Fresh start. Clean slate. Whole new year. New Year’s Resolution.
They all have the same root feeling–the same aim. Yet that last one leaves a bitter taste behind. Because of so many broken “This year I promise to…”s in the past. Goals missed. Weight not lost. Beautiful instruments in the closet, gathering dust. Relationships unmended. Why should this year’s vow be any different?
It should be different because today…is not the first of the year. Today is not the beginning of 2017; not the idealized clean slate waiting impatiently for a perfect story to be etched into it. Today is a regular, Plain Jane Sunday. The 15th–the Ides, perhaps, but not of March so not too demanding–of January. There are, however, 365 days between today and next year on this day.
You have a year to plan better; to get organized; to reach a goal; to transform your life; but without the pressure of “In 2017 I will _____” hanging over your head.
Wait. It gets better. You have every new day to do that. I have every new day to do that. Every morning I wake up, I can decide to change something. Or I can decide to ignore that urge to make life better. And every day I don’t manage to move forward, I can forgive myself & try again in the morning.
Change doesn’t require a shiny new year. It just requires that you continue life with a fresh perspective. Heart anew with hope & joy. Hands tingling with motivation to act.
Today–my average, everyday Sunday–it struck me that I don’t take a day to rest. A Sabbath. I work or do things I don’t enjoy every. Day. Of the week. That’s nuts. How can I expect to be rested doing life like this? How can I expect myself to put on my shiny Mama cape & my fit-like-a-glove Wife gloves every day if I don’t allow myself to rest? (Don’t dis my lack of descriptive creativity there. Men get Dad jokes. Let me have this. I’ve been low on sleep for the past 28 months.)
This next part…it stings. I don’t have a Sabbath because I’m too lazy to accomplish all I need to during the rest of the week.
Ouch. Lazy Mama? Me? But I work hard.
I look around at my four baskets of unfolded clean laundry and my basket & a half of folded-for-two-days-and-still-not-in-drawers laundry…and I see it. I’m caught up on my favorite Netflix & Hulu shows, but my house looks much like my high school bedroom did: everything out & nothing where it belongs.
I don’t want to run my home like this. I don’t want to buy the same item 3 times because I can’t find the 2 we already own, buried under piles of laundry & stuffed animals & junk mail that should have been tossed last week.
I want peace in my home. I want to be able to sip hot tea in my living room & feel joy watching my babies play because there’s a CLEAN FLOOR with room for their active imaginations & feet. I want to greet my husband at the door with a kiss & a smile, not frustration after my fresh-on-his-feet toddler (he’s close guys–he’s so close and he only really started crawling 2 weeks ago) has shuffled every item we own from its home room to the kitchen because nothing was put away.
I want love to rule in my home, with all the I Corinthians 13 adjectives that go along with it. That takes work. That means I need to be awake & moving at an hour I never wanted to see during my teen years. Daily love & peace & joy in my home requires ME to make a change; to make a promise; to wake up every morning ready to make good choices for my family and go to bed every night willing to confess my failures of the day to my family & to God, knowing I get the grace to give it another go in the morning.
Today, on the Ides of January, I promise to live intentionally, with so many goals in mind I couldn’t possibly name them all. To boil it down: I promise to put my all into making myself better by seeking who I am in God’s eyes and to create a safe haven in my home & in my heart so I can provide that same warmth to everyone in my life, even if they never cross our door’s threshold.
Life keeps me busy, but not busy enough to stop me from the important things. And this is important. It’s time to act. It’s time to continue life, renewed.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
–H. Jackson Brown, Jr.