Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolve

My mom rarely makes promises so when she does, you can pretty much take it to the bank. She doesn't make 'em 'cause she knows life happens and she doesn't want to risk breaking her word. Her word is important to her and she wants it to mean something to others too. I feel the same way which is why I've never been too keen on making New Year's resolutions. Afterall that's basically a promise you make to yourself (or others, too, I suppose).

I tend to think that, for me, New Year's resolutions are a setup for failure. I'm very reluctant to risk breaking a promise to others yet I seem pretty careless about it when it comes to myself. In years past, I'd go into it with all sincerity and determination to succeed but usually by mid-February, I'd trip up and fall flat on my face. Then I'd pick myself back up and try, try again, but by spring I was done; the extra pounds still there, the new discipline not formed, the goal not reached. And I would feel like L.O.S.E.R. - Again. So I finally decided to stop doing that to myself. I decided that it's good to set goals (and January does give you that clean slate feeling) and to work hard to attain them but to tie them to a promise - even just to myself - was just not fair 'cause I know I don't show myself nearly the amount of grace that I would show someone else over their broken promise. But, with each January, still comes the question "To make a resolution or to not make a resolution?"

As I was driving today, I thought about the word itself. Resolution. Resolve. Somehow in my brain there's a bigger difference between the two words than one's a noun and the other, a verb. Maybe it's because of my experience with the words. Resolution seems kind of shallow to me. It's something I think up - a list of changes. But to resolve. Now, that's a little deeper. To me, to resolve, is a matter of the heart. There's conviction there. I thought of the Bible study I've been doing on Daniel. He resolved - do you remember?

In Daniel 1:8, after King Nebuchadnezzar had taken Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah captive (among others from Judah), "Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." (italics mine) Daniel felt personally convicted against eating anything that was considered unclean according to God's law. Not only that but he and his three friends were deeply convicted and...resolute...to stay true to their God in every way - no matter the consequences; and they suffered consequences.

Like I said earlier, January does bring this feeling of a fresh start and there are things I'd like to change - eat better, exercise more, blah, blah, blah. Then there are things that are closer to my heart - finding creative ways to spend quality time as a family; ensuring I have my time with the Lord and in His Word daily. These are very important to me. But is there something I resolve to do? Maybe there is but I think it comes more in the form of a prayer because it's a change that I can't make on my own; it's got to come from God.

I hesitate to share it for a couple of reasons. One, because it probably sounds kind of corny or cliche and two, because the last thing I want to do is come off sounding holier than thou or like some kind of phony but considering there are only maybe four of you that actually read this blog that I'm aware of, I guess it's a fairly safe risk. Besides the Lord is the judge of my heart. Anyway, I've resolved to seek God more than ever before, to give Him my whole heart and, to the best of my ability, not to hold anything back. I've struggled with giving certain things over to Him but like Beth Moore often says we can either bend our knees over a matter or God can bend 'em for us. While God is always loving even in His discipline, I think I'd still rather opt for the first one. I've never been a big fan of unnecessary discipline.

May you have a very safe and blessed New Year's. May you sense God's presence in your life greater this coming year than ever before and may He ignite a fresh fire in your spirit for Him.

Be blessed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Oh my gosh. Christmas has been over for two days and I just can't seem to do much of anything nor do I want to. Not at all. I want to crawl into my flannel-sheeted comfy bed and stay there for the rest of winter. Wake me in spring.

Alas, we all know that won't happen so instead here's a couple of pics from Christmas. Later all.


He's a very happy boy.

Just what she was hoping for.

The picture didn't show up as well as I'd hoped from the outside. Oh well.

And of course it never looks all that great from the inside...

I did like my bannister though...just wish I'd bought two of these.

Even the animals had fun with their gifts...

A little top heavy, but festive...

More to come...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Be a Mary

This morning didn't start out too well. As I was about to get ready for work this morning, I learned that my daughter had taken my favorite hairbrush to school with her yesterday and then left it there and/or lost it. My hair just doesn't turn out the same way with any other brush. I don't know why, it just doesn't. Well, I wasn't a happy camper. Then my plans to work from 9am-12 noon, followed by an afternoon of Christmas prep (baking, cleaning, wrapping) an evening of dinner with friends and a lovely Christmas Eve church service) was foiled by the sheet of ice that was my driveway. I nearly fell three times this morning just trying to get to the car door. So I turned myself around and gingerly made my way back inside the house to wait for things to thaw a bit (it was supposed to get to all of 50 degrees today). I left the house by 11:15 and left work by 2:00. Everything has been pushed back and I was more than a little stressed and really very cranky, especially this morning. (Yeah, I felt a little evil this morning.)

On top of that, I'm pms-ing (hence the feeling evil), I've been shopping and wrapping and decorating and planning and crafting and running for what seems likes weeks (2 probably). I've been wanting to download some pics to post here - some of my house like everybody did on Boo-Mama's Tour of Homes as well as some of what the kids and I have been up to but there's just too much to do! IT'S CHRISTMAS, PEOPLE!!!!

THEN...As I'm cleaning some mess up outside, I hear a big CRASH inside and it turns out my daughter accidently knocked over a vase I've had for years. There were broken pottery shards everywhere. My daughter had this look on her face like "oh boy, mama's gonna blow." As I looked at the broken pieces all over my floor, I suddenly felt calm. I thought, somebody's tryin' to steal my joy and I am so not gonna let it happen. The story of Martha and her sister, Mary from the book of Luke chapter 10 came to mind. When Jesus came to their village, Martha invited Him and His disciples into their home. But, while Martha busied herself preparing a meal for everyone, Mary just sat at Jesus' feet the whole time listening to everything He had to say.

After I pondered this story for a moment, I told my daughter not worry; I'm not mad. I knew it was an accident. It is Christmas Eve, the day before we celebrate our Savior being born. All this other stuff is piddly in comparison. Yes, I have been spinning my wheels just like so many others this time of year. This is truly prime season for all Marthas. But in the midst of cleaning up the broken vase, I realized that even more, I need to be a Mary.

Yes, Martha, let's prepare, let's make a good meal, create a warm and inviting atmostphere and show love to our family and friends; let's do it and do it well. But in the midst of it, don't forget to be a Mary and worship our God. He sent His only Son to be humbly born in a lowly manger and to ultimately die for our sins. Like Mary, I want to be at His feet and hear what He has to say.

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42

Merry Christmas! May His Name be praised and may you be blessed.