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Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolved

I used to make New Year's resolutions.  Lots and lots of New Year's resolutions.  It was not unusual for me to start the new year with a list of "to do" or "not to do"s that was a legal-sized page long.  In my semi-adult years, the resolve to decrease drinking or quit altogether was usually #1 on the list... and usually the first one broken.  Eating better and working out more were always somewhere in there as well as promises to read my daily devotional without fail. 

The other twenty or so varied over the years.  From the extremely specific, as in my attempts to solve my perpetual bed head issues ("I resolve to wash my hair in the morning rather than the evenings"), to the impossibly vague ("I resolve to be a better person in [insert year here]"), I was a resolution junkie.  I'd usually rediscover the list sometime in the spring, while nursing a hangover and a bad case of bed head, crumple it up and throw it away in a fit of self-deprecating despair.  I was the queen of good intentions and we all know which road is paved with those.

So I finally scaled down and started just having one resolution.  One year I remember it was "I resolve to stop worrying."  It was a good idea in theory.  I would catch myself worrying, however, and proceed to worry about the fact that I was worrying.  It was a distinctly neurotic year.

I'm not sure in which year I stopped making resolutions.  I don't remember making any in 2004, but, then again, I don't remember much about 2004 at all.  2005 was earmarked with sobriety and I think that probably took all the resolve that I had in me.  After that, "one day at a time" took over and, really, every day has been a new year of sorts for me since then.  A new chance, a fresh start every morning.  I haven't made a specific resolution since, just lots of prayers with a few intentions thrown in. 

Looking back, though, I'm pleased that I'm living out a lot of those old resolutions.  I have healthy eating habits (for the most part) and I'm active and getting fit.  I haven't had a drink in over six years.  I still tend to sleep on wet hair, but I'm not really worried about that.  In fact, I'm not really worried about anything most of the time and that's a great place to be.  

It's not that my resolve suddenly got stronger or my will power greater.  It's not that some outside force suddenly gave me the motivation that I needed to be the person I wanted to be when I would make those laundry lists of self-improvements.  It's that I took my focus off all of that and started seeking God.  In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."  It's right after He said that you don't have to worry about anything, not what you'll eat or what you'll wear, nothing at all.  So when I started seeking, He started giving.  He took away my desire for alcohol.  He gave me an appetite for good, healthy food and provided the means to acquire it.  He has planted the desire in my heart to run and jump and be active.  It's awesome.  When He said "all these things," He meant it.  He can and will take care of everything if you just bring your heart to Him.

Though I love myself, who I am in Christ, there is certainly room for improvement.  When I say I eat healthy food, I am of course not mentioning the bowl of caramel popcorn I just inhaled at 11:30 this morning.  My housekeeping skills leave much to be desired and I am hopelessly disorganized.  When I open my closet door I instinctively take a step back in case something falls out of it.  I fail to show grace when I should and say a lot of things that I shouldn't.  I am a mess, just like any other human being.  But I'm resolved.  My resolution, not only for 2012, but for every single day for the rest of my life, is always going to be the same.  I'm going to seek God.  I'm going to bring my faults and failings, lay them at the foot of the cross, and trust that He can take care of it all.  That He loves me, just as I am, and that His mercy endures in 2012 and beyond.  Happy New Year!

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