Ah, yes. It would be that time of year ladies and gents, where we all make the required list of things we plan to accomplish in the new year, yet bail on them by January 15th.
Not this year. Not this lady.
I’ve taken some time in evaluating where I need change in my life, where I’ve gone slack, and where I’ve been putting my effort where it doesn’t need to be. (If you can’t tell by my earlier posts, this is definitely a theme.) I’ve also been examining how lax I have been in my walk in the pursuit of holiness.
“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21
Who doesn’t want to be set apart as holy?
But at the same time, in order to be set apart-we have to cleanse ourselves from what is dishonorable. This is where things get a but murky with most Christians, including myself. With roughly 78% of people in America calling themselves Christians, we obviously have different views when it comes to what is “dishonorable” in the Lord’s eyes.
What I do know is this- being set apart pretty much means you’re gonna be weird, uncool, and probably a bit lonely. It’s not the popular road. Choosing to press on towards a holy life will make people uncomfortable.
Ever have to tell someone you can’t watch a movie because it has so much cursing, sex, or vulgarity in it?
Ever have to tell someone you have no idea what pop sensation they’re talking about because you don’t listen to the popular radio stations?
Ever walk away when everyone starts gawking over the nude photos of Kim Kardashian?
What about choosing to walk away when a group begins gossiping about someone (especially their husband), or ever better-point out that it’s wrong?
Choosing to dress differently than what’s trendy in order to keep a modest appearance?
Forgiving something that most deem unforgivable?
Choosing against the debt trap?
Now, I’m not saying BY ANY MEANS that doing these things will make you holy. What I’m saying that many times, when we make the decision to truly be set apart it doesn’t look like what everyone else is doing. It will by all means, appear “foolish”. But that’s okay! The Bible is very clear about what the Lord views as wrong, and that’s our blueprint for living. Why is it so easy for us to make excuses for participating in unholy actions? Why do we fear what people will say or how they’ll react?
For me, it has comes down to this simple thought. “Would I think twice about saying, watching, listening, or doing these things if Jesus was here, holding my hand, in the flesh?”
That is goal numero uno for me.
1. Wash away the desire to please others, and focus on doing what pleases the Lord.
This is going to be the toughest of my goals, but it is the most important. Here are the rest:
2. Read through the entire Bible.
I’ve done this before, but a friend suggested doing it chronologically, so that’s what I’m gonna do!
3. Cut my kids some slack.
Not in the sense of allowing them to sin, but to be more understanding of their emotions and feelings. If I’m allowed to cry when I’m having a rough day-they can too, and I need to be there to comfort rather than get frustrated.
4. Finish my manuscript.
I’ve been fiddling with it for 2 years. The time has come.
5. Trust my husband with my needs more.
For way too long I’ve assumed he wouldn’t be able to handle my struggles. Now, the Lord has shown me that I married a man more than willing to take on that challenge.
6. Trust my decisions more.
I’ll be honest in saying I get a lot of crap for my homemaking. Long term breastfeeding, co-sleeping, not vaxing, staying home, having one car, having more than two babies, etc. Everyone, including strangers, are very open with telling me their opinions on what I am doing as a wife and mother. I usually walk away very hurt and even confused at times. This is unacceptable. I need to be more confident in the way I choose to mother, and run my household. Those decisions are between me, the Lord, and my husband.
7. Stop allowing the ups and downs of life steal my joy.
Self explanatory, really.
8. Read more, and more, and more.
I do love books.
This means everything.
10. Continue to strive for health.
This will always be important. I’m not where I wanna be, but I’m not giving up.
11. Stop the comparison game.
This goes along with joy-stealing. I sit here-very pregnant-with places that are a bit squishier than I’d like, with hair that hasn’t been cut or styled in almost a year, nail polish remnants on my toes from a beach trip three months ago, a house that’s not very “Pinteresty”, and a voice in the back of my head that consistently whispers that I’ll never be as awesome as “her”.
Who. Flipping. Cares?
You know what IS awesome? The little person that this chubby body is carrying! The little people on the outside who love for me to just BE with them! And then there’s that handsome redhead. Who just told me that he loved my big and round belly because he loved the son that’s being carried inside (cue waterworks).
My goals come down to this:
I want to be a pleasing vessel for the Lord, resisting all of the junk this world claims is so important. I want to make my home a haven, and I want to be a blessing to those who dwell on the inside as well as each person I come in contact with.
What are your goals for this year?
How do you react when you get negative comments on living, “not like the world”?