Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I haven't made any New Year's Resolutions in years. Is there really something "magical" about January 1st? All of the sudden just because the clock strikes midnight on December 31st I'm all of the sudden going to stop cursing, exercise regularly, eat healthy, watch less T.V., etc...? In the past, whenever I would make a resolution, it never failed at most I would make it a couple of weeks and I would fail so I would give up and just think, "Oh well, maybe next year!"

I've been working on making healthy lifestyle changes for several years. In the past I tended to focus on one main thing - either physical goals, emotional goals, or spiritual goals. Lately I have been trying to work on all of them because I have found that if I only focus on one then the other areas suffer. So, I've been working on balance and trying to focus on my overall health.

I've had my ups and downs but lately with some of my goals there have been more downs than ups. Physically I am in the worst shape I have been in years... I feel miserable - I get out of breath easily and I've had medical issues that I know would be resolved if I could get healthier. I am going to start using an online program to record what I eat and my exercise in order to help keep me on track. I deferred my registration for the marathon last year to this year and am hopeful that I can complete the Des Moines marathon in 2013. That is the only race I am planning on this year for sure. I have some ideas on how many miles I'd like to complete this year, but I know that pushing my body too much too soon after having not worked out regularly in a long time is not smart. So, I am just going to ease my way back into getting moving again.

Emotionally I am actually doing better than I have in a while. I am seeing a good counselor who is helping me make progress in the right direction. I still have lots of work to do and a lot of healing that needs to happen, but I am working in the right direction and that encourages me and gives me hope.

Spiritually I really need to work on my discipline and will be starting a reading plan to read the Bible in a year that my church is doing. I need to work on being more consistent in my prayer life as well.

These are all things I have been working on and will continue to work on. I decided this year to make ONE New Year's Resolution - DON'T GIVE UP!  Life is hard, life will get busy, I will likely continue to struggle with meeting the goals I believe God wants me to work on. However, just as God's mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) so my renewal of my commitments and goals will be new every morning. I will press on and continue to strive to be the woman of God that He wants me to be!

Continuing my journey into 2013,


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Keeping it Real

A former youth group student posted something on Facebook about writing a "final exam" for the end of the semester. It's been just a "few" years since I graduated from college, but thought that thinking through a, "final assessment of your walk with God this semester" wouldn't be a half bad idea.

So, here it is - some random thoughts about where God and I have journeyed this fall. If there's one thing that really gets under my skin it is fake people. I try to be pretty transparent and not be fake. Bottom line is I don't like who I am a lot of the time...
  •  I curse like a sailor (most particularly at work or when by myself)
  • I am seriously lacking in self-control and discipline in many areas of my life
  • I get angry - a lot
  •  I get my feelings hurt - a lot
  •  I sometimes am hurt for legitimate reasons but don't know what to do with it when that happens so I tend to bury it and pretend I am "OK"
  • I am an introvert who sometimes really hates being alone and feels like that "thing" in Sesame Street - you know what I'm talking about... "which of these things is not like the other?... which of these things just doesn't belong?" 
There's a lot of other things - I could go on and on... but the truth is that God loves me and He loves me far too much to leave me where I am.

My relationship with God is a process... it isn't just something I study for one semester, or one year, or four years and then I'm done. I have been a Christian for 27 years and while I know God has done so much, has taught me so much, has brought me so far - I know I still have SO FAR to go... It is a journey - a journey that will take my whole life to really become all He intends me to be. God knows all the rotten stuff about me (only a portion of which is listed here) and yet He loves me so much that He willingly gave His only Son to not only be born into this world, but to live in it for a time. He walked this earth, He experienced temptation, He experienced suffering... the only thing He didn't do was sin - but everything else - everything I go through - Jesus can relate. I am so grateful to know Jesus in this personal way and know that I can go to Him with everything. I can take all my sin, all my hurt, all my frustration and suffering and lay it at His feet. As  a perfectionist it has been hard for me to realize that this side of heaven I will not attain perfection but my goal is to continually strive toward the goal of becoming more like Jesus every day. Yes, I will fail, Yes, I will fall. But God will always be there to forgive me and to pick me up. My relationship with God is a journey... a process... and I will continue in my journey with Him - even in the muck and the mire - I will look up to Him and trust and rest in Him.

Pressing on in faith,