Before you make resolutions (or projects as Sherry calls them), take a look back and see how you have changed this year. It’s kind of fun! This is a variation of the I Used to Think post. Poiema’s perceptive comment:
We’ve made several changes in our diet this year.
• We eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning. My husband recently said, “I can’t believe you converted me to oatmeal, and I honestly can’t believe how much I like it!” Here’s the difference: we make individual servings in the microwave. Easy cleanup, fast, and fabulous. And cheap! This has made a significant dent in our grocery budget.
Oatmeal supreme: add a handful of frozen blueberries to the cooked oatmeal.
• We stopped drinking soda pop.
• We started drinking raw milk and eating locally grown chickens. These cost about twice what we were paying.
• We switched to sucanat instead of sugar. This also costs about twice what white sugar costs.
But, enough about food! What other changes have we made?
I joined Facebook, after my kids talked about it on a backpacking trip. Facebook seems to be the medium many prefer for staying in touch. It has extended my time on the computer (argh!) but has reconnected me with friends from the past.
Reconnecting. Several important people from past decades have resurfaced in our life. Those reconnections underline ways we have changed (oh yeah, I used to think/like/agree with that; but I don’t anymore!) or ways our friends have changed in areas where we have not. But it has been a blessing to pick up loose pieces of yarn and weave them back into the fabric of our lives.
So many changes are part of the daily or weekly cycles. We now worship in a liturgical setting and recite the Apostle’s Creed every Lord’s Day. I think the repetition of those words “I believe” has made me a more confident woman.
Last night my husband and I had a disagreement (which we resolved, thankfully). I realized, though, that the longer we have been married, the fewer quarrels we have. We must of plowed through the dirt so many times that we are aware of, and compensate for, our differences. Grace, all of grace.
Of course, not all changes are positive. I used to keep a tighter guard on my tongue. I’ve caught myself gossiping too much lately. Blech. So we resolve to change.
Nancy Wilson has written what I think is the best blog post of the year–simply stellar–about New Year’s here. If you are prone to depression this is REQUIRED READING.
How have you changed lately?
Nancy has really been on a roll this week. I like the concept for this post. I am so befuddled with trying to move I can’t remember anything at all about last year except that I happily became a grandmother.
I stopped making New year’s resolutions a long time ago, I didn’t want to be caught up in the grandiose, the meaningless and the unattainable that I was seeing offered by those around me at the time. Mostly I figure my life needed to be taken in baby steps for most things and setting myself up to fail was discouraging! So, I resolved to stop resolving and dedicated myself to seeking God’s will in small ways daily. These small ways have lead to big ways at times! Those things that I have grown in are being a better and more supportive wife, encouraging those around me as much as I can, (I have been inspired by Barnabas lately), keeping up with the house better, practicing a little more regularly. I have also learned that I can do better, that may have to be etched on my tombstone one day. . . “She could have done better.” ;~)
Our moves within Brazil have always been traumatic for me. This last move (in July) was totally different and I know it was because the Lord helped me to change my expectations. Instead of arriving here with my own agenda, I told Him, “I’ll do (or not do) whatever you want me to.” It’s been an amazing! I’ve done things I never dreamed I’d do; editing a Christian novel for a missionary colleague was just one of many serendipities. It’s been our best move yet, but only because the Lord changed my attitude. On a practical note we took white sugar off the table this year. I still use it in baking, but I use less. I wish I could say we are healthy eaters, but I struggle to improve my family’s eating habits. (It is somewhat easier in Brazil where fresh foods are less expensive than processed foods.)
I have been blessed to have carbonated beverages not agree with me for decades, so I have not had to kick a soda habit. But, when I decided to lose weight a few years ago, I cut back to drinking only water and coffee (and wine if I put it in my caloric count plan) and have been healthier and thinner for it.And, I agree, blueberries in oatmeal is da bomb.Great post! Thanks!
i’ve always been a “my only new year’s resolution is not to make any new year’s resolutions” sort of a person. Mostly because i don’t want to fail, and i see that as the only outcome of the sort of over-puffed thinking that comes with the new year. i’m weak, and i know i’m weak and bound to disappoint myself. But i think i may break my own no-resolutions resolution this year and simply vow to “lift my soul” to God, as Nancy says, as my first response. That alone should make a huge difference.
@juleel – what a stellar resolution, Julie. Nancy is a Swiss Bank Account of good thinking and writing. Her blog is one worth combing through. Like you, her daughter (and family) is living in England.
@magistramater – i’ll have to take a longer look through her blog! Thanks for bringing her to my attention.
Changes… on a light note: I learned two rules from dh: rule1) don’t sweat the small stuff; rule 2) everything is small stuff….i’m working on the changes…. we had family visiting for 3 weeks… i have to start all over again. On a more serious note: the 8760 hours in one year happen with no announcements: dh was diagnosed with cancer in the hours of 2008 – people around us changed for the better because they could see and experience his unchangeable faith in our Provider… all of us can make small changes every hour that can change the world…
@sonskyn – Oh, thank you for letting me know. I will pray for you husband and your family. Your last phrase is both true and priceless. Our theology is always put to the test when a crisis hits, isn’t it? I will never forget–never forget–the preacher James Montgomery Boice announcing his cancer.Here is the text of what he said. And because it is so good, here are the parts that absolutely struck my husband and I dumb when we heard it:”If I were to reflect on what goes on theologicallyhere, there are two things I would stress. One is the sovereignty ofGod. That’s not novel. We have talked about the sovereignty of God hereforever. God is in charge. When things like this come into our lives,they are not accidental. It’s not as if God somehow forgot what wasgoing on, and something bad slipped by. It’s not the answer that HaroldKushner gave in his book, Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. Goddoes everything according to his will. We’ve always said that. But what I’ve been impressed with mostly issomething in addition to that. It’s possible, isn’t it, to conceive ofGod as sovereign and yet indifferent? God’s in charge, but he doesn’tcare. But it’s not that. God is not only the one who is in charge; Godis also good. Everything he does is good. And what Romans 12,verses1 and 2, says is that we have the opportunity by the renewal ofour minds—that is, how we think about these things—actually to provewhat God’s will is. And then it says, “His good, pleasing, and perfectwill.” Is that good, pleasing, and perfect to God? Yes, of course, butthe point of it is that it’s good, pleasing, and perfect to us. If Goddoes something in your life, would you change it? If you’d change it,you’d make it worse. It wouldn’t be as good. So that’s the way we wantto accept it and move forward, and who knows what God will do?”Do keep me updated, please? Affectionately,Carol