This year seems to be a year of new habits. Setting aside old habits to make room for new. I’m feeling the pull to be different–to be different at the end of this year than at the beginning. But I’m also afraid of failing. I’m afraid of starting but then losing the inertia. We’re in the process of becoming a family of five. How much will change in the coming months? And will old habits creep back in because I’m too worn out after all the other changes? These habits are all good things. But doing them doesn’t make me good. And I forget that line. And so another failure would make me not good–and I hate that feeling. I’ve refused for the past five years to make a new year’s resolution. People make them, but it’s a running joke that by March most have “quit” their resolves, so what is the point to begin with?
Last year I resolved one thing to myself–half-heartedly committed until about March, when I had maintained and decided to stick with it. I quit for about three weeks, but picked it back up again and finished strong. I learned something. I learned it’s not about perfection. It’s not about ten years from now. It’s not about trying to reach the stars. It’s about today. What I can do today. What I can choose to see, choose to read, choose to dedicate my time too. And so “failing” for three weeks didn’t feel like failure. It was a fall. I picked myself up again and continued where I had left off. And it was OK. It was human.
The other thing I learned was that for the 27 years I had not been doing that habit, did not make me a bad person. Just as the one year I did it, didn’t made me a good person. It was just a good thing. It did not alter my identity. It did not earn me any extra glory. It was something and I did it. Yes, I feel good about myself. But whether or not I continued in it, or I failed in it, who I am is secure in Christ alone. As He draws me nearer to Himself, things will begin to change–new habits and new ways of thinking will form. But my “goodness” is found in Him alone. These are just freedoms I get to walk in.
I still hate the idea of a new year’s resolutions. But I love the idea of taking this year to form new habits. To pick up better things in place of OK things. And I’m still terrified of failing. But I also feel Christ nudging me to set aside some childish things that I’ve clung to for far to long.
1. Waking up before my kids.
“As a door turns on it’s hinges, so does a sluggard turns on his bed,” (Proiv 26:14) has been coming to mind a lot lately. I often wake up in the morning, and refuse to put feet to floor. Instead, I roll over and find a position that might beckon sleep to come again. I don’t like the image of a sluggard. I’d much rather be compared to a princess. So when reading a friend’s blog and she shared her 12 new habits for this year and the first one was committing to waking up every day before her kids, I submitted to the leading of the Spirit.
2. Read 52 books.
A friend and I committed to reading 52 books this year and blogging about them. I’m OK with the reading part–I read over 65 in 2011 without even trying. But the documenting and sharing whether I liked them or not, scares me. Plus, I think this friend is much more insightful than I am and a better writer, so I’m a little afraid to have our writings right next to each other.
3.The Joy Dare
I have yet to read “One Thousand Gifts.” I bought it for my sister for Christmas and hope she will loan it to me when she’s finished (one of my 52 books this year). But I love Ann Voskamp’s blog and the way she views the world. So when I read this, I decided to participate in the Joy Dare. Find three gifts a day…
4. Eat more fruits and veggies
This one came from Cooking Light’s 12 healthy habits for 2012. It just seems like a good idea–small steps to change our eating habits for the better. Already my kids are eating more veggies.
And all this activity may just be a way to cope with the waiting. Using the inertia from a new year to help me wait well. Taking a day at a time. I feel peaceful, joyful and sad. Today’s gift was “one thing in your heart.” I wrote the heart of a mother–longing for her, waiting for her, loving her. It’s fierce and beautiful and I am amazed by this forceful all-consuming love for her.