So we’re now five days into this brand spanking new year! 2023. Yes indeedy. I saw the new year in with two out of my three boys, my Spunky Hunk, truckloads of chips and dip and a movie. Ragey, I know. While our neighbours set off their fireworks with some pops, bangs and fizzes, my social media feed exploded with all sorts of New Year’s wishes, encouragements, wisdom and ideas.
What are your goals for the year?
How about a word for the year?
No, instead of a New Year’s resolution, try a few incremental changes instead.
Research shows that…….
Pass me the cheddar cheese and onion dip please. It’s delicious. Copperpot brand. Seriously, delicious.
I’m not normally such a negative Nelly, truly, but the more I became aware of the hum of the pressure around me, the more I’ve felt a stirring in my soul to resist. Resist the weight of demands – self-imposed and others imposed. And I get the feeling I’m not alone.
I wonder what this time of year would look like, if, instead of talking about the ‘new year, new me’ hype that can be doing the rounds, we actively sought out those who have only just survived the year that was. What if we showed up on their doorsteps with brownies and ice-cream and the words, ‘congratulations, you survived’. And if that was us, what if we allowed ourselves a big cry and didn’t insist on grinning and bearing things, just for a few days?
What if instead of writing our lists of ways to improve ourselves/ our families/ our homes/ our appearance/ our whatevers, we just remembered ALL that we already are, because of WHO our God already is?
I started feeling this way in the middle of all our lockdowns. Just like you and all you needed to be doing while stuck at home doing your bit for your team of however million, I started feeling this little niggle inside of me whenever I looked to someone or something to give me some kind of guidance or spiritual authority for what we were facing at the time. Here I was doing all I could to keep all the wheels spinning with my family and jobs and study and volunteering responsibilities – you know – ALL THE THINGS – but then the messages I kept hearing from the sources I was going to were all about what I could be doing more of. The things I needed to be doing and should have been doing more of to strengthen my faith, to promote healthy rhythms in my life, to do do do do do do do………..
When all I actually needed back then, and think I still really need right now…….
Is how to be…………..
And how do I get that message into me?
I need to remind myself of what God has already done for me. And is doing for me.
Who He already is.
His help in times of need.
Shine a spotlight on that, and that in turn draws my heart closer to Him. Tell me your stories of God’s nearness and dearness. Speak to me in and through your pain, where you’re being sustained by only Him. And that in turn, makes me want to be better, embracing all that I am, because of what He has done, for this day in 2023 and for all the days.
My New Year’s resolution is simply just a bit of rebellion, really. I really don’t want to do more. But I’m really keen to learn how to be more. It’s more than mere semantics.