New Year’s Resolutions… or Not
I don’t know about you, but at New Year’s, I am resolutely anti-resolutions. I think it’s the recovering perfectionist in me. Somehow, setting goals for myself — which I then inevitably don’t meet — ends up leaving me feeling guilty, discouraged, or inadequate. None of which really seems to contribute to the “abundant life” that Jesus promises his followers.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t many things I wouldn’t like to do better or do more of this year. More exercise, less TV, more books, more intentional time-spending, less unintentional time-wasting. Perhaps most of all, more discipline to create time for myself simply to be in God’s presence. (I told you I was a recovering perfectionist; it doesn’t take me long to compile a list of oughts and shoulds a mile long!)
But I’ve found that all those oughts and shoulds don’t get me anywhere good. So this year I’m trying something else. I’m simply going to ask God for more. More of his grace, more of his healing, more of his transformation, more of him. Because, while I don’t think God’s been holding out on me on these things, I do know that he can only give them to me as much as I’m willing to receive them. So I’m praying that he’ll give me a heart that’s increasingly willing to receive what he so passionately desires to give.
If resolutions work for you — and I know they do for some people — that’s fantastic. Share them with me, and I’ll be thrilled to cheer you on along the way. In return, I’ll ask that you ask me from time to time about how I’m doing with not having resolutions… how I’m doing with just asking God for more of him… how I’m doing at simply receiving God’s grace, instead of trying so very hard to earn it.
So resolutions or no, I pray that in the year ahead, the Restoration community will continue to be the encouraging, challenging, welcoming, grace-ful group of folks so many of us have already found it to be. It’s a blessing to get to be among you.
Happy New Year!
Can’t wait to see you Sunday morning as we continue to explore Psalm 139!
January 1, 2010 @ 12:45 pm
Resolutions occasionally work. Eight years ago I made the resolution to learn how to swim laps, and I’m now doing two-mile lake swims. This year’s resolution is different: learn about and develop an appreciation for scotch. I’ve always thought it tasted like rubbing alcohol, but I’m determined to try to like it.
January 4, 2010 @ 6:33 am
Jeff, this resolution made me laugh! Thanks for that and good luck with this one…..
January 4, 2010 @ 5:46 pm
I have 2 resolutions this year: To become much more patient and to be a great listener! When I told my husband about these he responded, “Those sound like great ideas!” to which my 21 yr old son replied, “For you, Dad or for her?” Two days later I was ‘going on’ about someone parking on the wrong side of our very narrow street. My husband said, “Weren’t you going to be more tolerant?” Hmmmm – let me ponder the implications of that statement!
Praying for strength through the power of the Holy Spirit to bear good fruit that will last:)
January 4, 2010 @ 9:40 pm
One of my goals for the new year is to memorize the Nicene Greed, Prayer of Confession and the Prayer of Humble Access. Hoping to get away from reading them off the screen and move closer towards speaking them from my heart.
January 19, 2010 @ 10:41 am
Kristen, that’s awesome. I love the resolutions/goals that add something valuable to our lives. There is plenty that we need to sluff off, but it’s so much easier to do when we’re putting on good things.
As for my own sluffing, I haven’t purchased a starbucks latte this year. Typically, I probably would’ve had almost 10 or so already under my belt by now (if I wore a belt, it would probably thank me). I’m not sure I’m looking to stop buying starbucks for the whole year, but I do think it would be wise to cut the $4 beverage from my expenses until …say my credit card is paid off.
I’ve also been looking to add at least 10 min. of silent reflection to my day. I’m trying not to turn on noise makers at every opportunity and am reminding myself to sometimes shut off the radio in the car to invite quiet moments where God just might meet me in the mundane.