You know what I love about a New Year? The newness of untapped potential. It is the closest any adult will have at reliving that feeling you get at about age 16: complete unabashed expectation of what life has to offer. For a brief moment at the end of each year, and the beginning of another I can cover myself in that same feeling….no matter how bad the previous year has been or whatever known challenges the new months hold, I can (for about a whole week) dream up outlandish possibilities and hold onto a childlike giddiness of what is to come.
And then, we go back to work, and school starts and chores and bills and responsibilities cover it all and I forget my resolutions, and whatever goals I established. And by the end of January I am merely plugging through life again with what seems like mediocrity. And I know this feeling will come…. lows and highs, emotional instability, but nonetheless I am determined to daydream in the possibilities 2012 has to hold.
For example, Corbin is going to start kindergarten next August! cRAZY right!? He will be five in May. Gabriella will be two in April and we have reached the fun age of almost complete sentences and playing dress-up. This year Nathan and I will hit our five year wedding anniversary. So already, I am excited about 2012.
And yesterday I began thinking about what I truly want to accomplish this year and started compiling my little list:
1. Start sewing– make Gabs some dresses, make some gifts for friends
2. Get rid of excess– clutter, clothes, weight (be general then there’s no heartbreak when I’m not actually back in the “skinny jeans” by May….)
3. Be more gentle.
4. Seek God’s face (Number 3, impossible without Number 4)
An unfinished, rough draft was being mentally constructed when my father-in-law turned on Joel Osteen on T.V. Now, before you start ridiculing me for listening to him, I have to confess that I find him a little over the top and often guilty of preaching fluff messages…. (FYI: Did you know he is on an upcoming interview with Oprah? hehe.) He was preaching about the power of our words and how by speaking negativity we are prophesying to our own outcome. Now, a few subtle changes to his language and he very well could have been a New Age guru promoting the “power of positive thinking.” Nonetheless, I was convicted.
I am extremely guilty of personal negativity. If anything happens to my kids, I automatically think they are dying. I stifle a constant fear that I might lose everything at any moment– Nathan, my kids, my job. I often, don’t truly believe that I am answering God’s call with seminary…..”Who will ever hire me to teach the Bible? Who am I to counsel people? I’m only a woman…and in the South. I’m no good anyway.”
I’m a bad mom. A bad spouse…bad friend.
I’m ugly. I’m fat.
Anyone else do this? These are thoughts I battle every single day. It’s’ neurotic and simply typing it out shows me how insecure I really am in my place in God’s kingdom. And while I didn’t really listen to all of Mr. Osteen’s sermon, I was struck by how sinful these thoughts and insecurities really are. God made me…. so if I believe that there is something inherently wrong with me I am believing that he is a shoddy creator, without a plan. And I don’t believe that…..
or do I? “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14 (NIV)
So, added to my 2012 list is the goal to believe that God is mighty enough to accomplish anything and I will allow that to shape my thinking. So, yes, I hope to be more positive. And yes, friends, I plan to dream and hope and plan outlandishly this year.
I can see my unsaved friends and family come to Christ this year. And Seminary can be taken care of (grades and finances) this year. And my marriage can thrive this year. And Nathan and my career can be blessed this year, and our children will be healthy this year. And I will teach God’s word, and I will be a blessing to my students and a difference will be made for Christ THIS YEAR!
So make your list…..your resolutions, your goals and your dreams. Make that list a prayer. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me, and I will answer thee, and show you great and mighty things.” Believe with me that our God is mighty enough to move mountains and that if we seek his face he will show himself. And please friends…. when I forget, and when I am consumed by mediocrity, sadness and probably defeat, remind me that 2012 is the best year of our lives.
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalms 20:4 (NIV)