It’s here, it’s here at last! That’s exactly how I felt about the ringing in of 2016 last night at midnight. I feel good about it, too, not like I have in prior years, but with a true feeling that this might be my best year yet. I’m leaving the muck and mud of last in year in my rear view mirror.
And this year, I’m doing something different: I’ve picked 3 words to focus on for the year. Now, initially these were in 3 separate categories (business, personal and parenting) but I’ve come to the conclusion that I need these across the board. Here they are:
It’s no secret that last year sucked the confidence right out of my bones and just when I thought it was back, it got knocked out again. Well, no more. Lacking confidence gives you a lot of side effects that I don’t want to have – ones I didn’t even know were connected.
Often I charge into things, completely fail, and let that failure deflate me. I was never really taught to get up after failure or to embrace and appreciate it, and I often take it as a sign that it’s something not in God’s will. I believe this isn’t necessarily true, and that I might fail in a thing but need to learn to pick up and move forward in it anyway.
Finally, a lack of confidence is there because I still have fears: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of doing it wrong, fear of being out of God’s will because I’m not sure what it is. Fear of change. I hate that I STILL have this much fear in my life, but I’m working on learning to recognize the shape and size of it in everyday things and work to hand that over to God. I think I’ll be doing a lot of meditating on this verse:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18
Generosity just doesn’t work out for me, you know, like Christmas for that kid in Polar Express. My planning is inversely proportional to how it actually works out. I’m super stumped by that, but as I’ve said before, giving is starting in the home, with doing stuff I don’t want to do. This will mean I need to throw out some of the following mind sets:
- “I do everything around here!” Ok, admit it, moms, you feel that way too. What I’m realizing that for a Christian, that’s really beside the point. Think of Jesus washing his disciples’ totally disgusting feet. Really, don’t you think He could have easily thought that? Nope, He didn’t complain about all the other stuff that NO DOUBT was on His plate. He just did it.
- “I can’t afford it.” Sure I can, I just have to drop more “me” stuff for funds and give away what I do have. This Christmas, I bought gifts for my nephews’ kids but then threw in a few extra – and was rewarded to see a really excited little girl in joy over one of those extras., the ones my kids just threw over as boring.
- “But I can’t…” OK, so mostly this goes to driving because I can’t highway drive. I accidentally got on Route 22 a few weeks ago and the NEXT time I drove by that area, I had such a bad panic attack that I had to turn around and go home instead. So I need to conquer that fear…yea back on fear! Augh. There are other “I can’ts” and I know that not all are “real”, they’re just uncomfortable or inconvenient, but isn’t that the whole point of giving?? Like washing feet…ew…
Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. – Deut. 15:10
So initially, I was going to write that I need to discipline the girls more but as I was reading a parenting book last night, I realized that it’s me who needs the discipline first. For example, I never finish anything that’s longer than a blog post. That problem that goes back to fear, yes, but also procrastination and distraction. To this end, I’ve taken some measures (like removing all the King game apps on my phone) to get started disciplining myself to be a better follower of Christ and hopefully bring my family to that beautiful place I have in my mind.
Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law; – Psalm 94:12
Ok, that’s 4 words, but I want to clarify here since two of those Scriptures I chose have to do with blessing. I want to be blessed – but I’m not talking about “stuff” or “provision.” I don’t need any more of the one, and I trust that God gives me the other.
By “blessed,” I mean I want to be blessed with God’s approval and favor. I want to get a great bit hug from Him in heaven. I want Him to say,
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” -Matt. 25:23
I want 2016 to be a radically new year, that makes all my suffering from 2015 have value – \ a better me, a more faithful wife, parent, woman, and writer, a person fulfilling her purpose truly and faithfully in 2016.
Not much to ask, right?
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matt. 19:26
Yea, amen to that!
What are your words for the year?