Sunday, January 3, 2016

Resolutions for 2016

The intro is from my post two years ago on resolutions:

"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. Prayer life: I want to spend just one minute a day talking to God about each person in our family (four minutes total). I'm starting small because if I'm overly ambitious, it won't happen. I have a hard time focusing while praying, so I'm trying to counter that by making this time direct, pointed, and conversational (if possible, I will do this out loud).
  2. Devotional life: I plan on reading Jesus' words (the red words) and a commentary about them. Even if it's just one verse a day to ponder and digest. This is what I need most right now. For 15 ways to get into the Word, see these ideas! For many years now, I have read a page a day of certain books (or devotional) just to make it through more books in a year -- I have a huge list. Right now, I have three books I'm reading this way. It takes just about a minute a page, and every time I have a minute to spare or wait, I pick up one of these books :) [These are usually nonfiction as I read my fiction novel in the evenings while reclining ;)]
  3. Scripture memorization: Last year I ended up not only memorizing different psalms but reading one a day out loud, which was wonderful but now I have even more psalm verses I want to memorize! This year I am finally going to memorize my favorite chapter in the Bible -- 2 Corinthians 4. However, I am also going to memorize the chapter before and after it. So, 2 Corinthians 3-5 in all. As far as quoting the verses I already know, I do it daily but I just recite a bunch all at once. It's not my favorite way, so I'm trying to come up with a new plan. I'm thinking about pausing every hour to quote a verse or passage. I usually recite them in biblical order.
  4. Marital life: To increase my respect of Ricky, I am going to tag my lord on after his name whenever I am speaking to him. This will be a very apparent and vivid reminder to myself that I need to speak to Ricky as I speak to my LORD God. My respect for Ricky should not hinder on his behavior but on my submission and obedience to God. I.e. "Ricky, my lord, will you please take the trash out?"
  5. Personal life: I am really into the replacement principle. I want to use it in two areas of my life, but I'll only do one this year. Whenever I feel myself getting upset or frustrated or wanting to complain, I want to pause and give thanks for that moment or anything applicable.
  6. Social life: Last year I was praying for people that came to our house. It was great for six months and fizzled out over the summer for several reasons. One complication being that many people were in too much of a rush to leave. So, I want to modify last year's resolution to work better for this year. To pass on blessing to visitors, I'm going to do just that and leave them with a parting word, Scripture, or simple blessing.
Well. This is overwhelming to look at, but I think it's possible with a whole lot of grace and second chances. They are not dreams floating around in the sky. I have real and practical ways of implementing each one. ["Failing to plan is planning to fail."] I'm grabbing hold of each desire and figuring out how to incorporate it into my current, daily life. I've also decided that even if I constantly forget one or fail at another, I'm not going to be depressed over it and just give it up. Instead, I'm going to pick it right back up and keep going.

Happy New Year's resolving,