We have a tendency to joke about New Year’s resolutions around our house. We’re old enough (and clearly mature enough) to realize that this is just an opportunity to make ourselves feel like a failure.
Run every day.
Plan meals a month at a time.
Have a date night every Friday.
Clean the whole house once a week. (Insert eye-rolling.)
Does this sound like legalism to you? What happened to grace? Grace for my family and grace for myself! I can’t do it all and I certainly can’t do it all perfectly. That’s why I need a Savior.
We all need a reset button sometimes, but may I suggest that we don’t take ourselves so seriously? What would it look like to stop trying so hard and instead trust that God is working in us?
I’d like to humbly share with you several ideas that have revolutionized my resolutions:
- Focus on Jesus, not on me. When I turn my eyes on my precious Savior the worries and strife of this world fade away and miraculously what is most important is illuminated. Rather than adding another item to your “to do” list why not simply choose to draw closer to Christ through reading His Word, praying, listening, and slowing down a little. That’s not a “to do”, but rather a way of “being.”
- Look at the big picture. I do not want to get to February and have already fallen off the proverbial wagon. (And satan would love nothing more!) A few years ago I saw Beth Moore post an idea on her Living Proof blog and here’s the summary: choose three words that you want to describe you this year. Begin praying for God to do a work in you so that when you get to December 31, you can see what God has done. For example, in 2012 one of the words I chose was “faithful.” Daily I prayed that God would help me to be faithful to my husband, my call as a mother, faithful to my ministry, and a variety of other situations throughout the year. When I crossed over into 2013 I can say with honesty that not only did I see that God had helped me to be faithful, but I was blessed to see His faithfulness as well!
- Stop comparing and make a decision you can live with. Sometimes I feel like “Captain Obvious” but I think it’s worth saying: No one is as great as you think they are. That neighbor who has an immaculate lawn? You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. That acquaintance at the office who always looks so put together? You will never know the secret suffering. Your life and your family are unique. Decide what matters to you and then be realistic… you can always step up your game in March if things are going really well!
What do you need God’s help to accomplish this year?
His divine power has given us
everything we need for a godly life
through our knowledge of him who called us
by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3
By Jenna Hallock
Wife to Mark, Mom of 2
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting team member, Family Time Training