Hello 2018! This is the first New Year's Day that I feel hopeful and excited to start a new chapter. I usually have apprehension, a sense of dread and a smidgen of regret all mixed in with wanting to make my time off from work last a little longer. But not this year...I'm pumped, ready-Freddy, all dressed up and everywhere to go, let's get this party started!
However (insert slight pause here), I am often so guilty of starting a new year and thinking about all of the "new" things that I want to tackle, own and experience. Why completely jump into the "new" and cast aside the "old" or that which may have ceased to enthrall us long ago? Maybe instead of "trading up" we should put some new, renewed effort into redeeming the old. We might renew an old hobby, a forgotten friendship, or our current performance in our job. In my case in particular, I am going to put new effort into the appreciation of my home. I've been so focused on the lack of space that we have for our family of five that I have failed to love this place we call home. I often spend hours on Zillow looking for a home that might possibly meet my exasperatingly long list of qualifications for our Dream House. But I really think I just need a new coat of paint, a renovation here and there and most importantly a new attitude in order to appreciate what I already have.
It's easier to cast off the old, that which you no longer find enjoyment in, and start something fresh, shiny and completely new. There is nothing wrong with getting something new...I mean I very much enjoy the new car I received last year. But our culture promotes constantly being in the new while being in the know. That. Is. Exhausting. And it keeps us feeling unappreciative and never good enough. Sometimes, we are called to a season of new...but more often than not we are called to appreciate and put effort into the old.
Here is a list of old that will be redeemed in my life this new year:
House renovation to meet the needs of our growing family.
Focus on reinvigorating my marriage through the following:
Daily "check-in" where devices are turned off and we are tuned in to each other.
Weekly prayer and spiritual discussion (I hesitate to use the word "devotion" here...Jesse may run for the hills).
Intentional date nights scheduled twice a month. (For one of these we will be using Date Night In, check it out here: http://www.datenightinbox.com)
Take one trip this year without our kids.
Have fun! This will mainly be up to me...my hubby is a fun guy but I wreck his style with my constant "discussion," "honey-do lists," and other such fixer-type nonsense that kills the enjoyment of the moment.
Update and refresh our budget and make our old (same) money work for us in new ways.
Give this old body an overhaul. The fact that I just put the word old in the same sentence as my body causes me extreme distress...alas I digress. The following actions will need to take place for this to happen:
Workout three times weekly.
Eat whole foods the majority of the time with minimal exceptions on the weekends.
Consistently take daily vitamin supplements.
Go to the doctor and have a thorough physical.
Invest in quality skin-care.
Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.
Revive my love for words through weekly reading, creative writing and calligraphy. It's okay for me to take time just for me, to invest in hobbies that bring me joy. (Hint, hint, it's okay for you too!)
At first glance this list is completely overwhelming, and I want to dive into making calendars and to-do list and set phone reminders...but, I'm beginning this knowing that I quite possibly may not complete everything on this list. That is completely okay. I'm being intentional and purposeful and setting goals. But I absolutely refuse to let these goals take over my life and become a set of rules that restrict me or cause me to feel bound up and stressed. I will not get upset or feel like a failure if I don't have a perfect check-mark next to each statement. I'll approach this year with a positive attitude, intentionality and an obedience and trust in God that he will get me to the place he wants me to be. Please don't mistake this attitude for one of inactivity, I just don't want my plans to take-over my entire thoughts and life and miss out on His plans.
After all, it's not what I can do in my own might anyway. It's what God wants to do through me. I think Mother Teresa said it best when she said, "I am only a pencil in the hand of God." He is our ultimate redeemer.
"Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (Isaiah 43: 1-3)
When you fail to complete your New Year's resolutions I will be there to encourage you, because I will complete the work I have started in you. (Melissa adaptation)
What old things need to be redeemed in your life this new year?