Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resolutions for 2014

Let me start by saying that just hearing the phrase New Year's resolutions rubs me wrong. I think that one reason is because weight loss is the first thing to come to mind because it is so common. Also, no one actually keeps them or remembers them after a few months. So they seem pointless and not very profitable.

But... it is hard for me to let such an opportunity to pass me by. I relish times of purpose to be still and reflect. [I sound like a Mary -- haha, but I really am a Martha-doer struggling to find (designate) time to be still and reflect.]

If God does not forbid it, and it strengthens your love-relationship with Christ, then I want to take advantage! Not that I cannot make "resolutions" other times of the year, but I have to be somewhat forced to sit back and reflect or it just does not happen because life is constantly demanding! Since this new year's time is already designated for making resolutions, then I'm going to let it "force" me :)

I find that I frequently need to evaluate my life in all areas to keep it going in the direction I want it to (towards glorifying God, of course). I hate regret and don't want to be on my death-bed, looking back on my life, and thinking, "If only I had done something with that part of my life back when I had the chance before it spiraled out of control."

The best way to change anything is to alter my spiritual life and let God have more access to my heart so He can bring true and lasting change to myself. Hopefully, these are somewhat feasible ways I can keep my spiritual life disciplined and on track this year:

  1. Pray every morning -- Nothing big, could be one line. Just say a quick little prayer before I get out of bed so I can start the day off with my mind rightly-focused. I usually wake up hurried and not-too-pleasant, already headed in the wrong direction. I want to start the day headed in the right direction.
  2. Recite memory verses -- I was quoting Scripture while I nurse, but I am nursing just once a day in the mornings now. And, I am much too groggy and half-asleep to think or talk then. So, I've been haphazard about it, reciting verses and chapters whenever I think about it. However, "whenever I think about it" is unreliable, and I do NOT want to forget any! I am thinking that I will quote one or two verses every time I go to the restroom -- sounds weird but at least it's reliable! And, I need to tackle one chapter a day; so, I'll divide its total number of verses by three (or two, depending) and quote that amount of verses around the meals of the day. [I.e., Romans 8 has 39 verses, divide by three equals 13 verses for each meal that day, so maybe quote six verses before I eat and seven verses after I eat.]
  3. Devotional times -- Bible-reading and prayer, mainly. While a good case could be made for having your "quiet time" in the morning, that just doesn't work best for me right now in my life. I am going to spend just 20 minutes a day (right after the kids go down for naps) doing this. I have been doing this about every other day, and I think this time is going to work out best. Although I desire consistency (a daily routine), I will admit that it is great to be able to quote Scripture and let the Word refine me that way on the days my physical Bible remains shut, which should be a rarity. 
  4. Giving thanks -- Ann Voskamp has the small, monthly calendars with suggestions of three gifts (things) that you can give thanks for each day. [She likens them to daily scavenger hunts of finding God at work in your life.] Anyway, we were naming our gifts during dinner every night, but we stopped once my mom came to stay with us (I don't know why). I really want to pick up this habit again -- it's easy, very beneficial, and there is no reason not to!

While this is a general desire and not something I can specifically do, I want to filter my circumstances through the lense of how this happening might help me to enjoy God. Just a way to focus my ponderings :)

These resolutions are a bit much now that I see them written out, but I think (hope) they're doable. I'm going to need a bunch of empowerment and grace from the Spirit! But, that's a good need ;)