Friday, January 11, 2013

Surrender

I'm always a little slow to get started on resolutions. Somehow, the new year just sneaks up on me, being right after Christmas and all.

Looking back at 2012 though, I am glad for the intentional way that I thought about the new year. Last year, I resolved to begin prayer journaling in the mornings during my quiet time, in order to to enhance that time and stay focused, despite the many distractions in the middle of it.

It has been life changing. I'm not going to say I did it every day. I didn't. There were a few mornings, especially on work days, when I barely had enough time to get out the door on time to work, and sitting down to journal for a few minutes would have been purely legalism. I did not pressure myself in that way. Because that's not what it was about.
God met me on my way to work. I missed that quiet and slower time, I really did. But there are days when "praying without ceasing" is enough. Sometimes you've just got to go to the bathroom and look at the Bible verse you keep in your pocket. Some days that's all you can do.

Every night when I am nursing The Dude to sleep, I sit in the rocking chair and read my most recent library book. Last week I was out and didn't have time to go to the library. So I opened the bookcase and took out some prayer journals.
The first one was from 5.5 years ago. The month after JT and I were married. I was struggling with confusion about my job, as was JT. I actually wrote "I suppose it is only fair that JT has such a difficult work schedule. If he had a M-F desk job and we were this in love, we wouldn't be on a level playing field with everyone else." I laughed because I didn't remember feeling that way back then. But I still feel that way now.
The second one was from early 2009. Aquaman was barely one. His scribbles mark most of my papers. We were 5 months into trying to sell our 1 bedroom condo.

Reading those journals only strengthened my resolve to continue journaling as much as I can during these crazy busy times. You think you will always remember everything about these times. You won't. Reading back over those times made me remember things about myself, about JT, about Aquaman that I had already forgotten. But most importantly, they reminded me from where we came. And how far we have come. How we have grown. Ultimately, the deliverance of God. Some days my faith badly needs those reminders.

For the same reason, I am also glad I started this blog. Glad to look back at the pictures. At the hard days and at the days when I remembered what really matters. God is good. 2012 was wonderful.

The coupon resolution was not an utter failure. I needed to give it a good try to know that it would not work for us. Our time is better spent elsewhere, and Aldi works out much better for our family. If nothing else, because Aquaman has become quite adept at grocery shopping, as it is a small store. He can easily push the cart through the store, put the groceries in, load them on the conveyor belt, and even help me bag them at the end. Shopping at Aldi is not only cheaper, it's much more fun, and Aquaman loves being trusted with the responsibility.

And now we are well into 2013. This morning I made the mistake of checking to see how much my first paycheck of the year was, with the added taxes. It was kind of painful. But when I opened up my Bible, I remembered the 5 loaves and 2 fish. And this year, I am looking forward to seeing God stretch little into more than enough. As He has always done.

For 2013, my resolutions are to continue this blog and my daily prayer journal.
My NEW resolutions are:
1) Join a small group/Bible study
2) More aerobic exercise

To be honest,  I have been trying #1 all year in 2012, but it hasn't worked out. Mainly because The Dude was not ready for a nursery setting, and because I was only looking within our church. This year, he is doing fine in the nursery, and I am willing to expand my search. With my work schedule and my need for childcare, I have to be flexible. So this morning began my first adventure, and it was really nice. I feel that resolution #1 will be a good one.

#2, well it's a dream, but I don't know if it's do-able. Mornings are out of the picture unless it's before 6:30, since that is when JT goes swimming. Evenings- well I love evenings. They are special family time until 7. Then at 7 is my special time with The Dude. Snuggling, and reading. At 7:30 or 8, Aquaman and I snuggle and read our Bible story, and talk. And after that, it's JT and I time. Watching whatever is our latest show on Netflix (currently the Tudors), getting ready for bed together, talking much longer than we planned. I don't know how to fit exercise into the evenings.

I drove by the Lamb Shoppe and saw a double jogger the other day. But the next day it was gone. I think a double jogger might help my cause, but with our current paychecks, probably not the wisest way to spend our money.

But as I consider 2013, one word comes to mind. Surrender.
This is my hope. That, as a family, JT and I would surrender our own agendas. Not just in some areas. And not just 10%. But 100%. In everything.

"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if He gains the whole world, but loses his soul? And what will a man exchange for his soul?"
Matthew 16: 25-26

I pray that we will give up our lives, not because they are not valuable. But because they are invaluable to God. Because God can do with our little- much.
This 2013 is His. Let us not hold back.

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