Making those New Year's Resolutions is easy. It's the sticking to it that provides the challenge.
I, like so many others I know, kind of gave up the making of resolutions each January in favor of choosing a word to live by for the year. The word I chose for 2014 is Relationships. It feels good to have one thing to focus on. One thing to be intentional about. One purpose to pursue. In the past, words like, Love, Health, Forgiveness, and Grace, have made my list. But this year it's relationships; this word choice came to me at the recent family reunion we celebrated.
Not two weeks into the new year and I see my word bearing fruit. An estranged relationship that has long brought me considerable heartache, and kept me in prayer, has had a wee break through. It requires much patience and restraint on my part as we baby step through a minefield of old wounds. But each step, be it tiny or not, is a move toward what I pray will one day bring understanding, forgiveness, and eventually, healing.
Not two weeks into the new year and I see my word bearing fruit. Our small group-- LIFE group-- restarted this past week. We've added some new faces to the circle and decided on a new course of action for study and growth. We'll be reading the book of John and reviewing sermon notes (which directly correlates to the the gospel of John) for the next several weeks. Our first night however was spent just getting to know each other a little more. We took turns pulling questions out of a can, and sharing our answers. Each question was intended to spark conversation and learn something about one another. It was fun and informative. We learned that if given a time machine to travel anywhere into the past, I would choose to step into the pages of my favorite novel, Gone With The Wind, right about the time Scarlett O' Hara meets Rhett Butler for the very first time. (My sweet husband informed me that the place I'd chosen to travel was fictional -- like that made it a wrong answer, but I pointed out that time travel machines are fictional too, so there! --- yes, we are modeling good mature behavior to our life group members)
Not two weeks into the new year and I see my word bearing fruit. My ladies group also resumed this week. It's smaller than it was before but also has added a new face. We are going to be using the book Captivating, by John and Staci Eldridge. Just the other day I delved into the study guide that goes with the book and came to a screeching halt before I'd gotten half way down the page. We're going to be dealing with some emotional stuff in the next several weeks. Gulp. I thought that baggage got shipped to Siberia or Timbuktoo many many years ago but judging from the niggle in my gut, it would seem there are some areas that need a little tune up....
Not two weeks into the new year and I see some changes happening. My attitude about some relationships in my life that seem out of balance, some relationships that annoy me to no end, some relationships that I may just have to let go of, some relationships that are proving unhealthy... all cause for prayer. Choices to make, follow through needed, accountability, and always, always, more grace needed.
Not two weeks into the new year and physically speaking I pause for a celebration. I have successfully maintained my weight loss through what is known as the toughest time of the year for dieters. I maintained my exercise schedule despite some really nasty weather. To reward myself for all my excellent behavior, I bought new walking shoes and some waterproof jogging pants. I was also rewarded when I went clothes shopping by finding myself trying on a pair of jeans another size down from what I have been wearing. (I am sure the sales gals thought something was wrong in the dressing room when I whooped out loud, but I don't care! My relationship with stretch denim is special.)
I started this post off by saying nothing tastes as good as skinny feels but truthfully, for me it's nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. And, by golly, it feels good.