tofanelli wine with my hubs and dear friends
255. A hug from a polar bear playing in Christmas day snow with his new snowball maker delivered from Santa
256. Swinging in the snow with mismatched mittens because that’s the way we roll…
257. The simple joy of watching popcorn pop and eating it out of a July 4th bowl on Christmas
258. A new unicorn – I mean, does it get better than a new unicorn?
259. An afternoon with dear friends who we haven’t seen in ages and we adore. Jennifer and Courtney, we miss you so much but yet we love how we can so easily pick right up where we left off. Love you.
260. My most-favorite New Year’s Eve to date – a “secret adventure” trip to Build a Bear, our first lunch in an official food court, a visit with sweet friends from number 259, a pizza party for dinner, basketball in the bathtub and watching the ball drop on YouTube at 8:30 p.m. – from the year 2000. And no one knew any different. (Well, JJ and I did but we just wanted to get everyone in bed at that point so we didn’t really care)
May you do a new thing in 2011 and may you fervently pray and ask Him to reveal it to you. It will be good.