New Year’s resolutions

I’ve never been too big on these. They seem so futile. But this year I have seen so many victories over battles that seemed futile and hopeless. I’ve seen my life torn apart, and put back together again. I’ve seen my children restored to safety and peace. I’ve been delivered from lust. Heck, I even managed to build some New Year’s resolution-type habits like eating healthy and exercise. With those things out of the way, and properly appreciated, I am asking God what He would have me resolve to do in 2005. I put a special emphasis in looking outward, towards others, in my request for wisdom. Rather than asking what I can do to improve myself, I want to know what I can do to improve the lives of those around me. What can I change, that would further the Kingdom of Heaven? How can I show Christ in my life better? Well, sadly, the first thing on my list is neither fun, nor outward directed. But the rest are. Of course to be effective for God, I must be grounded in Him first.

#1 Morning devotions. Oh, God. Not this! Let this cup pass from me! I’ve always excused myself from the whole morning devotion thing because I have a diagnosed sleeping disorder. A form of narcolepsy. But not the funny kind you see in movies where people suddenly fall asleep in their soup, or while throwing a bowling ball. No, it’s just the kind where you feel like crap all the time ‘cause you’re always tired. Especially in the morning! So I’ve been trying to do a devotion at night. In the same bed as two little hyper boys bouncing around, hitting each other, and asking questions every 2-2.5 seconds. Not the most conducive environment for meditation and waiting on the Lord. But I have seen a pattern in my life. When I give something to God, like my career or children, He always blesses, and returns greater than before. I am going to sacrifice some sleeping time to Him. And in faith, believe that He will use that to strengthen me, and in turn, bless those around me.

#2 Time with the kids. Being tired all the time is a great excuse to not spend enough time in direct contact with my boys. Of course I’m with them every evening, night, morning, and weekend. But I don’t spend enough time working and playing with them. I usually write, sculpt, or read while they play with each other. This will be a bold step of faith for me. Because of #1, I will have to completely rely on God’s strength to power this one.

#3 Become financially independent. It has been over a year now, that I have lived here in Washington. I’ve been through the really expensive divorce. I’ve retrieved the joy-ridden car from the ex with $7,000 worth of damage. I’ve been paying over a thousand dollars a month for child care. I’ve paid off most of the debt we incurred while living in Michigan. All of this thanks to my incredibly gracious and kind parents who recognized my need and were willing to help. Now I’m still being subsidized heavily, despite a year of living faithfully, tithing regularly, and seeking God. But one thing I have not done yet is to lay this problem before God. I think I’ve just been too ashamed to want to deal with it. This is kind of a funny thing to make a resolution about, since it is completely in God’s hands. I guess my part is to seek His will and do it, trusting that He will guide me to a solution.

#4 For God’s sake, (literally) Stop hurting women! I am still stunned by this. I’m not especially good looking. I’m not sophisticated. I’m divorced with two kids. And I have really bad breath. But somehow, after less than half a year of being single I’ve managed to hurt two great women. I’ve been flattered by their interest in me, and led them on just enough to keep the flattery coming. Not intentionally of course! But… Yeah. I suck. I’m not going to do this any more.

#5 Vulgarity in the workplace. I’m going to try to stop. I have no idea how. God bless me. I sit across from Little Miss Takes It Too Far. God help us all!

As I’ve prayed through these resolutions, one thing that has permeated all, is a sense of expectation. Last year was a huge growth-year for me. God blessed me immensely. But I am getting the impression that 2005 will bring even greater changes. I’m moving from a panic mode of prayer and faith, into a more mature kind of faith. The faith I had last year was for things that needed to be saved. Emergencies that had to be fixed. Now I have seen His faithfulness and I’m not content with where I am spiritually anymore. I want more. And I believe He wants to give it to me.


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