A (late) New Year’s Resolution


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I have never been one who is big into New Year’s Resolutions. I think that is mostly due to the what I deem to be the cliché nature of them. I reason to myself “why make a trite resolution, along with everyone else, that I will most likely fall well short of keeping, most likely half way through January?” I don’t mean to be demeaning to people who make New Year’s resolutions. I think making positive changes are a wonderful and important thing. It is obviously good to challenge yourself and to better yourself. I just fear making a commitment to something just because it is the time of year for such things, and then falling well short of following through on it. I know that January brings a New Year, so it makes sense to evaluate changes and improvements that can be made in the upcoming year, and I applaud those people who have good intentions and work hard to be even a little bit successful at their resolutions. I have just never felt very led to make a resolution myself. I definitely have pinpointed things in my life I wanted to work on and improve, but nothing ever stood out to me more in January than any other time of the year. I expected this year to be no different in that regard.
But right now and in the near future there are some (sort of) big changes in my life. I recently stopped babysitting our good friends’ kids three days a week. It was a choice that Peter and I made together, because with school and essentially two sets of twins to watch, it was getting to be a bit much for me. The choice was a painful one and now that the kids are not here I find a bit of a void because I truly love them. Later this month I am turning twenty-five: a bit of a milestone-the ol’ quarter of a century mark. And in just over a month I will have survived my first year as a mother of two. I have spent some time considering these changes (and the implications of them) and as I have read or heard other people’s resolutions, listened to sermons at church and read my devotions, I have been challenged to make some real changes in who I am as a person. I like resolutions to be practical and somewhat measurable, so in trying to condense my thoughts into something do-able, rather than a long intimidating list, I came up with one idea that everything seemed to come back to. I want to be purposeful.
I want to be purposeful in how I manage my time. This is often a struggle for me and something that leads to lots of stress. I want to be purposeful in being productive and in prioritizing what really matters, what needs to be accomplished and what can wait.
I want to be a purposeful mother. So often I go to bed a night and feel like I blew it, whether in a specific instance or maybe the day as a whole. That is probably the worst feeling. I want to be purposeful in being present and not lost in my own head with countless thoughts and my endless to-do lists.I want to be purposeful in investing in their lives by having more structured teaching time, making the most of unstructured teachable moments, reading more and just just dropping everything to be on their level playing and laughing.  I want to be purposeful in being patient with my kids, and also with myself.
I want to be a purposeful wife. So often I put my own needs and desires before my husband’s. I want to be more purposeful in how I take care of and manage the house.  I want to be more purposeful in being a better listener and communicator. I want to be purposeful in making Peter feel respected and loved. I want to be purposeful in considering his needs and making sure they are met instead of looking out for myself.
I want to be purposeful in taking care of myself, so I can be healthier physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I want to be purposeful in eating healthier and exercising more. I want to be purposeful about spending more time reading the Bible and praying and in actually applying the things I hear and read. I want to be purposeful in viewing and handling our finances as a Godly steward entrusted with money and possessions from God. I want to be purposeful in telling myself the truth and in achieving the balance of challenging myself without taking on too much. And I want to be purposeful in keeping my commitments.
I want to be purposeful in how I interact with others. I want to be purposeful in being encouraging to others, purposeful in being a better listener, and purposeful in praying for others. I want to be purposeful in making the most of opportunities God gives me in the lives of the people I come in contact with, whether it be the cashier at the supermarket or my family I see everyday.
I often feel like I am failing on many levels. I know the desire of my heart and the calling of my life is to be a wife and mother. It is all I ever really wanted to do and I feel the most fulfilled in these roles. I reason if all I ever wanted to be is a wife and mother than I better be a pretty darn great one.  So when I often come up short in the arena where I should be excelling it is pretty distressing at times. Hopefully by resolving to be more purposeful I will alleviate some of the discrepancy between where I am and where I feel I should be. Hopefully, with God’s grace and help, I will be more purposeful in just about every area of my life this year.

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