Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolved: To Reflect [and Correct] Continually

Yesterday we had a really good sermon about resolutions and repentance - despite our speaker's claim that it was a non New Year's resolutions sermon.


Because {insert gross oversimplification of the message here:} we shouldn't wait to change - we should change as soon as we feel something is a problem in our lives.  Now.  Not Monday or New Year's Day, today!

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.

And yet....

My only counterpoint is that we shouldn't toss the baby out with the bathwater and call all New Year's resolutions bad.  Yes, if you identify a problem in your life on January 3rd and don't do squat about it until January 1st of the following year - that's a problem.  If you resolve to change and it only lasts a week or two, that's bad too.

But, often in our culture, we don't take time to reflect, save when Hallmark (or Dick Clark as the case may be) tells us to.  And in reflecting, it is only then we can identify areas to improve, grow, and do differently in our lives.  One of the most natural times to do so is New Year's, and so, I contend that if you make New Year's resolutions more as a result of reflection than as a result of putting off the challenging, painful process known as CHANGE, more power to you.

In the same vein of the sermon, though - I think we ought to reflect more in our 21st century lives, take time to unplug, slow down, breathe quietly with God, communing freely with Him dwelling on our hopes, dreams, and our druthers and reconciling them with what we know to be His will for us.  We don't spend one meaningful night/weekend with our other loved ones and call it good for a year, do we?

For planning purposes - I feel that we should do some serious introspection and self-evaluate our personal performance and/or goals in life at least quarterly.  What's going well?  What's not?  Strengths/Weaknesses?  Where/What would we like to be by the next quarter?

For intimacy with God purposes - most Christians talk of a daily walk with God.  This is more than church attendance and corporate prayers. As I shared last time, I've been struggling with this, and really, it's not a new struggle - it's been my same struggle since I first told the Lord He could have my life.  Here's my life, but uh, I'm not quite ready to talk to you about everything.

So, for accountability purposes, and because I tend to be like Aibileen from The Help, doing better with writing my prayers (though I can't claim a high/speedy rate of positive answers like Aibilene did), I'm going to attempt small, daily frequent, check-ins with God.  By writing my prayers, I also avoid the over-usage of God's favorite word, too.  Hehehe..... Some will be here, the stuff that has to do primarily with me and my struggles (so that we avoid this kind of situation), and stuff involving other people will be written in a journal.

Today, I begin...

Dear Heavenly Father,
Who am I that You care for me?  But You do, lavishing rich and universal blessings on all Your children, the richest of which was Your Son.  A thousand thanks to Jesus!  But it goes beyond that.  You bless me in ways that speak to my heart, ways that aren't one size fits all.  And You do this for everyone who has ever existed and loved You.  That's pretty amazing.

I come to you today with a sheepish heart.  I've been playing hide n seek again....or is still a better word here?  I don't know exactly, but you do.  I always want to do better at reading about you and learning who you are more intimately, but then I don't ever do it, at least not consistently.

There's a word, consistent.  I feel like it is the antithesis of my essence, and I hate that, because so many things, good things, preach consistency.  Parenting skills, health and wellness lifestyles, financial management, bible reading, prayer....and I'm not consistent in any of those areas and wonder why life feels so chaotic all the time.  I pray that you will help me, dear Lord.  Help me to daily take one step closer to you so that I can feel the affirmation of Your promise to come toward me in return.  Please help me to consistently seek You so that I can become more consistent in other areas in life.  Help me to see Your goodness and strive to mirror that to my children, family, friends, neighbors, and strangers.

I thank you so much for providing the opportunity to teach my kids a valuable lesson about respect today.  An opportunity that I would love to say I've been praying for You to provide, but we both know that's just not the case.  Nonetheless, it's been on my mind as I've seen some areas of concern in recent months, and You gave us an Incident, which gave me a huge opportunity to teach them.  One in which I'm pretty sure they heard me.  It wasn't fun, and I'm not exactly proud of the details of the Incident, but the end result was a good vehicle for learning and growth.


  1. I always do major reflecting and resolving at important dates such as the new year or my birthday (which is in June, so it's a good 1/2 year time span). But I also reflect and resolve at the beginning of the new week, or even the new day, I guess it just depends on what's going on.

    For example, I quit smoking two years ago on New Years Day and I often think that if it weren't for quitting on that specific dates, well, I'd probably still be addicted. That date, mentally, is really important to me and a huge celebratory one at that!

    I liked this post a lot!

    Happy new Year Heather!!

  2. I agree, Jen, there is something huge and inspiring about year-markers, be they the new year, birthdays anniversaries, etc. I also see the point of people who say I'm going to be the best me each day I can - I just know for me personally, if I don't take the time to evaluate (like I tend to at new years, birthdays, etc) my performance, there often isn't an indicator I see to steer me toward change.

    Happy New Year to you too - I hope 2012 has lots of joy and peace for us all :)

  3. Hi Heather - For some reason my signature won't stick here, so you're stuck with my cabin info. It's Andrea, though, and I'm saying I love this post! I am trying so hard this year to put God first, not my own silly human desires.