Things To Do To Achieve More Than New Year Resolutions

We can plan and set goals but so much of who we are has already been decided. This frightens me now that I’m in my 40s.

How can I grow up to be more than the girl who loves to binge watch TV after her kids are in bed if I’m already grown up and this is still what I do?

My dad prays for me today from South Africa. He often calls me on his drive home. He could never be bothered to figure out the world of free apps that would have let him call me without cost. Instead, he just dials me direct from his cell phone.

Somehow it makes me feel so loved. Deep in my bones. Like nothing will get in the way of my dad calling when he wants to hear my voice. Certainly not technology. He calls me and tells me what he’s learning. He’ll be 70 this year and he’s always learning. I press the phone tight against my ear because there’s a delay and I don’t want to miss it.

He tells me that what we really need is to – and now I can’t remember his exact words, but the gist. The gist is that we need to get out of our own way. To get over ourselves. To want more than ourselves. To want to follow Jesus more than we want to follow ourselves.

This is a good word. I believe this.

But do I live it?

I don’t make resolutions but I ask questions. They make me nervous now that I’m half way through with the business of living.

Am I getting out of my own way? Or am I so set in my ways I can’t really even notice the difference?

My friend Janice leaves me a message to remind me of all that I’m releasing into the world this year. She says it over and over again – that beautiful word – releasing.

I play her message again. I don’t want to forget to let go this year. To let go of what I can’t fix or change and to let the things God is trying to fix and change in me be just that – released. Sometimes they look like books. But sometimes they look like lessons I learn between 10 and midnight by myself over a cup of coffee and coffee cake. (I know, I know, late night eating choices fail.)

But I want to release so many things. I want to let them fall off me and give them back to the only God I believe can actually carry them into the New Year. They’ve always been too heavy for me.

I want to trust that I won’t miss it. That I won’t miss what He’s doing because I’m so busy catching up on the next episode. I’m selfishly short sighted.

I don’t want to miss what He’s doing in and through and for my husband and kids.

I don’t want to miss that someone has a kidney stone or secret fear because I’m so busy not paying attention. Or paying attention to the wrong things.

I want to walk away from myself and leave as much of her back in the old year as possible.

This is a hard thing.

Sometimes I don’t realize it’s the right thing to do till I write it down.

So I’m slowly taking first steps into the new year and away from parts of myself. And toward parts of my life that it’s easy to miss. To skim. To only catch glimpses of out of the corner of your eye.

I want to be one of those who knows she’s listening and seeing when Jesus says, let those who have ears hear and those who have eyes see.

I am not making resolutions. But I am walking forward away from some things and toward others.

[written by Lisa-Jo Baker]