I heard the dog whining to go out at 8:00 in the morning, so I crept out of bed. The rest of my family was still asleep, which surprised me. We had been on Christmas break for 2 ½ weeks, and I love sleeping in, so the kids were always up watching TV by the time I got up.
But not today. I thought maybe God had gifted me with some quiet time. It was December 31.
For the past few weeks, goals and New Year’s resolutions had been bouncing around in my head. There were so many things I would love to improve. Some things really needed to improve if I wanted to be responsible and wise.
I turned on the Christmas tree lights and got out my journal. Time to make a list.
I chose a word for 2017: Dream. I want to look for opportunities to pursue my God-given dream of writing. I believe God has more in store for me in this.
But I realized that is very outward-focused, as in ministry to the world. I wanted an additional word that would focus on my closest relationship at home: Restore. I pray for more connection with my husband, more closeness, more passion, feeling more in-love, more emotional intimacy.
Then I have a bunch of other goals, all of which feel important and wise and worthy:
-stay within a budget!
-save money for birthdays, Christmas, camping and a trip to Disneyland
-drink less wine
-MAYBE even exercise! (Will I ever conquer you, my foe?)
-be better and more consistent about praying for others
-cook dinner more
-go on dates with Seth
-spend more time with my kids
-be braver when talking about Jesus to people that don’t know Him
So all of these are great goals, right? But I could sense this OVERWHELM because of so many things I wanted to improve. "Is it even possible to tackle so many goals? I’m probably just setting myself up for failure. I’m probably crazy! I probably won’t even be able to keep track of all this stuff! But I really want to, so what can I do? How can I manage it all?” I felt all these things bouncing around in my head like rubber bouncy balls. It was chaos.
I closed my eyes to ask God for help. I just asked Him to help me simplify all these goals into something that made sense. And immediately I thought of these verses:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” –Luke 10:27-
Of course! The greatest commandments of Jesus should always be my primary goals. All else falls under them or falls away. I felt such relief. Peaceful. Calm. A weight lifted.
These are my resolutions. On December 31. On January 1. On July 1. Every day. Every morning. These will always be my resolutions.
Then a couple of days ago I read something similar and really loved it. Author and evangelist John Edwards wrote these two resolutions back in the 1700s:
Resolution One: I will live for God.
Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.
Ooooh, do you love that??
So, my friend, as you make your usual New Year's resolutions (and possibly break them), remember to always keep God as your one true goal. Make Him your heart’s desire above all else. He’s got the whole world in His hands. He’s got this. Trust Him.