Reflections and Resolutions

I am so blessed. I have a husband and children who love me and whom I love. I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I have a vehicle to drive and clothes to wear to keep me covered and comfortable whether it’s warm or cool, hot or cold. I have family and friends. I have television, a computer, a cell phone, a nook…many electronic devices to help me keep in touch and that provide entertainment. I have a savior who died for me and whom I will join in heaven one day. I really am so very, very blessed. 

It’s easy sometimes to focus on what we don’t have. We live in a culture that wants more and more and more. When is it enough? In our society, contentment isn’t something that’s valued. I mean, it’s a good thing to want to improve yourself and set goals to achieve and the like, but are you able to just be content as well? I know it can be hard for me. I think there are times when God has literally stopped me in my tracks to try to get me to take a look at myself and my life and just appreciate all that I have.

New Year’s resolutions are so often unrealistic or short sighted or so inflexible that we’re often not able or willing to stick with them for long. All the same, the beginning of a new year does seem like a good time to take stock, see where some changes might be appropriate and set a few goals. In that vein, I do have a few things I’ve decided to work on in 2013...

  1. Developing a spirit of contentment/thankfulness/gratitude 
  2. Appreciating my husband 
  3. Spending more quality time with my kids 
  4. Gaining health 
So, what exactly do these goals entail and how will I go about achieving them? Well, some of that is a work in progress yet, but that’s okay, I’ll figure it out. To me these are things to keep in the forefront of my mind and just keep plugging away at, knowing that persistence will pay off.

Developing a spirit of contentment/thankfulness/gratitude is really about my focus, perspective, the lens I choose to look at the world and my life through. A part of this will be increasing my time spent with God, reading and studying his word, and in prayer on a consistent basis. Another part of this goal involves focusing on others more and less on myself. Also, I need to work on letting go of fear, anxiety and worry. It’s a big goal and a multifaceted one. I imagine the only way to really achieve it is to take baby steps and that’s my plan moving forward.

Appreciating my husband is really about forgiveness, letting go of the past and moving forward. The reality is that I’ve taken Michael for granted for way too long. Before we started doing ttwd it had gotten to the point where I would almost exclusively focus on his flaws and the disappointments or times he had upset me. In the past month in particular my eyes have been opening. I’ve been noticing things about other men, how some of them treat their wives and others. For instance, the neighbor who didn’t offer to help when he saw me struggling to shovel out our driveway (our four wheeler that has a plow on it wouldn’t start) even though he has a snow blower and it would have taken him no time at all to get the job done. If that had been Michael and the neighbors wife was the one struggling to shovel, he would have been over there in a heartbeat to help. My husband is loving, kind, generous, hard working, faithful, and really full of wonderful qualities. Other women have often commented on how wonderful he is, how lucky/blessed I am, but there was a period of time that I didn’t really see it. That saddens me, but now it’s like rediscovering all the wonderful things about my husband all over again, all those things that drew me to him in the first place, all the reasons he was the one for me, the one I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I’m noticing all the things he does for me, for our family and for others. This goal is about looking past his flaws, which he does have. Don’t we all? It’s about focusing on the good and forgiveness when and where he may fall short. And it’s not just about telling him, but also showing him that appreciation. And one way I plan to do that is to try to be the best wife, the best me, that I can be for him.

Spending more quality time with my kids should be one of the easiest goals on my list, but it does still involve a change in focus. I spend a lot of time with my kids, but it’s not always quality time. In fact, we can all get so caught up in our own things that though we may be in the same house together, we’re not necessarily interacting in a meaningful way. Honestly, some days once schooling is complete we all go our separate ways and then all of the sudden it’s bedtime. I’m very aware that I probably don’t have too much longer with both kids at home. Our daughter is getting older and has started to get correspondence from colleges looking to pique her interest. Thankfully she does still enjoy hanging out with mom and dad and yes, even little brother, but she also wants to spend more and more time with her friends, which is of course natural and a good thing. She has good friends and that’s something I’m very thankful for. One thing I’m planning to start with the kids is game night. I imagine it won’t be the same night every week, but one night a week is something I imagine we can fit into the schedule. I have some other thoughts as well, but am still working them out in my head. Game night is a good start though I think.

Gaining health does involve losing weight, but it’s really about making better and healthier choices overall. It involves eating healthier and smaller portion sizes, exercising more, drinking more water and less soda (a vice of mine). It’s about overcoming bad habits and developing good ones. It involves surrounding myself with people who are a positive influence in my life and participating in activities that I will benefit from in one way or another. It’s about focusing on my successes, forgiving myself for my failures and continuing to move forward in spite of them. It’s about doing what’s good for me, physically, emotionally and spiritually so that I can be a better me for myself, for those I love and to be a better vessel for God to shine through.

2012 was a topsy turvy sort of a year. There were some highs and some lows and some uncertainty thrown in as well. I can see areas I grew in and others that I allowed myself to slack off. More than anything though, I think it was a year filled with things that opened my eyes, to some things that were good and some that weren’t so good. It was almost like a waking up of sorts. 2013 seems like a good year to move forward, to act on the things that my eyes have been opened to that need to change, to appreciate the things that my eyes have opened to that are wonderful and I had stopped seeing. It’s only January 2nd and there are a lot of negatives that I could focus on if I let myself, but in the spirit of goal #1, I’m feeling pretty optimistic. I hope you are too!

Oh, and I wished everyone a Happy New Year here, in case you missed it.  :)


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