Last week, I reflected on 2013. This week, 2014 lies before me. I do love the start of a new year. It feels so fresh and hopeful and hasn’t encountered the messiness that’s sure to ensue throughout it.
Since I was a teenager, I have adopted Bible verses as my resolutions. Oh, I still always set a goal of exercising more, eating better and losing weight. But, I realized quite young just how much I needed help in living out the life Jesus calls us to experience. Last year’s theme was ‘Afraid but Brave.’ This year, ‘Risk’ and ‘Unashamed’ are the words on my heart. I think of Genesis 2 when we are told that the two in the Garden were ‘naked and unashamed.’ I want to live life that way–emotionally, mentally, spiritually vulnerable and not shamed by the vulnerability.
I love hearing children’s ideas about resolutions. One article I read interviewed several 5 year olds and asked them what they wanted for 2014. ‘Play the piano,’ ‘Hug my mommy,’ and ‘Watch a video’ were some of the responses. Reading into the wisdom of children, I’ve come up with my list:
- Learn at least one new thing. A friend of mine and I are going to learn yoga this year. We’ve found a class that will work with our schedules and as soon as her face heals from some surgery she had to have, we will begin.
- Risk in relationships more. Expressing how much people mean to me is not easy. I did not grow up in an emotionally expressive family–we show love by teasing, giving and visiting. Jud has taught me over the years how important telling friends and family what they mean in our lives is to relationships. One person said that Jud is ’emotionally brave.’ I want to become more like that.
- Enjoy life and laugh often. Some who know me will find this idea surprising. I tend to be ‘the funny friend.’ I’ve had friends call just because they needed a laugh. I’ve had friends tell me that they want me at home business parties because I’ll entertain the invitees. I’ve had pastors tell Jud that he’s a ‘man of grace and of God’; and then they tell me, ‘Maggie, you’ve got that sense of humor.’ I joke that one of my superpowers is that I can make almost anyone laugh at almost anything at almost any time. However, deep down in my truest self, I tend to take life much too seriously and have lost much of the joy I used to experience in living. I’m hoping this year that Jud and I can get back to dancing. I found an affordable weekly ballroom group lesson and we plan on going sometime during the year.
- Read the 4 Gospels. A friend of mine suggested reading them 4 times throughout the year. Not sure I’ll do that; but I do want to focus more on what Jesus focussed on and filter more of the Bible through his life. I’m mulling over a few blog posts that will process through how Jesus defined ‘sin’ and what ‘sin’ really is.
- Just read more. During my kiddos’ school years (before any of them could drive), I read voraciously. I would get into the carpool line about 30 minutes early so that I could read. I read War and Peace that way, as well as many Stephen Booth, Sharyn McCrumb and Tony Hillerman books (some of my favorite mystery authors). Cross country meets, track meets and football practices and games gave me ample ‘down time’ to relax in my van with a book. I’ve read quite a bit of non-fiction and teaching-type books; but, I’ve lost the joy of getting lost in stories.
So there you have my resolutions. Exercise, eating healthier and going greener are also a part of what I want to see in 2014. Last year, I lost about 30 pounds (and then gained 10 back). Managing my thyroid does not equate to quick fixes of weight loss, but I continue to try. In the words of Bill Philipps in Body for Life, my goal in all I do is ‘progress, not perfection.’
May we all progress in 2014 so that at the end of this year, we can say that we are better people and have helped make a better world–at least our corner of it.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? How will you make them happen? What keeps you motivated?