Early January. That time of seemingly everyone making “New Years Resolutions.” Many of which, unfortunately, seem to revolve around strict diet and exercise regimens that, for most, do not last.
There was a time in my life that January 1st symbolized this day when I would clean up my life and it would suddenly become so “perfect and ideal.” I would strive to plan to have the “perfect” lifestyle.
Since those days, I have learned that perfection doesn’t come from striving, nor does it come from a day on the calendar. Perfection is a single person, Jesus Christ, and He has little interest in the food I eat. His perfection has nothing to do with the “perfection” I transfixed for MYSELF.
And so, for a while, I thought goals in general were unhealthy and wrong. I wouldn’t strive or make goals at all, I thought. And this past year has been one of such learning. But, I have learned, having goals and a desire to grow in the way the Lord calls me for HIS glory is not a bad thing, and it is ok and perfectly wonderful to want to improve.
And so, reflecting on this past year and looking forward to the new one, as I’ve prayed, I am grateful to respond to some of what God has put on my heart in terms of growth this year.
Weight Gain. While food rules and restrictions are a part of my past, my physical health is not where it should be, and I am a lot more open about it. Knowing my body is the Lord’s temple and wanting it to be fit for Him alone, I have been encouraged my doctor, family, and friends that I should weigh more than I do. I am prayerful about achieving this next step a bit more consciously.
Learning to Rest. This past semester was wonderful, but also quite madly busy. One of the greatest lessons the Lord taught me was that He isn’t calling me to do everything. Rather, He’s calling me to prayerfully serve, and His best involves true attention and compassion to every avenue of my life, which isn’t meant to be done while simultaneously running myself ragged. I’m working less hours at Starbucks, and I’ve left my position as a dance teacher in attempt to give both school and the church internship the attention they deserve.
Job Advancements. While Starbucks has been such a blessed job, and I see it as nothing but opportunity to serve the Lord, I do feel that experience in more challenging leadership roles is important for me right now. I see myself soon applying to perhaps a more creative role in a coffee shop, or a position utilizing the degree I’m pursuing, such as a role in journalism.
Really Reading. I often complain about how English majoring feels like an irony, because the amount of novels I’m given to read in such a short span of time are impossible to complete. I want to TRULY learn from the materials I’m reading, and not just SparkNote them, and I’m excited to have more time to give true attention to my studies.
Time in the Word. This past year, I sort of invented my own Bible study plan. As I’ve prayed about that “plan” feeling off, the Holy Spirit put something very real on my heart: Bible studies are fine and good, but not when I’m ignoring my present Lord and His promptings. Lord, grant me the excited heart to consult YOU as I read Your Word, seeing that time as just more intimate time with You.
And here’s the thing.
These aren’t “New Year’s Resolutions.” They aren’t strict rules that I’m holding myself to. They aren’t necessary, and I know that the Lord’s plan will prevail ultimately. They are things that I will continue to consult Jesus about, and things that I know mean nothing if I’m not sitting at His feet, grasping hold of Him in the midst of a tumultuous world that vies for my attention. But He will always lovingly call me home. He IS my only Home.