Here's to accomplishing all that we set out to do in 2011!
- Grow deeper in my relationship with Christ. This past year and a half has brought some very unexpected struggles and difficulties my way, and in the midst of my darkest times, God was there to pick me up and carry me through. He is my Savior, the One who loves me more than I can comprehend. He never gives up on me or forgets about me or chooses to make other people/things a priority over me. He loves me the same whether I wake up each morning, ready to give my day over to Him to accomplish His will, or if I wake up feeling deep pain and resentment towards Him for the things happening in my life. I'm ashamed to admit that I have not made Him the #1 priority in my life as He should be. He brought Chase through two open-heart surgeries and was by my side the entire time. Yet once we started to settle into our new normal, and Chase has been doing so amazingly well, I started to shift my focus onto my family and the "here and now" instead of on living my life with God as the center of my world. Not that I think it's wrong to love my family, but I know my first priority should always be God, then my husband and children. I can you from experience that unless God is the priority in your life, nothing else will work the way it was intended to. Marriages fall apart. Relationships with children are damaged. Things that once seemed simple when God was in control now seem to be a daily struggle. I want my life to glorify Him in all that I say and do, and I'm praying that some changes hubs and I plan to make in our family's life in the weeks and months ahead will help us refocus our attention on God and receive all that He has in store for us.
- Spend more time cultivating relationships in ways that DO NOT involve electronic forms of communication. This may not surprise you based on previous thoughts I've posted about here, but I'm quickly turning anti-Twitter, anti-Facebook and definitely anti-text. How lazy do people have to be that they completely disconnect from personal relationships in lieu of the ease and convenience of a quick text message or a Facebook status update? Is this the kind of world in which we want to raise our children -- one where you don't have to call Aunt Susie or talk to her in person or send a Thank You note in the mail for that awesome new birthday toy she sent you; rather, you just send her a text or write on her Facebook wall instead? Is that really the same? I don't think so. I for one do not plan to allow my children to grow up thinking social skills are no longer necessary and that kindness, decency and thoughtfulness are not necessary ingredients in growing relationships with their family, friends, teachers, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the conveniences that technology brings, but I do NOT intend to allow technology to displace relationships with the people who matter in my life.
- Help others. With the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes it's so easy to forget there are those out there who have things so much worse than we do. I have no idea what this "resolution" will look like in 2011, but I know God knows and I will be following His direction on this. I have a heart that desires to serve and have found that the capacities in which I had been serving for the past several years are no longer necessarily the right avenues for me any longer. There's one ministry opportunity of sorts that I'm VERY excited about but can't share with you any details just yet. But trust me, it's awesome and I'm very happy to be a part of it and am very hopeful you will support it as well once I can share more information. I'm praying God will show me some specific areas where He can use my talents and skills to glorify Him while serving those in need. I'm excited about what this will turn into as the year unfolds!
- Learn something new and/or develop existing skills in areas I'm passionate about. This may be as simple as taking a few cooking classes. I love to be in the kitchen, so maybe it makes sense to develop my cooking/baking skills. Maybe it's taking a sewing class or learning a new language. I don't know. But I do know I want to grow and enrich my current skills (or lack thereof) in some manner over the next 12 months. Any suggestions? I'm pretty much open to anything that doesn't involve sky-diving or jumping off a bridge.
- Be kind to others. This one is very simple. There's really no sugar-coating it. Be nice. Be thoughtful. Consider the feelings of others. Do nice things for people without expecting anything in return. I guess this one could even be considered a subset of #3 above. Hubs and I enjoy the feeling of doing something good, especially when we do it anonymously because we're not after the recognition -- only the joy and satisfaction of knowing we've done something nice. Maybe this is like a pay it forward sort of concept. Maybe my kind words to the cashier having a bad day will in turn cause her to be kind to the guy in line behind me who just found out his child has terminal cancer. You NEVER know what people are dealing with so it's always the right thing to do to be kind and show compassion to others. I pray I can be more intentional in my kindness in 2011.