No matter how many times I set out to NOT make “New Year’s” or “New Years” or “New Year” Resolutions, I end up making mental lists of resolves anyway. Somehow, not writing them down makes them safe to consider. It’s a mind-game — one I usually lose. Last year I set out to continue instead of to begin a whole list of things because that’s all I really wanted to do at this point, one year ago. I’d been having success losing weight using the THM plan and my plan was to simply press on. I did. Another thing I wanted to do was to press on reading my Bible each day. I determined not to again resolve (and fail) to read-it-through-in-a-year but to simply read it each day. Most days I did. I want to improve this. I recall last year’s thoughts — and many previous year’s resolutions, actually, and they were simply this: application, application, application. I’ve learned so many good things. So many good things. I just want to do them. I just want to live them.
This is on my mind because of a recent family conversation. When our children have their eighteenth birthday, we treat them, along with honoured guests (the children in our family who’ve already had their eighteenth birthday), to a special lunch celebration. Wes and I gathered with Naomi and eight of our children to celebrate this milestone. During the course of lunch Wes had us all share two things with Naomi; one being the sharing of a quality we most appreciate about her and the other being something we wish we’d known (or had done) at eighteen that we know now. Each of our children’s answers were such an encouragement — not only to Naomi, but to each of us. As each shared, around the table there were nods of affirmation and comments of agreement. It was actually cathartic to share experiences and evaluate things we wish we’d known at eighteen that we know now and good to revisit things we planned at eighteen or thought were important at eighteen.
As I continue to ponder another year passing and a new one just beginning, I am profoundly mindful this year that these few days before the New Year are as much a time of humble reflection as they are a time of hopeful anticipation. And, no doubt, part of that humble reflection necessitates a bit of repentance and certainly awesome gratitude to the Lord for His great goodness and mercy through the past year. The hopeful anticipation just might take the form of earnest prayer for the days ahead on the unmarred, clean calendar pages.
“A new year is unfolding—like a blossom
with petals curled tightly
concealing the beauty within.”
So, as you think ahead to the coming year, maybe you’re tempted to boldly proclaim making a fresh start — maybe you long to “get it right” or to have another chance. It’s common, especially if your year end reflection isn’t all that terrific. You may feel it’s just another year you’ll add to a string of others that weren’t necessarily stellar years either. I can type this because that’s been me a number of times. And I totally get it when others relate their similar low year’s end conclusions.
Maybe you don’t have all that many things to correct/do over/eliminate. Maybe you need to eliminate some clutter in your life and get organized… here are some great ideas for you. Maybe you need to make some relationship type things right (0r just better!)… maybe you need to accept some hardships or disappointments and press on in faith. Whatever the case, you’ve got a clean calendar in front of you—be wise how you fill the days ahead. And you might be inspired by quotes in a Huffington Post article posted last year.
“A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.”
Note to self: Read more. Dawdle less. Pray more. Fret less. Trust more. Murmur less. Smile more. Critique less. Be thankful more. Envy less. Listen more. Talk less. Be humble. Love more. Be gracious. And in all your getting, get understanding. 🙂
And don’t forget our Fresh Clean Start Giveaway!