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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

from the land of good intentions

Resolutions are not normally a part of my life at the stroke of the midnight which ushers in the squawking newborn January each year. That said, resolutions are, in fact, a regular part of my life. Perhaps that is why there is no special attention paid to the beginning of a new annual calendar. If I can’t keep a regular resolution for more than a few weeks, what hope have I in actually carrying through on 365 days of life-changing?

I want to be a better mother. Philosophically, I know the right way to handle so many of the issues that pop up in day to day life. Sometimes, though, my mood or my exhaustion level is such that I just don’t follow through on the proper course of action.

I want to be a better teacher. More than anything, I have the desire to foster my children’s love of learning. I never want to be responsible for killing off bits of their natural curiosity. And yet, because of my natural inclination toward procrastination, time often becomes a major factor in determining the quality of my teaching. I find myself falling back on the need to complete a certain pre-ordained set of criteria rather than following the questions of a curious mind to the eureka moment.

I want to be a better domestic engineer. The organized aspects of my mind have so many grand plans on how to accomplish that goal, and yet, I choose instead to twiddle away valuable moments in time.

I want to be a better wife. So often, I let pettiness get in the way of developing an even closer bond with my husband. I allow myself to be sidetracked by minor inconveniences, using them as an excuse to expend less energy.

I want to be a better example. The deepest beliefs of my heart and the compassion I feel are often stifled from fear, selfishness, or inconvenience.

I want to be less selfish. In many ways, I can delude myself into believing that I have few issues with selfishness in some regards, yet my very battles with time management clue me in to the fact that I have so very far to go.

I want to learn to accept forgiveness and great gifts. Instead, I often allow myself to get caught up in my inability to forgive myself, and my inability to muster the self-confidence needed to exercise those gifts.

All of these wants are centrally themed. What I want and need most of all is to learn to depend on the Lord. If I look at too much of the picture at one time, it seems so overwhelming. I lose the ability to see that those situations are planted firmly in the hands of God. If I give up without even trying, I am failing; I gain nothing – all of my effort is wasted. If I refuse to accept forgiveness, I am valuing my own judgment above God’s. If I refuse to exercise the talents I have been given, I am no better than a miser.

No amount of resolving will change the pattern. I can know the proper procedure and become incredibly well versed in its implementation, but unless I learn to have the fire inside which gives the power to move forward, even amid the uncertainty, nothing will change. Stepping from theory to practice cannot be encompassed in a simple resolution. It must be embraced in a full-on love affair with the Spirit of God.


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