Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Not a Resolution...

I used to make long lists of noble Resolutions each year. I also used to break each one by the second week of January! I think New Year's Resolution-making is a practice that's doomed from the start.

That said, I do think it's appropriate to spend time at the close of one year and the beginning of another reflecting on my "mission status." How is my walk with the Lord? (could be better...) How well am I nurturing my children? (oh, that's what I'm supposed to be doing!? I thought I was just surviving...) Am I loving and honoring my husband? (um, no comment...)

Life has been very hectic for me over the last 3 years: a state-to-state move; 2 births; one death (precious mother-in-law;) My Sweetie's new business; returning to homeschooling after 2 years in traditional schools. I could add a few more, but you get the idea. In my former life, I was very dependent on rigid schedules and lots and lots of order. But these last couple of years, we have literally lived in survival mode. It was a good exercise for me - helped to tear down my idols of perfectionism. But I'm ready for a little more structure...

So my word for 2008 is: Deliberate. I don't want to slide back into rigid perfectionism. Let's face it, none of us was too happy with that model! No, I think Deliberate is a good balance between legalism and chaos. Let me flesh out my thoughts...

Lately my quiet time with the Lord has been limited to a few stolen moments in the bath.ro.om! I'm not going to try to read the whole Bible in a year, but I want to be more Deliberate about reading a portion of Scripture and praying before I begin each day. That plus my homework for the study in Deuteronomy (the ladies' Bible study I'm attending at my church) ought to help me keep Christ at the center of my day rather than pushed to the fringe.

I don't have the time, energy, or motivation to make "fitness" a part-time job. But I have become very slack with my eating habits and rarely exercise - I could stand to lose a few. I want to be Deliberate about my food choices and making an effort to exercise when I can. Baby steps on this one... but I'm hoping my stress level goes down as I incorporate more exercise .

I can tell my little "students" are tired of flying by the seats of our pants. Yes, we get interrupted often, but I want to be more Deliberate about keeping to a routine (note, I said routine not schedule - there's a difference! I have no desire to be watching the clock constantly and feeling like a slave to it. Routine implies an order to our day that can flex when the need arises. The only thing scheduled is daily "room time" and "nap time" for the toddlers.) There is so much I'm excited about teaching my kids this year, but we've not been good managers of our time. Baby steps, here, too.

I also want to be more Deliberate about spending time with my Little Ones. They grow up so fast - I don't want to wish away these precious days of reading Blueberries for Sal, The Story of Ping, and I'm Dirty every.single.day and playing Lucky Ducks for the thousandth time! I don't want A and K to be neglected just because we homeschool. I want to snuggle, rock, and sing "Jesus Loves Me." I want to do art with macaroni and learn nursery rhymes and finger plays!

Lastly, I want to be more Deliberate about having fun! Doing things for myself that I enjoy (like reading or sewing) is not a luxury I often allow myself. But it does no one any good if Mommy is too stressed from serving her family to cheerfully serve her family! I also need to lighten up in the way I relate to the children. Instead of just sending them out to play, I hope to go out to play with them more!

I guess this almost sounds like a list of resolutions. But really it's a mindset. I want to be a good steward of the many blessings the Lord has given me and I think the time has come to be more Deliberate in all my life. You've heard of the "Do It Now Principle." I'm making this the "Do the Next Thing Principle." Just diligently, Deliberately do what the Lord is calling me to do each day and trust the results to Him. I'm recalling a verse I claimed for this school year back in the fall ... I Thessalonians 4:11, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands."

I'm praying I can be quietly Deliberate in all that I do this year...

8 comments:

Wendy said...

Sounds like a great plan for the new year! I hope it is a wonderful one for you and your family.

My word is "intentional," much like yours. :)

Kate said...

Good stuff Jen. Good stuff indeed. I haven't thought of my word/goal for this year other than stay on track. I should ponder this a little more...

jennifer h said...

My thoughts for the new year are somewhere along the same line as yours. I know if I set myself up with too many new goals, I'll fail. I need to make changes that are doable in my life--not just high ideals that will never happen.

Thanks for fleshing out a lot of what I am thinking.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I absolutely love this! I think i want to come up with a word goal for my year. To be purposefully minded in every task I am involved in. Beautiful!

Cathy said...

I have been thinking similar thoughts! Baby steps rather than a whole new deal. A very incremental approach.
You've inspired me to be more specific. Now I'm going to write down my thoughts and see what DH has to add...

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Hey gal - you totally inspired me and I have been praying about my word...PURPOSE. Gonna blog about it soon. Thanks. I htink it is much of the reasons you have chosen your word as well. Thanks for sharing it.

http://lisaleonard.blogspot.com/2007/05/sterling-stamped-jewelry.html

I am thinking of having it stamped on her single bar necklace to wear...it isn't cheap, but I got some christmas money and I love the idea of the reminder - thought I'd share the link.

The Small Scribbler said...

I'm supposed to be writing about goals and resolutions for my other blog this month but I'm not much for resolutions either. They are too soon broken.

This word deliberate...is right where I am too. I love how you described your scheduling tactics for the day. We're either flying by the seat of our pants or so structured that none of us can stand it. I think you described a happy medium here.

Kate

Angelena said...

What encouragement! Thank you for sending me this link- I am fully in agreement!

Blessings,
Angel