I think that both gyms and authors must love January. It’s around this time, when a New Year begins, that we all feel the need to make some resolutions. Everybody has those extra pounds they will absolutely lose this year, and that gym membership is going to jump start the process.
People decide that they don’t want another year like the previous one and buy a self-help book to transform themselves. Maybe others invest in a budget app because they don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck anymore. We are busy making goals and plans in hopes for a better future. And for the most part, that’s a good thing.
I guess I do try to set some resolutions. I’m not always great about getting healthier. I really don’t mind working out, I like the way I feel when I do, but I’ve got a terrible sweet tooth. Put a cake in front of me and my goals go out the window…sigh. I can make a conscious effort to read more, slow down and be more present with my family. I am a “set goals” kinda girl. I love checklists! The nerd in me absolutely adores crossing things off of it. If I start a book that is a real page turner, I’m staying up until 3 am to finish it. I can’t simply clean certain rooms on certain days. I’m going to clean the whole house at the same time. I struggle to sit at night if my kitchen counters are not clear and all toys are not put away. So, it’s either goals or maybe I’m a Type A personality, but, either way, I like things getting done.
Goals are good. We should set them, but sometimes I wonder if once they are set, we become so focused and unwilling to deviate from them that we miss what God is trying to do with/through us.
In looking back at this past year, I realized it turned out so differently than how I planned. We knew we would like to adopt again, but in no way would it be from Korea. This decision had everything to do with me and nothing to do with God. In fact, I didn’t ask His thoughts on it at all. I made the decision based out of my past experiences. Then I went to a conference last February called IF: ( side note, if you have not been, look it up, find a local church hosting it, and attend. You won’t be disappointed) Towards the end of the conference they had you do some soul searching. Basically, what was God saying to you about you, your life, and Him in your life. They asked that whatever it be you write it down.
Consider Him. That’s the impression I got. Consider Him in all things. I felt like God was saying “Maybe just consider that what I have for you is different than what you have for you”. It’s hard. I like my plans because they are all about me. It’s a work in progress because some days, I just don’t want to consider Him. My flesh desires self-promotion and self-satisfaction. He desires me to lay my life down, but by doing so, I pick up something so much better.
I have often thought that when people used to say that, “ He has something so much better” they meant in material gain. Like I just wanted a warm coat for the winter but then God blessed me with boots, too. There is truth in that, His blessing on the small things. His concern for our everyday life, but I think “the better” is really more about Him. For example, the things we have gone through in our adoption processes (mostly Charlie’s) were awful and it wasn’t that God was going to make the process all smooth and easy for me that was “ His better”. It was what He was revealing about Himself, His ability, and sovereignty to move in my situation. That was “His better”.
I have never been closer to God than while adopting. In fact, about six months after Charlie was home I thought. Well now what, God? Those years were a roller coaster for my emotions, but my spiritual life was at an all time high. Funny how that works. When you are willing to do something that to you seems impossible, unlikely and difficult. That’s when a God full of never-ending possibility shows up. Some of the toughest stuff I have walked out in obedience, are also the times I felt nearest to God. And in all of those situations, adoption related or not, I wouldn’t have picked that for me. I would always pick easily attainable, healthy, non-suffering, happy-go-lucky every single time, but where does that leave God? How can I show a hurting world He is ABLE if I am not willing to walk down a painful path, and let Him sustain me through it? How can I step outside myself, and consider that maybe my situation is not just about me. Maybe, I am the vessel He is using for a greater purpose.
The hard stuff
The ugly stuff
The I hate this stuff
The I don’t understand You stuff
The I don’t want this for me stuff
None of it even comes close to the “ Oh, look what you did there…. for me, for them stuff.”
That’s what I want more of, but I also joined a workout group, started a new devotional, and will try to play more WITH my boys, rather than sending them away to play. I hope I’ve made some good goals for this year, but more importantly, I pray that I am resolute in His will for my life.