Right now I have ONE thing that I’m absolutely resolved to do this year.
But I am sure this one thing will change my life.
I expect a lot of change.
Here is my one resolve for 2017 — Let not steadfast love [kindness] and faithfulness [truth] forsake [leave] you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success [repute] in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3-4)
There are a lot of reasons I am keeping it simple this year.
For starters, when I look back over my life I see slow, steady growth. I see small daily life habit changes. I see unforeseen challenges and conflict shaping and changing me. I see the constance, faithfulness, and determination not to give up on doing the things that were right before me to do; saying yes to God. These are the things that have had the most impact.
It seems like I can count on one hand new years resolves that I’ve had the will-power to keep (other than the things that come naturally to me, or that I enjoy, or are already part of my DNA). So making them frames my life in failure.
But I’m not OK with throwing my hands up and keeping my “goals” in the safe zone of what I’m already good at either.
No. I don’t want to live small. I don’t want to live safe.
The Message paraphrases the Proverb like this: Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of people.
Reading this, writing it out, thinking about it, repeating it, letting it sink into my core; I feel an incredible sense of relief, like a damn broke. Like the deep broken sigh of a soul that has been waiting on the edge for the answer, and finally feels it slip into their palm.
Guys, it’s not about writing lists of actions and changes to make to ourselves.
Our success isn’t measured in the number of ways we self-propel ourselves to perfection.
What it is about is quieting my heart and making room to know, hear, understand, sense, interact, BE with the only One who can actually give me the power to change: God himself.
It seems so counter intuitive; stop making lists of all the ways I should be perfect — and start making time for God’s Word to frame my home, my routine, my commitments, my behavior.
It’s so simple!
To take minutes out of my busy life; to choose the pages of my bible over the feed of Facebook; to choose a quick journal entry or moment to pray instead of scrolling Instagram. To choose to serve the person in front of me instead of opting out. To be more intentional about the little spare seconds and moments. To study and write out how I will apply what I’m being taught; and then tracking my application in my everyday interactions. To make changes to the way I talk to my kids, my husband, the strangers that are rude to me. To acknowledge when I miss it, and know that God picks me back up and keeps walking with me hand-in-hand.
It’s not about having the self-motivation, self-power, #girlboss ability to transform my life…it’s about the discipline to follow hard after God. In the daily. In the seconds. In the minutes.
I want my kids to know Jesus, to understand the heart of God. I must, I must, model it for them. They have to see me in pursuit of Him. They have to know by seeing and sensing: the things that matter on this earth, are the things that will echo in the halls of eternity (thank you Gladiator for that forever epic line).
I’m keeping it simple. One focus. One resolution.
Do you have a simple approach to New Year’s resolutions? How are you making space for God’s presence in your life?