A new year! 2012 was a good year for us. No big changes except, of course, for the big changes happening in each of our children as they grow and learn. I always feel so good about a new year. I don't usually have a hard core resolution I try to fulfill (does anyone actually keep these for real??), but I feel like I get a new start, a new beginning, a second chance at who I want to be in this new calendar year. I like to think about things I would like to improve or do better. Do you have resolutions? What are they? I think this year, if I were to pick some things I would like to focus on, I would choose three categories for myself, and I feel like the Lord also pointed me to one for our family as a whole this morning as I read Scripture.
For myself, one area is physical/health (this is usually one big category for "resolutions"). I would like to get back to eating a bit healthier, and for us, we are convinced that changing to a more plant-based diet is the way to go. So, area one is to find a good balance between this and the cravings my family tends to have for meat in particular. Also, I would like to figure out how to bulk cook and freeze while trying to eat this way. I think I will focus my blog on this area quite a bit. I will begin posting about my meal planning, bulk cooking days, and I will give a play-by-play of how those things go. If you would like to follow along and meal plan with me, I would love that! I will continue to use my crockpot quite a bit as well.
Another area on which I would like to focus myself is to really become more "minimalist" when it comes to our possessions. I have had mild success with this in the past year, but I can most definitely improve. I will be pulling out the trash bags to throw and give more things away inside and outside the house. Also, I would like to practice using caution when it comes to purchasing new things with which to "clutter" up our already small spaces in this cozy little house.
The third area is spiritual. For me as well as for all the family, spiritually, I feel like at times our home is a war zone. Children find so many things to fight about. Who has a bigger serving of food, what game we should play, who wins or loses the game, whose job is what and when and why... the list goes on and on. I realize that sometimes I play just as much a part in the war as the children do. I try to be peacemaker general, when perhaps I need to make peace myself with each child and teach them to be peacemakers. I need to focus less on who is right or wrong in each case and help us to all focus more on this one principle: be the peacemaker, no matter what the circumstances. I am currently reading through the wonderful book of James in my quiet times. This morning, these verses jumped off the page and into my heart:
"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a heart of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."
James 3: 16-18
This year, my focus will be for me to rid myself of any selfish ambition that may exist in my heart, and as a family, I think these things would be a great focus as well: to rid our home of selfish ambition and jealousy. If these things exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice! Boy, can I see this in our home at times! Next, I will focus, and hopefully help the children focus on the positive virtues contained in these verses, and on being the ones who make peace. "A heart of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." That sounds pretty good. The root of all kinds of problems is pride and selfishness. This year it will be my prayer for myself and for each member of my family, that we will learn and practice selflessness, take the focus off of selfishness and turn the focus onto others and being the one to make peace first. I will be thinking of ways to help encourage the children especially in this, so if any of you reading this has any ideas for me in encouraging these things, whether with incentives, exercises, reading material, etc. let me know, and I will definitely share all ideas on my blog.
May this year be a year where we all grow to be more excellent, and where we truly grasp the "wisdom from above."
Here is the definition of "wisdom from above" found in James in a different translation. May we meditate on these verses and be filled with God's wisdom. How excellent that He promises that He will give it to us (promise found in James 1:5)!!
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy."
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
Praise God for His faithfulness, and may 2013 be the most excellent year for all of you!!!