While I would love to be so diligent as to make daily posts, my life is just too busy for that! WordPress has begun a new PostaDay2011 and PostaWeek2011, so I’m going to go for doing at least one post every week in 2011! We will see how it goes!
Today, being New Years Eve, many people have been posting their resolutions for next year. It’s a popular subject this time of year. Last year I did not make any resolutions. This year, I don’t have any, either! Certainly I want to continue growing into a better person, but I find that God is so much better than I, at working that out in me! As I look back over 2010, His work seems so evident. And I started more new, good habits in 2010 than ever before — with no prior resolutions!
The first good habit was dropping TV and video games for my books. I’ve always loved to read, but in recent years have spent more time playing games on my iPod or watching TV (usually through YouTube). As God turned my heart towards Him, I began to lack desire for these things and grew more and more hungry for edifying books, sermons, and podcasts. Since my parents blessed me with a nook last Christmas, reading has been much more fun!
My reading isn’t just confined to regular books. I also have been drawn more into the Bible. I’ve enjoyed studying my Bible for a long time, but there was always a struggle between wanting to do that and other things. I don’t get to do my in-depth Bible study every day, but I do get time by myself with His Word every morning. This includes reading through the Bible chronologically. I began in June and am about a month behind, but I am really enjoying the adventure through the Word!
As I’ve learned more through the reading and study of the Word, I’ve longed to truly know it in my heart. There are many Scriptures that I have memorized from my early years of being a Christian, but this is a habit that I haven’t pursued in about eight years! In listening to one of those godly podcasts, I was convinced of the value and joy that memorizing Scripture brings. I managed to learn Psalm 1 and 150 and Colossians 1-3. I’m still working on Colossians 4, then I will actually have an entire book of the Bible memorized! I can hardly believe it, but it’s SO cool! And there have been so many times that God has called to mind those Scriptures to encourage me in my daily walk.
Without much fanfare, I began a diet. It was simple, eat less, eat better, exercise more. I counted calories to make that happen, but I did not spend a great amount of time planning to do it, dreaming about doing it, or anything else. One day I just started and ended up losing more weight than I set out to do!
Those are all outward habits that I believe came because of the way God is changing my heart. He has shown me how deeply He truly loves me. He has shown me that in Him I have no shame because He has made me completely whole and righteous in Christ. And the overflow of that is better habits — yes, even the weight loss. I was so steeped in shame and failure that I had given up ever dropping the baby pounds. When He restored my heart, He gave me confidence that I could be all He made me to be even in my health. In this freedom, He gave me the opportunity to dance for Him. And the opportunities kept arising! And now we have a full-time dance ministry in our church! That ministry, has been, by far, the most stretching element of this year. Through it, I’ve learned that I tend to be a very fearful person. I wouldn’t have said that of myself ten years ago, but God is showing me daily how afraid I am and how I lack faith in Him. And isn’t it wonderful that daily, He also grants me another measure of faith, through the habits mentioned above that He has worked in me?!? He does provide all that we need in Himself!
We also began homeschooling this year. Ryan is in kindergarten and is reading on a second to third grade level and doing math on a first grade level, so we have taken this school year to enjoy learning a routine. I am learning more about the ways he best learns and my tendencies in teaching. Balancing planning school, teaching school, doing regular mom and wife chores, doing dance ministry, teaching a dance class, teaching three gymnastics classes, teaching Sunday school, and helping with kids’ choir, is causing me to be more disciplined in my own daily routines. If I have one resolution for 2011 it would be that I would be even better at that routine. Too often I will take selfish time to sit and do what I want, which isn’t the problem, but I need to time it better, so that other duties aren’t put off to the last minute! That said, I have some school planning to do in the morning!