Just kidding. Sort of…
New Years’ Resolutions are some of my favorite things. In fact, the New Year itself, Mondays, the first days of the month, and the first days of each season are all right up there in my favorite things category. There’s something so alluring and so promising about a fresh start. To say, “today is the day everything changes, from here on out I’m going to XYZ” is therapeutic and motivating. But this year I didn’t make my quarterly goal spreadsheet.
No. Instead I just decided, if I want to do something–I’m going to do it. If I get it in my head on February 14th to lose 10lbs, I’m just gonna get it done. If I find myself wishing my pantry was organized, I’m just going to pick a date, buy some acrylic containers and get it done. Instead of always hoping that the year shapes up to be this amazing thing, and then by February 12th falling off my 30-new-habits-a-day wagon, I’m just going to seize each fresh day, each new 24-hour opportunity to create a life pleasing and valuable to the Kingdom.
The Bathroom Trash Can
So here is what started all of this for our house…
In the entire time that we’ve lived here, there’s never been a trash can in the master bathroom. Folks, that is two years. TWO YEARS. We kept saying, “Well, when we move we’ll buy all new stuff and we’ll pick out trash cans we like.” All of the sudden, I just got fed up with this whole “well, when we XYZ we’ll finally…” thing. If a system is causing us stress or not working, why not make it right? Why not do it today? So that’s what we did.
We decided to make a “resolution”, if you will, to make the most out of the season we’re in right now and not delay or plan things so rigidly that we can’t be flexible. If we learned anything over the last two years, it’s that sometimes things don’t always go the way we planned.
Right now we are both working jobs and involved in ministries that we never saw coming. God sure opened doors last year, but they weren’t the ones we were expecting. We’re not where we imagined ourselves just a short year ago. However, instead of wasting away our “right now” moments pining for the season that we want to see (and know we’ll see one day), we’re going to make the most of this one.
Color to Your Life
This simple mindset shift has completely changed our home. Instead of getting discouraged when something doesn’t go our way or look like everyone else’s ideal life, we follow the wise words of Scripture, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4)
When we fall off the wagon or there’s an area we’ve been putting off for far too long, we wake up to a new day, a fresh start.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Col. 3:23)
This adds color to your life. Suddenly, instead of a Tuesday you have to “get through as fast as you can”, it’s a bright day full of interesting people, little joys, and peace. Each day, each moment is an opportunity to love on the people around you and add value to their life.
Small Ways to Add Value to the Moments
- Keep a prayer journal that is NOT. SUPPOSED. TO BE. CUTE. Take the pressure off yourself and write, write, write. Big prayers, little prayers, what you’re thankful for, things you read in the Word, write it all down in your messiest handwriting. It clears the mind. Seriously.
- Write a small note and leave a generous tip for your waitress.
- Call your friends. Don’t text them, CALL them. Better yet, swing by their home or office and bring them a coffee or treat. Bonus? Extending care and encouragement to others is sowing a seed and you will reap what you sow.
- Give your clutter away. Don’t hold on to that ice cream maker. You know you’re not going to use it, just admit it to yourself and let someone take advantage of it.
- Invite someone you normally don’t talk to over to your house for coffee or dessert. You’ll find some of the richest conversations and most kindred spirits this way.
- Put down the phone. We all know we can do better at this. I read a great book by Sherry Turkle called Reclaiming Conversations that really opened my eyes to technology’s impact on relationships. Be present. Play with your kids, look your spouse in the eye. Take the time to love the people in your life wholly and without distraction. They deserve your best.
So yes, make your resolutions. I personally made a few, one to read a book a week and visit Seaside, Florida. (Can I get an amen???)
But don’t get caught up in establishing a 30-point plan on January 1st and falling into the gutter of Despair & Anguish when you struggle to stay consistent. Be flexible. It’s a privilege and an honor to build homes for the glory of God, to teach Bible studies, and raise our babies in the truth – an absolute honor. And with that honor, comes a lot of responsibility. Working for the Kingdom is demanding, all-consuming life work. Don’t be weary when your Pinterest organization board doesn’t magically come true, seize this new day and make the most of your moments.