This time of year, the web is abuzz with ways to make and keep New Year’s resolutions. Fitness inspiration, goal-setting worksheets, and cleaning schedules are all created in an effort to help us find practical ways to stick with our goals.
These are all good things…they help us live with purpose and manage our time more effectively to focus on the things that really matter. In year’s past, I too have joined in the goal-setting fun by creating a home management binder, writing down my goals, and downloading various cleaning schedules. In fact, just hours after I finished writing the first draft of this post, my friend Crystal’s new book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode arrived in the mail. Much to my surprise, I was quoted in Chapter 3 as a success story for how goal-setting has positively impacted my life (which it continues to do)!
But this year, I am resolving to make 2014 a year of contentment and rest.
No cleaning schedules.
No fitness plans.
This might have something to do with the fact that we are getting ready to embark on a major life change in the next 7 weeks that will rock our world for a while. Or maybe it is just because I feel God’s prompting to be still and let Him do the work in me. Or it could possibly be my own laziness cloaked in good intentions. After all, the Good Lord (and my sweet husband) knows that I have many, MANY things that I could work on to improve myself. And everyone knows the best way to make such changes is to create objective, measurable goals…
But I’m throwing that all out the window this year.
I’m going to embrace the person God has created me to be and let the little things go.
I’m going to try my hardest to enjoy this precious time with my kids without the stress of “doing it all” weighing on my shoulders or upholding a schedule that once seemed like a good idea but now feels like a giant burden…making me feel even worse about myself because I can’t even manage to even stick to the goals I meticulously laid out just a few short weeks ago.
The things that really need to be changed in me…the things that really matter (which are not at all related to cleaning schedules or fitness routines), I can’t do myself anyway. These things are matters of the heart (like selfishness, self-centeredness, and pride). Instead of focusing my time and energy on the less-important (but still good) things like fitness plans and an organized house, I’m going to pray that God will etch away a little of the ugliness in me each and every day until I am transformed by His doing, not my own.
After all, when Jesus encountered people who were worn out and exhausted trying to uphold the ridiculously high standards of the Law of Moses, he didn’t hand them a goal-setting worksheet and tell them to try harder.
Nope. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt. 11:28, 30).
A light burden…rest…an easy yoke. Deep breath. Ahhhhhhh.
Isn’t that the way God intended it to be all along? Are the cultural expectations of increased productivity clouding God’s vision for our life…an abundant, restful, content life???
The next time I start feeling that I’m not good enough or not accomplishing enough in this life of mine (which will probably be as early as this afternoon), I’m NOT going to take out a pen and make a to-do list. Instead, I’m going to open the Bible to be refreshed and renewed…rested and revived.
This year will be a year of rest for me. Not literally, of course, as the amount of sleep I get will soon be equivalent to that of a giraffe (which is about 2 hours, in case you were wondering). :) But a year of rest figuratively, emotionally, and spiritually.
What about you? Could you use a little less guilt and a little more rest???