Every year, people start their year off with resolutions. Sometimes they are lofty goals with no real plan of action: “I’ll lose x pounds,” “I’ll start exercising,” “I’ll get organized…”
Sometimes the resolutions are simple enough, but they are easy to forget. Last year, I wrote that I wanted to be purposeful in my life. I wrote out phrases on notecards and set them around the house. Some are still up. Some were taken down ages ago.
I did start living with purpose in some ways. I am spending much less time on the computer and finding other ways to keep in touch online throughout my day. Instagram has become my favorite way to keep in touch, and now I have an app that lets me write posts on my phone! This transition comes more from Abby demanding my attention than from a resolve to do better, though.
As a result of Lily’s food sensitivities, I also have had to start planning meals out better. This is following me into the New Year as we are working in managing our money better, too.
Overall, I think that last year’s resolve to be purposeful did happen, even though it was more out of necessity than because I made up my mind to do it.
This year, my resolution is again fairly simple. I thought I needed to work on thankfulness, but really I need to be obedient.
I love Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience, and you may have heard of her book One Thousand Gifts. Most of her writings are about being thankful in all things and for all things. I kept a gift journal the year that Abby was born, but I stopped after 1,000. I need to be obedient and pick this habit back up simply to be reminded of the good and to remember that the seemingly bad does in fact shape me and draw me closer to my Father’s heart.
It’s not just thankfulness, though. I need to be obedient in the everyday. To choose to be obedient in my attitude, in my thoughts, in my actions. Will I spend my days concerned about my daughters and their short days as babies, or will I squander my time? My calling is to mother them, shape them, and love them, and can I really do that well if I”m never mentally present with them? I am also told that I need to be obedient in how well I keep my house (Proverbs 31 and Titus 2). If I am not actively working on keeping my house clean, I am not being obedient to this command. Some days will be easier than others, and some days I will fall behind miserably. But when I fall, I need to fall forward, focusing on doing better instead of feeling bogged down by my failure. We’ll see how often I remember this.
I’m also spending more time reading the Bible these days. More time reading, meditating, percolating in the life-giving words. It’s where obedience came to light, and it’s where I find over and over again that obedience out of love brings joy, not bondage. Another way I’m being obedient is by putting the Word to memory. Like Melissa, I’m participating in The Romans Project, and even though I’m still on the first two verses 3 weeks in, I know that I need this. I need to know that Paul identifies himself as a servant of Christ Jesus, that he was called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God. I need to know this because I need to live it. If I’m really a servant of Christ Jesus, I will have a single-minded goal, and my life will follow through.
Obedience will take several more forms this year, I’m sure. And I know that it won’t always look pretty or put together. Life rarely does when we’re actively looking for ways to invest in others.