I will not Resolve to lose weight. I will just stop eating chex mix and Christmas Cookies and try to begin working out again to aide in ridding myself of years upon years of too much chex mix.
I will not Resolve to pay more attention to my kids, I will just pay less attention to Facebook.
I will not Resolve to finally get back to my scrapbooking, I will just turn the TV off at night and begin to look through years of pictures with a stick of glue in my hand instead.
I will not Resolve to go to coffee with those friends I keep intending to, I will just go for tea instead. (Or Margarita's if the time of day so dictates.)I will not Resolve to keep a cleaner house, I will just not keep a cleaner house. Wait.....
I will not Resolve to begin to serve more, I will just stop thinking about myself all the time and put that energy toward others in need.
I will not Resolve to mend broken relationships, I will just continue to "pursue peace as far as it depends on me" and trust God with those relationships.
I will not Resolve to spend more time with God, I just will.
I will not Resolve to be a better wife to my husband, I will just remember make it a point to die to myself just a bit more.
I will not Resolve to finally view what I do as a wife and a mom as an amazing calling, I will just rest in knowing that it is - because it is where God has placed me for now.
Notice a common thread through all of my non-resolutions? Discipline. This has been my, if you must, New Years Resolution for 3 years straight. Discipline. It will continue to be so for every year of my life I would imagine. Because really, if you think about it, anytime we are trying to better ourselves, or change who we are .... HUGE amounts of discipline are needed. Discipline to do what needs to be done is what it takes. Also, realizing that when I don't do my part, I run the risk of being disciplined by my Heavenly Father. (The 2 uses of the word discipline and how they go hand in hand have been racing through my brain all day. It's a baffling thing, really.) The thing I pray I realize and remember more every year, is that such discipline can only stem from one place. Jesus. So it is in Him, that I live and move and have breathe one more year (or maybe just one more day). It is in Him that I ask for the graces to live the life that I cannot live on my own. It is in Him that I beg for the strength to do the little things that eventually amount to big. It is in Him that I search for the joy to follow through on the day-in-day-out tasks that bring me to a much fuller, richer life.
All these things are of course, easier said than done. So above all else, I rest in the Sovereignty of God, that even as I struggle through my shortcomings -- He has got a purpose for them. He will grow my faith through each one. And mostly, He loves me despite ALL of them combined.
The last few years, I've tried to find a "life verse" for the new year. This year it was a chunk of verses. I'm pretty excited to TRY to memorize them. (I won't even add "memorize more versese" to my non-resolution list. I know better than that!)
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have no yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortaion that addresses you as sons?
"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which, no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.
So again, I know (or at least I think I know) that the word use of "discipline" in these verses is the kind of discipline you think of when you consider, say, a parent to a child. But there is one sentence that sent my mind in the direction of self-discipline (which comes through Christ alone) in which I realized the two forms go hand in hand more often than not (especially when it comes to our life in Christ). That is the verse that says - For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (I'm no theologian, so I'm sure I'm probably way off base and making a fool of untrained self...so don't go quoting me.)
Happy 2009!!!! May you rest in God and trust that your resolutions (plans) will be turned into steps that can only be directed by God. (Proverbs 16:9)