My New Year’s “To Do”
A new year! A fresh, new year, untarnished by our mistakes, failures, and hasty words. (Well, maybe. It is already the 3rd. We can do a lot of damage in 3 days!)
What does this mean for you? I don’t know…only you and Jesus can answer that one. I can tell you what it means for me, though. As you read this, understand that I am already living a life full of love and joy, and that Jesus has delivered me from anxiety and depression and fear. Thank You, Jesus! But I know that you understand, fellow sisters, how negative emotions can creep into the best of our days! And I am declaring this year to be a year of complete freedom, abundant life and inexpressible joy! No room for the other junk that the enemy tries to throw our way as loving, caring women (like guilt, perfectionism, shame, etc.).
So here is my year’s “TO DO”:
This year will be a year of loving more, laughing more, and exploring more. I won’t allow myself to become so weighed down by responsibility that I miss the beauty of it all. (I give you permission to call me out if you see me getting “weighed down”!) This year, I will live lighter. I will live more freely, tucked in His embrace. I will say no to fear. I will say yes to Peace. I will say yes to Joy, every single morning. I will say yes to Him, my Jesus, my Best Friend and my soul’s Lover. I will explore the depths of His heart, and allow Him to speak into the depths of mine. I will explore the beautiful mysteries of His Word and allow it to speak into the mysteries of my life. I will explore more mountains, walk more trails, and enjoy more quiet places in Nature. I will allow myself the luxury of slowing down and breathing in the Beauty all around me. I will write! I will read! I will sing! I will play beautiful, messy music to my Creator, and rejoice in the imperfection of it all.
(Did I say that this would be easy?)
I’m writing it down for two reasons. One, to give each of you the liberty and freedom to do the same, and two, people always say that only the people who write down their goals succeed.
And I want to succeed in this.
I have to. My life depends on it. Too long I have lived a life of responsibility, guilt, and perfectionism. Am I throwing away my responsibilities? Of course not! I am a wife, a pastor’s wife, a medical interpreter, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and a child of God. Each one of these roles come with duties and responsibilities. But I am going to allow myself the freedom of saying no when I usually would always say yes. (Saying yes can be one of the most detrimental decisions to your health and your God-dreams, believe it or not.) I am saying yes to the Best Thing, and that means saying no to a lot of good or “okay” things. One of my mentors told me that I won’t ever have to say no to robbing a bank. She reminded me it’s the seemingly “good” things that crowd out the Best Thing and will eventually kill our Dream if we don’t take control. It’s that six-letter word laden with guilt- “should.” The over-reaching sense of responsibility that tells us we “should”, when our hearts are heavy and we have nothing more to give. That guilt and shame of “should” has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count. That’s why I will be saying no to some good things this year.
Can you taste the freedom already? The lightness of heart? No? Well, then. It’s time for you to get out your journal and write. If you don’t have a journal that you absolutely love, go and buy one! A fresh, empty journal for a new year. Hide away your journal from years before. It’s time for fresh promises! Renewed dreams! Saying YES to beauty and life and love, and NO to a whole lot of other things.
My father-in-law, in the admonition at our wedding, gave us the best counsel that we will possibly ever receive. He told us not to lose our imagination- the Romance of life! Imagination is what gives Life its spark and beauty. If we didn’t have imagination, life would be all numbers and calculations and facts. Imagination and Romance are what make a kiss magical. Imagination is what gives Life its beauty. And at the end of his colorful admonition, he left us with these instructions:
Live light. (Laugh often.)
Be positive and affirming.
Stay focused. (Live in the moment.)
Does that sound nice? Restful? Positive? Or maybe just helpful in this new year? Write it down! I’ll share his wisdom with you; I won’t be stingy with it! I want you to live your best year ever, starting today. Just focus on living your best day ever today- Live in the moment. Just today, love hard. Today, focus on laughing often. Be positive and affirming to those around you, today!
Receive the Love of your Heavenly Father today. Rest in His embrace.
I shared my year’s “to do” with you….
What are you writing down today?
What does this year hold for you?
It’s between you, your journal…and your Creator.
“Jesus, lead me into my best year ever. Not a year of striving to be better, but a year of believing in Your love in the middle of my imperfections. Not a year of worry and stress over “what if”, but a year of expectation and Hope of “what next?” I believe in Your goodness, I believe in Your love, and I believe that what You have planned for me is way beyond what I could ever imagine or plan for myself! I receive this, and I thank You for it. Help me, Jesus! In Your precious name, Amen.”
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelmontes/4762384399/”>JoelMontes</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>