Posts Tagged New Year
To put greater emphasis on Church.
This was something that I really lacked in during the past year. It was so easy to make an excuse NOT to go. I was tired. I didn’t really feel like I was growing at my Church. It was a long drive. We were in the middle of a move. When you boil it all down to the heard treason thought, it comes to one thing: I didn’t feel like it. (I’ll probably make a post about church one of these days. It’s been something really brought to my attention lately). Since this was something that started about January, it was really easy to look back and see where it impacted my faith during the year. It wasn’t good, is the short way to say it. I found that without Church to ground my week in Christ, even a church which I didn’t think was deep and helping me, my week was less likely to be focused on Him. My thoughts of Him, my prayers, were less long and frequent. This year I am going to put much more effort into church, and forcing myself to go even when I don’t feel like it.
To stop treating time with God as something I want to check off my to do list, and make it much more personal.
I often find myself falling into the habit of saying “Oh, better read two chapters of my Bible today.” It doesn’t sound bad, on the surface. But dig into it and you see that I’m really just doing it because I feel duty called to, not because I so crave to see deeper into God’s word. I’ve been working on reading the New Testament over Christmas break, and though I don’t think I’ll actually finish it all, it has pointed something out to me. When I read two chapters for the sake of reading two chapters, I’m generally focused on one thing: finishing two chapters. But when I sit down and just start reading, with an end point far in the future or not set at all, I fucus much more on the words themselves and not how many verses I’ve gotten past. I want to fucus on the Bible because I want to grow and find my Lord’s will for me, not because I should as a good little Christian. Something I’ m working on and hopefully growing in. The same goes for prayer sometimes. It’s something I’m going to change, with God’s help.
To be much more helpful around the house.
I’ve often been frustrated about not knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve paced, and thought, and tried to figure out the path I was to take. And I kept asking God what I was to do. And somewhere in my thoughts an idea would always pop up: Maybe I’m not sure where I’m going now, but I do know where He has placed me at the moment, and there I should be working diligently. I might be frustrated about not knowing about jobs or school, but home is where He has placed me to work right now.
To post here more often
This isn’t just a “I should be a better blogger” thing. When I post on here it draws my thoughts to Him more, makes me grow more, makes me learn more. I will think throughout the day about what I need to post and then post it. It helps me put my mind on “things above, not on things on the earth.” When I post here, it often means me discovering verses I hadn’t noticed before, things coming to mind that wouldn’t have otherwise. I often think of how much this blog is often best for me, and not for everyone else in cyberspace.
To chip away at some of my terrible habits and sins
We all have them, different ones, all rooted in our sinful nature. One of my big issues is I can be so downright lazy and procrastinate so often. I want to fix this, to get better at it, to grow closer to what I should be. There are so many things I could have done this year, should have done this year, but I didn’t get around to because I was watching TV, or reading a book. Or didn’t feel like studying and doing hard work. This and other things, obviously. I want to be polished more to shine for God.
I’m sure I’ll think of more (New Years Resolutions are often a few day thing for me). What was going to be a short post with a list has become this (and it’s helped me to lay out my thoughts even better, trust me. Part of the posting more often resolution.) I hope you’ve got your own resolutions, even if you only have one, and are working to get closer to Him who we owe are all to.
With His help, without which we are helpless on our own, (Amen!)
Haha, I know it’s a little late. But better late then never, as people say. I’ve been busy with the Bible reading over Christmas break project. Not only was I spending 5 to 6 hours a day reading, I was behind, and in charge of updating the website which I was in charge of (Fun! If you want to check it out, go here). Thankfully I had some help for that. So I got done with that on the third. After that I’ve been catching up on some much-needed sleep from going crazy and staying up all night on New Years. (Super fun!)
So here I am finally getting around to updating my blog. I’ve been thinking about the post that I did last year for New Years. And I realized I had gotten it all wrong. In said post I said that a major thing to keeping your New Years resolutions was accountability. I tried it out with some of mine, and realized that this was not true. It is a minor part of it, but not a major part of it. After a few months I realized what was missing from my resolutions. Commitment, determination and realizing the importance of the goal, and making it a priority.
I think most of the goals that are made and fail are due to lack of the three points above. People say, “Oh, it would be nice to do this,” “Maybe I should do that,” but do they sit down and say to themselves, “This is important for these reasons. I need to get it done this year. I will get it done this year!”? I’m willing to say that most people who fail don’t.
I’ll use myself as an example. Last year, one of my goals was to read the Bible more than just a chapter a day. That one didn’t even start out well. I was tired, and for the first day I sought out a short Psalms and read it. I told myself I was burnt out after reading the Bible in two weeks, so I did it for a few more days. Then I wasn’t sure what book to dive into, so I read a few more short Psalms. This went on and on and soon over a month had gone by. Quite a disappointment. But then I realized what was missing from my goals and started over. I’m happy to say that by the end of the month I was reading 2 chapters a day plus 2 more chapters that I was reviewing and working on memorizing. That’s 4 a day! Once I put it as a priority I did it, but when it was something that “would be nice to do” I let it slide and go forgotten.
For the fun of it, lets dig up Joe again. I introduced Joe when I made last years New Year post. I had ment to bring him into other posts, but it still hasn’t happened. I’ll do so now though.
Lets find Joe where we left off. He too soon realized that his goal wasn’t working. He broke it and watched it float away in a firy wreck. He spent the year forgetting about it, until December 31 rolled around again. He found himself at a company New Year’s party being asked that question we are all asked at that time: “Got any New Year’s resolutions this year?” He stared at the speaker. He hadn’t even thought of resolutions yet. Joe fumbles around in his head… “Um, yeah, I think I’m going to try to… lose some weight this year.” After all, everyone has a resolution, Joe can’t go against the grain!
Later, Joe regrets his words. But then he gets to thinking. Since he hadn’t made his resolution of not eating chocolate cake last year, he has put on a few pounds… he does need to lose a few of those pounds… The more he thinks the more he realizes that he must. He grabs a Sharpie and writes down on a piece of paper the words he would live by that year. “I will eat no chocolate cake until I lose some weight.” He then posts this note on his fridge. He takes his to-do list and writes “Lose some weight” right at the top. He makes it a priority in his life.
When offered some chocolate cake a few days later, he refuses, knowing that he mustn’t eat it. In the end, he succeeds this year and completes his goal. Great job Joe!!!
Ok, so maybe it was a silly example, but it shows a point… and for some strange reason I like to write about Joe, so I wanted to bring him back up.
I want to close this using some words from Oswald Chambers: : “Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.” Go with God this New Year. Everything; past, present, and future is in His caring hands. There is no one else I would rather trust with my life than Him.
Ah, a new year. It is a fresh start and involves confetti and sparkling cider. Today is the one day of the year that little children are allowed to stay up until midnight, drink too much sugary drink and throw shreds of paper every where. It is no wonder that they love this time of year. However they are not the only ones enjoying the day. Friends and family flock together to celebrate, after all, it only comes once a year! But wait, there is more! Millions of resolutions are made… and likewise are broken and forgotten before January is over.
Why is this? Lack of determination? Lack of self control? Possibly. As for me, the number one reason I usually fail in my resolutions is (insert drum roll here)…
…Accountability, or to be more correct, the lack of it. Possibly something that you might not have thought of. But, take a look at this scenario.
Here is Joe. Yes, Joe is a figment of my imagination, but I shall use him from now on to give scenarios for Holy Aspirations. So, here is Joe. Joe decided he wasn’t going to eat chocolate cake anymore. A little weird, I know, but Joe can be like that sometimes. Joe failed to ask people to hold himself accountable for this resolution, in fact, he didn’t tell anyone. So far, he is feeling good about his goal. Of course, it is only the beginning of January, but the rest of the year should go smooth as well.
Now, his niece’s birthday comes around. He attends, feeling it his duty to lighten up her party. So far his resolution has held firm, but then a giant slice of chocolate cake is offered to him. Did I mention that chocolate cake is Joe’s favorite? He decided to take it, and took a small bite. It was moist, it was sweet, and it was chocolate. What would another bite do? No one will know that he broke his resolution. Soon the cake was gone, Joe enjoying his sweet time devouring it. But, he goes home. That satisfying taste is no longer lingering in his mouth, and he realizes that he has broken his resolution. And to put the frosting on the cake (sorry for the pun) it is only January 12. Poor Joe felt like a failure.
The scary thing? This… Could… Be… YOU. Ok, so maybe the story of Joe isn’t the best, but it does have a point. What was lacking in the story? Accountability. Say Joe had rung up his sister, and told her that he was making this resolution. Two things could happen.
- Joe gets offered the piece of cake, but sees his sister looking at him. He doesn’t want anyone to see him break his resolution (especially his sister!) so he refuses the cake.
- He is offered the piece of cake. His sister comes and nudges him on the shoulder. “I thought you weren’t going to eat chocolate cake anymore.” He nods (rather sorrowfully) and refuses the cake, watching it go away with mourning eyes.
Ok, this might be rather overly dramatic, and it might not happen any of these ways, but certainly they are possibilities.
So, you want a real example, don’t you? Like the good blog keeper I am, I will give you one. Currently, I am reading the Bible in two weeks. You read that right, two weeks. (You can find more information on that here which is at my sister’s blog).
It is hard, goals are usually hard. Reading Genesis and Exodus in the same day takes a lot of work. There are days when I want to stop, after all isn’t a month a satisfactory goal. Can’t I read Psalms in two days, instead of one? However, I can’t stop. My family knows I am doing this, my friends know I am doing this, and my church knows that I am doing it. If I fail this goal, everyone will know. My friends who are doing it with me keep encouraging me, and I encourage them. So it is working. In a week and a half I have gone from Genesis 1:1 past Lamentations. It has been hard work, but since I am doing with it friends, it is also fun.
I have three resolutions this year. I am going to post them here, so that I can have accountability with all of you, my readers.
1. I have a tendency to snap at my brother. This is a heart issue I have, that I could try fixing a whole lot more then I already try to. So in this new year, I am going to treat him better then I have in the past.
2. While reading the Bible in two weeks, I have been convicted that I could be reading more then a chapter a day. I want to start getting up earlier to spend more time in God’s word.
3. I have decided that I also need to spend more time in prayer. A hurried prayer before I get up and before I go to sleep is too little. How can I put God off like that? It makes me ashamed to think of it. So I want to get up earlier for that also, so that I can have more time with the Lord.
Any prayers to help me succeed at these resolutions would be much appreciated.
So, this year, I recommend telling someone your resolutions, and next year, when this day comes around again, maybe we will finally reach that satisfaction of a job well done. There is nothing to lose, and much to gain.
Your sister in Christ,
P.s. If someone asks you to hold them accountable for something, by all means do it! Ask them how there goal is going every now and then. That way, they will reach their goal easier, knowing that there are people supporting them.