Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I'm generally not one to make New Year's resolutions. If something about me needs to change, I should work on changing it now instead of once a year. However, I do think that the New Year gives a feeling of new beginnings, which is a great time for looking back, evaluating, and setting goals. I'm all for evaluating and setting goals! So here are my thoughts about what I'd like to work on in 2010.

1. Prayer Life - I am so blessed to have a husband who takes care of Elias in the mornings to allow me to have a quiet time. This year I was also blessed to be able to join a Bible study for stay-at-home moms, and we went through Breaking Free, which completely rocked my world. But having these small victories in my walk with the Lord has caused me to want more. I KNOW there is more to be had with Him, and I believe that prayer is the way to access His power in my life and in the lives of those I pray for. I want a greater hunger for Him and a closer walk with Him, and I think prayer is the way to get both of those things. Plus, with my realm being so limited because of staying home with Elias, I don't have much opportunity to get out and serve and minister and be Christ's hands to people. So I believe that prayer is how I can influence the whole world - I can be Christ's heart for people. I think it was Oswald Chambers who said, "Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work." May that be so in me. If anybody has any good suggestions for Bible studies on prayer, please feel free to let me know.

2. Giving - Having said that about prayer being the greater work, Justin and I are both feeling like we want to be better stewards of our financial resources, using them better for Christ. Our theme verse for this is James 1:27, which says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." I want to be more aware of the helpless and hurting both here and around the world, and I want to be doing something about it in the name of Christ. Since I am the one who handles the budget in our house, I want to rearrange it so that we are able to give more to those in need both here and around the world. Justin also wrote a bit about it on his blog here.

3. Personal Appearance - I want to take more pride in my appearance and work harder at looking better. I'm not necessarily talking about losing weight here. I mean, I do need to lose weight and I will be working on that in the new year. But this is something I'm already in the process of doing, and nothing about that really needs to change - I just need to keep up the hard work! What I'm talking about here is that my child is 19-months-old, so I really don't have an excuse anymore to go around looking like the mommy of a newborn! I'm not saying I'm going to start wearing makeup or anything - let's not get crazy here. But I'm thinking maybe I could, you know, like, fix my hair or occasionally wear something besides a t-shirt. This goal also includes things like taking care of my skin and you know, actually looking in the mirror and brushing my hair before I go to the grocery store.

4. Using My Time Well - As I stated in #3, I am no longer the mommy of a newborn. I do actually have quite a bit of free time and motherhood is no longer stressful and exhausting. So I don't really have an excuse anymore (like the mommies of newborns do!) to spend all my free time on leisure - things like reading and playing games. I don't really have a specific goal for how to do this, so suggestions would be welcome, but I think my time would be better spent reading the occasional nonfiction book in addition to the fiction I so greedily consume. Or I could knit blankets and hats for the local pregnancy crisis center. Or I could write letters to missionaries. Or I could pray for them. These would all be time well spent. So this one is going to require a bit more thought and planning on my part, but getting it out here might help me keep my eye on the prize.

This list is by no means comprehensive, it's just what's on my mind tonight. My biggest goal for 2010 is just that God will have His way in and through me. I think that will involve these four things, but it may not. Either way, may He receive all glory in and through me! Amen.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I've been thinking more about our conversation about when moms get back to feeling like a person again, and I think the answer relates to your last point about using your "free" time.

I remember taking a few days/weeks intentionally remembering the things I used to enjoy BC (before children) and creating ways to incorporate them into my new life. For example, I really felt alive and excited when I coordinated events. I was blessed to have that as a career BC. Well, taking up the career again is not a viable option right now, but I've found this part-time wedding coordinator gig that I truly enjoy. Plus, I volunteer to plan the class parties at the kids' schools and I've given myself permission to go over the top on birthday parties (but the boys are starting to outgrow these). I even got to help coordinate a Christmas party for inner city kids through our church -- that was a true highlight of Christmas for me.

I don't know what it might be for you, but what instantly comes to mind is maybe joining the church music department or finding a local community theater. Whatever it is, it's worth the effort to make it happen and remind you that you're more than "mommy" (not that it isn't great being mommy).