I love new things don’t you???
I got a brand new computer for Christmas from my parents (because my old one crashed completely) and I loved the fact that the desktop was completely clean, I opened the music folder and it had NOTHING in it, picture folder – same thing, completely clean for me to add anything I wanted to, it was totally organized and without clutter, the outside was clean, the box it was packaged in was even cute, I just love NEW!!! I am having a hard time wanting to put anything in the folders because they’ll start to become messy again and filled with stuff and right now I just like the feeling of clean and new. I realize that the feeling about my computer probably has implications about my feelings on life right now.
I kinda feel like that with this new year. I’m feeling this really big tug to simplify life. I don’t know yet what all of that means, but I know that it has gotten too cluttered. I have had some time recently to reflect and process and I guess meditate on what it is that in 32 years I’ve created for a life. Am I living the way I want to be living at this point, glorifying God, serving other people, cherishing my family, following God’s voice and lead?
If I’m honest, the answer is yes and no. I mean I have my moments which probably even turn into days and weeks sometimes when things feel just as they should be. I’m living out a dream doing my best to humbly serve people in Honduras, I’m surrounded in life by people who love me and support what I do, and I think more often than not I would tell you that I’m listening for God to show me what to do next. I laugh and love on my nephews and my nieces and I watch movies with my parents and I celebrate my friends and the gifts that they are to my world. I read my bible and I ask God to reveal to me what He wants for the next chapters of life and I embrace those with boldness and courage. I contribute to a community of faith and seek their accountability and involvement in my life and I do my best to offer myself to their journey.
If I’m honest with you though, there are moments when I look at all I’ve attempted to do and everything I believe I’ve thrown my heart into and I far too often am motivated by what everyone else thinks, I say yes to far more things than I should and then get upset with other people for their expectations not with myself for being undisciplined in my commitments, I get tired of being broke instead of embracing a life with less for a worthy cause, I feel defeated when the outcome doesn’t look like what I thought it would and one of my kiddo’s moves back to a horrible neighborhood, I look for the quick fix and throw money when I’m stressed and busy instead of offering my heart, I get upset with a struggling father who really is trying to better his life when he isn’t changing fast enough to meet my timetable, I think far more highly of myself than I ought to sometimes and I enjoy the praise of people and wallow because of their criticism, I put burdens upon myself to be a robot when I am a human being who needs rest and a break. So if I’m really honest and transparent before you some days my answer to the question of am i living the way I want to be living is no.
This isn’t a beat up on myself post, it really isn’t. It’s my looking back on a year and wanting to refine some things for the next.
I love the idea of new. I have no idea where the idea for new years resolutions came from, and I know they hold no more power than any other decision I make any other day with commitment and conviction but there’s something about a year that hasn’t yet been filled up with mess, that has 365 (well 361 days now) left for me to fill up and organize, it’s a clean calendar with blank spaces and it feels like it holds so much opportunity for doing it better.
So I am limiting myself to 10 because I can still wrap my head around that many and I might actually hit 5 out of 10 if I give myself a broad target 🙂 Let’s be honest our success rating on these isn’t terrific. So here we go, my list for 2010…
1. I will take my boys on some dates with their momma to hear about the things that really roll around in those little hearts. I will not assume anymore that just because they have a roof and plenty to eat that they have a heart at rest. (Sidenote for my own confessions: Forgive me God for thinking that because they had far more than what they used to that I had fulfilled what you had asked of me in regard to them. You did the giving of the “stuff” and somehow I felt like I got the credit and should receive their gratitude. Help me to realize that even nearly grown boys need to know a momma’s love and it’s my heart and praise they’re after not my stuff. Please continue to teach me Father, but will you please somehow protect them from my inadequacies.)
2. I will give myself permission to take Monday mornings “off” from running – to be quiet before God and to organize heart and mind so that I might be a better leader for those that God has placed on my team and all those that may someday be, and so that I might be a better follower of His heart. (Confessions Part 2: God there have been moments in this when I have bought into believing that something might fall apart if I shut my door and had uninterrupted time with you in quiet to focus and renew. As though you needed me to keep things running… I have learned I can’t function long without burning out without it, so help me here to let go and stand still once a week as we begin a new week will you please help me start from the right spot, on my knees in submission to Your authority.)
3. I will write one handwritten letter once a week to the people who matter to me. I will deliberately invest in my circle of influence and attempt to make them feel cherished and loved. I will do this for their sake and my own.
4. I will hit the gym 3 days a week at some point in the day. When I feel better I am able to serve better and so I will make a deliberate effort to take care of myself and my health.
5. I will forgive more and be bitter less.
6. I will read my bible every morning even if it makes me 10 minutes late for what I’m going to do. Showing up 10 minutes later when my heart is right will accomplish far more than showing up 10 minutes earlier without lining things up within my heart for the day and I will pray to remember that.
7. I will work to take captive every thought and operate less out of what other people think and more out of what I know is right as God speaks it into my circumstances.
8. I will be diligent about reading and studying ways to help people I love help themselves and become self sufficient instead of attempting to be their savior. I am totally inadequate and do a very poor job, so Lord will you please be the rescuer and use these hands and show this mind how to be wise about the help we offer and the ways we do it.
9. Even when I don’t know how to do it well and I sometimes fail I will at all times and WITHOUT REGRET love them from a place so deep that I know it will at moments hurt and I will trust that when it does you will hold me. I will also trust that when we celebrate the victories together they will be twice as sweet because of the love that exists in the deep places.
10. I will celebrate every victory large or small because they’re worth it and because tomorrow is never guaranteed. I will acknowledge the places we’ve messed up and attempt to make those places better but I will do my absolute best not to let those overshadow the things that are going right…and Lord when I do remind me that life is good and I am surrounded by people to love that love me. I am blessed!!
So knowing that in my humanity I won’t succeed at these for an entire year in all the ways I’ll want to, but from a heart that’s looking at a year in review, these are a pretty sweet list to work towards for this girl.
Happy New Year. Lord help us to make you famous…you deserve it!!