Our Sunday school class talked about New Year’s resolutions this week. Original, huh? It was really a lot of fun to hear what everyone had to say, from one friend who says he never makes resolutions, to one who concretely defines his goals and frequently re-evaluates his progress.
I guess I would say I’m somewhere in the middle. As the discussion was raging, I flipped through the Proverbs and found this little gem to share: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”—Prov. 16:9 (NIV). Another scripture that I try to keep in mind when making plans is Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV): “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” C.S. Lewis says God comes first, then family, then self. He didn’t make it up; it came from the Top Authority.
These are the things I try to keep in mind when forming resolutions. I think it’s important to plan and prepare, but I want to leave a little room for the Holy Spirit to move!
That said, our Bible study curriculum (Faithlink Dec. 30, 2007, copyright Cokesbury) had this quote: “While a lot of people who make New Year’s resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” (Quote by John Norcross, a researcher at the University of Scranton).
So, I’m trying to make some resolutions, keeping in mind that God always has the right (and the power) to trump my plan at any given time! Here are some areas of my life that I want to work on in 2008:
1. Spirituality=Because God comes first, right?
a. Prayer-my prayer life is something I just can’t live without. Most mornings, I make time for God right away. I’ve been getting up at 5am so I can spend time alone with the Lord. The problem is, erm, sometimes I find myself—how shall I say it? Less than alert. I’ve started reading my Bible before my prayer time to try and, um, stimulate my brain to stay awake. It’s just that…there’s not enough time! I need to pray before I start my day. I don’t feel right otherwise. I think I will continue with the Bible reading first in 2008 and shorten my Morning Prayer time. I tried adding an evening prayer time tonight to see how that would work. It was great, and will work fine on nights that I don’t have evening commitments. So this will be another goal. I also will continue praying over my boys every night , and praying with my husband before going to bed.
b. Bible study—I will continue with my own personal Bible study (see my study of Philippians on the Home page) and with co-leading our Beth Moore Bible studies at church.
c. Fellowship and Ministry—my women’s circle needs some work. My goal is to pick a study curriculum and make a regular date for us to meet. We will meet at the church this year, instead of in homes. It seems the ladies are too busy to get their homes ready for company. I will also continue my weekly meetings with my writing buddies.
a. Housekeeping—I simply must do at least one load of laundry a day or I will pay for it later. I despise laundry, but this will make it easier. This is also my year to simplify. I would like to go through one room a month and get rid of unnecessary items, cleaning as I go. Another goal is to make the boys more responsible for housework.
b. Cooking/Eating healthier—the goal is only one fast food meal a week!
c. Individual quality time with the boys—one time a month to do something with each one alone
d. Be more deliberate in my marriage—Jeff and I do a good job of spending alone time together. We are blessed with wonderful grandparents who love to spend time with the boys. My goal is to work on expressing my appreciation/affection more on a day-to-day basis. I notice Jeff really appreciates it when I take the time to hug him or just reach out and touch him.
e. Express appreciation to other family members more regularly
a. Running—4-6 miles every other day
b. Yoga—at least 10 minutes every night
c. Weight loss—5-7 lbs. in 2008
a. Derek’s story—I have to finish my second book in the Wings of Klaio series this year
b. Article submissions—submit one article a month to various publications
c. Blog—at least three entries a week
I know there are other areas in my life that I could use a little work on, but these are the biggies to me. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me in any of these areas. Tell me what has worked for you.
The last thing I will say is that I will be careful not to get too legalistic with any of these goals. That can take the joy right out of any quest. I will pray for the Lord’s blessing on this process! Pray for me, and let me know how I can pray for you. Blessings, Dear Ones and a big thank you to Marybeth Whalen (http://www.marybethwhalen.com/) for challenging me to do this!!