Monday, January 01, 2007
Faithful, determined purpose
January 1 is, hands down, my favorite day of the year. It starts with sleeping late, then when we roll out of bed, cinnamon rolls, juice and the entire pot of coffee while we watch the Rose Bowl Parade in pajamas. My husband is content to spend much of the day watching college football. I show up periodically with yummy snacks. What's not to love? Still, what I really love about it - what makes it dear to my heart, is it's offer of another fresh start.
As I poured my first cup of coffee, I thought about our dog, our cat and the birds at the feeder. They didn't care a whit that a new year had started. It was just more of the same ole same ole. So why do we as a nation, world - celebrate the fact that a new year has begun? Many people pooh-pooh the idea of Resolutions. I don't get it. If we don't love fresh starts, of which resolutions are a vital part, then why do we celebrate the minute the new year starts? Over one million people filled Times Square last night to ring in the New Year. What difference does a fresh start make if you don't plan to do anything differently? Hence, the NEED for Resolutions.
My first thought this morning, as I was lying in my warm, snuggly bed was that I hadn't done a single thing wrong yet this year. No wrong thoughts, no gossiping, no unhealthy eating, no skipped days of devotions, not even that occasional curse word that slips when I least expect it. I hated to have my feet hit the ground. Then I got up, poured my coffee, and went to my favorite chair to clarify my resolutions - those renewed attempts at doing it better, whatever "it" might be. They've been rattling around in my head for days. Today, I finally got them down on paper.
Resolution - "the act or process of resolving something or breaking it up into parts; decision as to future action; resolve." Resolve - "steadfast purpose" Steadfast - "faithful, determined." So - Here's my "Faithful, determined purpose", aka Resolutions, for 2007.
Physical: respect; rest/relaxation; recreation; reduction. That would play out to mean I recognize I'm not 25 and don't take my health for granted. It's a gift, possibly a fleeting one. Being disciplined enough to get sufficient sleep, taking breaks just to relax, scheduling some play in there, and yes - the proverbial 10 lb weight loss, they all play a part. My oldest daughter, Sarah, tells me I have no excuse not to get enough rest, or take time for all the things I love to do. She's right. I'm also quick to tell my husband (who has a bit of an over-developed work ethic), now and then - "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." "Jill" is equally guilty. I don't want to be dull. I think God intended us to play a little, now and then.
Emotional: relationships - reinforced, revived, relished. This begins with my husband. His "love language" is quality time which is difficult when I'm always flying low. It includes my adult children, their spouses and children, my extended family and then friends. I've come to recognize friendships are at different levels, and even those ebb and flow. Relationships don't maintain themselves. They take effort. Sometimes planned effort. Penciling in a phone call to my father on my calendar every month makes it much more likely to happen. I also have to watch not tending to my friendships with girlfriends. I would get tired of putting up with a friend who is constantly taking on too much, like I often do.
Spiritual: recognize; retreat; renew; rejoice. Listed last, but obviously where everything begins. This is the center of my life, my being. It's so easy for me to jump out of bed, and immediately get busy with anything, rather than grabbing my coffee and Bible. My plan is to read through the Bible this year, using a printed guide. (I've done this several times, but didn't get that much out of it; possibly I need to read a bit slower this time???) I also started "The Power of a Postive Woman" by Karol Ladd - 52 Monday Morning Devotions, using "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers the rest of the week, and "The Busy Grandma's Guide to Prayer" by Lisa Whelchel and her mom. This was a Christmas gift from Sarah and Chris and I'm grateful for a practical way to pray for my family, a few minutes each day. I want to focus on recognizing what a gift my relationship with Christ is; 'retreat' to do just that now and then. I'd like to renew it, focusing on different areas rather than just presenting God with my wish list in bursts as I'm driving here and there. I'd like to spend more time rejoicing in who He is, and my position as His child. That doesn't happen without planning and purpose.
Karol Ladd, in her introduction to "Power of a Positive Woman", said, "Welcome to a faith walk. Not a sprint or a jog, but a steady journey of strengthening your faith as you follow the steppingstones of God's Word." After having double knee surgery a few years ago, I'm not a good candidate for jogging. A steady journey - that I can do.
Someone else said, "fail to plan and you plan to fail." I'm excited about a fresh start - the beginning of this year's faith walk. I can forget about past failures, missed opportunities, good starts with poor finishes from 2006. One year from today I want to look back and see imprints of my "faithful, determined purpose" for 2007. I'm confident it will bring me to a different place than I would be otherwise.
To read more 2007 Meditations, go to Laurel Wreath's site.
Labels: Busy Buzz
posted at 6:06 PM