Yep. I'm doing it. A cheesy, stereotypical, "New Year's Resolution" blog post.
I have to admit, I've never been one to really take New Year's resolutions super seriously. My family has this really sweet tradition of sitting down before New Year's every year and opening the sealed envelope with our resolutions from the year before. We go around reading our's, giving thumbs up or thumbs down on whether we succeeded. And then we write new ones. I'm not saying I totally blew them off, but my resolutions rarely had very much substance is the issue.
This year, that changes. 2010 has been...huge for me, in too many ways to list. I know everyone changes over the course of the year, but this time it's been different. I've grown in things I was fairly certain were going to be a part of me till I died. God's managed to strip things out of my death grip that I was sure I'd get to "control" forever. He has shaped me and molded me into a closer version of the person He desires me to be. And all I can do is point back to Him on all of it, and push forward.
So, with that in mind, here are my 5:
1. Learn how to clear my mind.
Something I never thought would be possible. I had basically ruled it out completely as an option. I have the kind of brain that goes a million miles a minute, constantly. The kind of brain that I have to zonk out on benedryl to get to sleep a lot of nights. I'm just starting to get that I can clear out my mind, stop spinning, and be still, and what an awesome, awesome place that is. It's hard to hear God over yourself, sometimes. It's hard to hear yourself over yourself.
2. Learn how to control my emotions and not let them control me.
Yet another thing I never thought would be possible. I'm a very emotionally driven person. Passionate. A feel-er. And a lot of the time those feelings get translated into truths in my mind, and there's no distinguishing the boundary. So, learning that emotions are emotions, facts are facts, and the two don't always line up.
3. Have my mouth be a reflection of my heart.
Phew. God's been breaking me of this one hard the last couple of months. I believe that honesty is a very necessary character trait, but not everything that's thought needs to be said. And not everything that's thought is a real reflection of my heart. (Again, emotions≠truth) Plus, it's not a big boost to my witness if I'm bad-mouthing people. And sometimes I say things just to say them. So yea. Let's try and cut that out.
4. Learn to like myself.
This one sounds whiny and pathetic, so let me explain. As I know a lot of other people have experienced, crappy friends can do some serious damage to what you think of yourself. Ones that don't do whole lot to bolster your confidence in yourself or the way people feel about you. Ones that never listen, but are only waiting for their turn to talk. Right this very moment, I have the most amazing friends ever working their butts off to fight the tendency in me to not like myself. Friends who reinforce, everyday, that they love me completely because of the person I am this second. Not to mention super amazing parents who have told me this everyday since the moment I was born. This is an awesome work in progress, and I can't wait to see myself come even farther.
5. Stop reading celebrity gossip.
This one's super frivolous next to the rest of them, but I mean it. Yes, I regularly check perezhilton.com and the TMZ app on my phone. I'm fascinated. But it's stupid. Filling my brain with that worthless crap while I could be putting in much more worthwhile things is embarrassing. I'm trying to taper it out as this year comes to a close, so I don't have to quit cold turkey come 2011.
So there ya go. Sometimes I look at this list and think I should come up with more then 5. Sometimes I look at it and go "Oh ma gah. I'll never succeed." But I will. Know why? Because I've adopted this verse, and taken it on for more then just the Sunday school face value.
"For I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:13
Don't skip over that. Did you get it? All things.
Holy. Crap. Makes my heart beat a little faster every time I read it. As I pray over my list, I ask God to help me remember that by His strength I can do all of this. And by posting this on the world wide web, I'm letting everyone that reads this into this journey.
By HIS strength I can clear my mind.
By HIS strength I can control my emotions.
By HIS strength I can watch my mouth.
By HIS strength I can like who He's made me.
By HIS strength I can cut out the worthless crap.
By HIS strength I am