I'm a little late on the resolution front... I do realise that... but somehow this happens every year. The chaotic run-up to Christmas, the busyness of the week between Christmas and New Year, and suddenly you realise you've done three weeks on auto-pilot and haven't paused for a single second.
And then its January.
A new year.
A fresh start.
And you feel like you could rustle up the usual resolutions, but your heart wouldn't really be in it, because you haven't thought about it... haven't taken the time to think, really think about what you'd love to do this year.
So that's why this post is a little late... eleven days late to be precise.
But eleven days to stew, and mull, to reflect and look forward, to pray and to question my own heart.
And here's where I'm at...
I'll just say at the outset, I know I will fail in every one of these areas this year. I don't mean that in a defeatist, pessimistic kind of way, but because I know I don't really have the strength to do any of them on my on. Certainly not for a whole year.
And so I'm seeking to start the year praying for strength to achieve these aspirations, grace for when I fail them, and a good dose of teachability and humility to boot. Nothing like some New Years Resolutions to keep you humble (or the failing them at least!)
* B E T H A N K F U L *
We've got some big stuff happening this year... wonderful stuff, but big stuff (and before the rumour mill starts, I'm not pregnant again!) and when its all over, it will be amazing. I know it will. But the journey to get there is likely to be pretty fraught with frustration, emotions running high and a fair bit of change as well... so one of my hopes this year is to stay thankful... however complicated things may get... to keep perspective that sometimes good things are worth the challenge it takes to get there. And ultimately that none of it matters in the grand scheme of things. That without any exciting "project" (more will be revealed later in time) I have SO many reasons to be thankful... an incredible Saviour, a great husband, and a beautiful family... what more could a girl need?
* L O O K U P , N O T I N *
I've been really challenged recently, that quite often I'm pretty inward looking. I can be pretty selfish with my time, and its easy to idolise this little thing we have going on at home. Our little family unit. It's much easier to create this idyllic little family when you shut the rest of the world out... Focus on my marriage, focus on my children, seek to create this idyllic childhood for them that is picture perfect. But God's really been pointing this out to me, and showing me that actually he doesn't want me to create the "perfect family experience", but instead to be a family together on a mission. An inward looking family is only going to explode under the expectation and pressure eventually (four year olds are perfectly happy to live in a little family bubble, fourteen year olds perhaps not so much...!) but actually, if we really want our family to be tight-knit, then maybe we need to stop looking in and start looking up. All of us. Together. Because actually if our home life is all about Jesus then there's a shift in focus. A sense that we're all in it together, striving for the same purpose... and as the children see Dave and I working together, seeking to bring glory to God in all we do, say, think... thinking together about how we spend our time and energy, then the kids are going to want in on the action...
I feel like my thoughts aren't quite clear on this yet... that I still have some learning to do here (and thats probably evident in the splurge above! Ha!) but I sense a shift in perspective is necessary here. A Christ-centred family, not a family-centred-family...
Does that make any sense?!
* G E T O U T *
I am such a home girl... I would happily potter around the house all day if I could... but recently I've been feeling a little more need to get out. Perhaps its eight years of marriage to a Scandinavian who loves nothing better than being out in the great outdoors, but I am needing to breath deep in the fresh, crisp air this winter. Being outdoors creates space. To think. To breath. To pray. To be. Even if its just a walk around the block... a trip to the shops... the school run... an evening stroll... A moment of silence in the garden. Just to be out of the four walls, to savour creation, to gaze on that big old stretch of sky and feel how small I am. I'm kind of craving that this year.
Just a little space.
* B E P R E S E N T *
To be in the moments that I might miss if my head is tucked into an iPad, or my finger is scrolling down my mobile. I have a love-hate relationship with technology... sometimes I want to pack it all in and get back to basics, and yet I love sharing our little world, I love the friendships I have made through social media, I love the inspiration I find from other bloggers, and Mamas, and creatives, and Jesus-followers. You all inspire me so much... and I don't want to lose that. But this year, I'm going to work hard to make sure that when the children are around, my phone is tucked away. A quick photo may be taken, but I'll save the blurb and write it when they're having their down time, or when I have a free moment. I want to choose them over my mobile phone, so that when they're hanging on my sleeve trying to show me their thirty-fifth drawing of a princess, they don't feel they're fighting my phone for my attention. Because when I'm torn, I get crabby and more likely I'll snap at them than at the cyberworld.
I felt really convicted about being present this Christmas... the weekend before Christmas, all the children at church went up on the stage to sing... Ava walked up in her angel outfit looking gorgeous. I had written the song, so was directing from the front... making sure they were smiling, and singing, and knew the words.
It was only when I lay in bed that night I realised I had missed it. Not once did I look at my own little girl during that performance. Singing her heart out, no doubt. But I was so busy concentrating on the "job" that I missed a moment I'll never get back. I still well up thinking about it... I don't intend to let that happen again. I want to be present.
* B E G R O W I N G *
Oh my! This is such a huge one... there are so many areas of my life that have so much room for growth... I want to grow spiritually; get to know Jesus better, read the Bible, memorise some verses, pray, pray, pray... I want to grow relationally; invest in my marriage, pour into my children, get to know my neighbours better, build friendships with other Mums at school... I want to grow creatively; try out some new skills, seek to make our home a refuge from the storm of life - for my own little family and for others... And I know growth is often painful, and difficult, but necessary... and so very, very worth it...
If you've made it to the end of this post... well done! I reckon you need an award! It's one of those I've written for my own sake primarily... so I have a point I can look back to at the end of the year... see how its gone, see where to go next. It's exciting at the beginning of a new year... I'm so conscious that while these are the areas I'd like to work on in my own life, God may well have very different plans for me!
I guess we'll just have to wait and see!