The CHOICE is Yours : 2013

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Someone asked me if I had any resolutions. I really hate that word… not because of what it means, but what it has come to represent: people making goals that they know will be really difficult, and failing as they try to reach them, and then abandoning them in a few weeks or months and returning to their previous bad habits.

However, the whole crux of Christianity boils down to a choice. We all make choices. We all have to do hard things. We all fail. Just because we struggle against the flesh (sin)(temptation)(overindulgence)(you name it), that doesn’t mean we should just give up. We are called to swim upstream. We are called to keep washing laundry, even if we never see the bottom of the laundry hamper.

I started this year in December – preparing for the resolve I would need to push harder this year than ever before. I planned to force accountability on myself – to include others in my goals. I took some time to reflect.

Each year I pick a word out every year to embody my focus. This year I’m leaning towards CHOICE as my word for the year. Sounds really political, but it isn’t.

My daughter made a comment that her brother just didn’t realize that the small poor choices he made every day WERE his life and who he was.

***OUCH*** Let that sink in for a moment.

She was talking about how he spent his free time and not getting his homework done. The choices he made. What cut so deep about this statement is how universal it is. It applies to all of humanity. She might have been talking about her brother, but it was MY HEART she pricked. The little choices are who we are.

Character is what you are in the dark when no one is looking. It is what we do when there’s a bag of cookies in the pantry – or how we spend a moment free of obligation to others. Our checkbook, our waistline and our schedule don’t lie.

And so here we stand in front of this new year… a blank slate beckoning. Choices will need to be made every second of the day, every day. That’s why we all scramble to try a little harder with our handwriting, to make our page a little prettier… regardless of how the slant and loops will become sloppier and sloppier as the year progresses. We all love a fresh start. The trick is to remove the date – remove the arbitrary rules for the game.

Here are the real resolution rules:
1. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to try to do the good you know you can do – right now.
2. You don’t have to keep your goals every day consecutively without any slip-ups. It’s OK to be human, just get up and dust off, and keep moving forward.

I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s. ~Henry Moore

If you slip up once, isn’t it better to start over right then and only have one slip up for the year, rather than go back to your old self because you failed once? Or twice? Or three times? Do you really want the CHANGE your goal represents? If you do, your resolution is worth fighting for.

In reflecting over the past few years, the words I have chosen to represent them, and the posts I wrote to sum up my hopes, I found these things:

2012 Peace

Peace Be With You: My 2012 Homeschool Mom Reflections

“Peace in the midst of my chaos… What an overwhelming feeling to know that the creator of the universe cares about a housewife’s burdens. That He knows my fears and wants me to rest in Him.”

There was much peace in the midst of our chaotic lives in 2012. There was supernatural peace in the midst of the hardest trail of my life to date. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to blog about it. Just know when I tell you that God is truly who He says He is – and He does answer prayers – because He answered some really BIG ones for us this year… and He did what He does best: He saved us and restored us.

2011 Joy

The Naming – and CLAIMING – of a Year

“In simple terms: my joy was gone. I knew this all along deep down. Lost joy was the crisis that my perfectionism and inability to transition from ‘mom of two tweens’ to ‘mom of two tweens and a baby’ had caused. It was a long, hard, two-year lesson. There were many tears… and more frustration than I care to admit or remember.”

In the middle of my biggest joy crisis, God sent yet another tiny soul in to our lives. A bundle of joy and a new life. We began counting our blessings and learning to adjust to being a family of 6.

2010 Live On Purpose

What’s in Your 2010 Box?

“Life is going to try and pile up. The mailboxes are going to keep filling with stuff that needs to be sorted. There will always be “dirt on this side of eternity” as one twitter friend so eloquently put it… but with me busy working at perfecting my aim, I’m hoping that digging out from under it all won’t be as hard this year.”

2009 A Closer Walk with Him

A New Year Hope

“May we…
let go of last year’s failures
look forward at our new start and thank God for a clean slate
fix our eyes on the eternal
let God handle our details – even the gritty ones
follow His lead and listen for His voice
remember to ask His blessing and expect His strength
release our worries
keep our priorities in line
fill our days with love and laughter despite our imperfections”

2009 was the year my third child was born. It was the year this homeschool mom who thought she had it pretty much together with her two kids and tight schedules was going to learn a really big lesson about depending on God and not herself. It was certainly a year I learned that I was going to have to move over and let Him do the driving… and it began a walk with Him that led down many long scenic roads…

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

So you see the common thread…
…starting fresh – lessons learned – hope for the future…

There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with reaching for the goal. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. Deep down we all want to be better – aim higher – do good. As long as you are willing to point yourself in the right direction (no matter how many times you turn away)… you will be heading for success. Doesn’t matter if it takes a few months or the whole year – or longer – to reach the finish line. Be like the tortoise and keep plugging along. Don’t give up.

Next year you can make a new goal when you gain victory over this one. Because we’ll always have something to work on this side of eternity.

{ Here’s to the choices we make in 2013. May they be the best ones we can make. }

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  1. says

    Love your word of the year! I’m not picking a word of the year until the end… instead I’m picking words of each month… and letting the overall word of the year unfold… weird? who knows… it’s an experiment :)