Monday, January 05, 2009

LauraLee, at LauraLee's Lifesong, is hosting At the Well today. The topic is Regrets and Resolutions.
This time of the year is a good time for doing some self-evaluation. Many of us tend to set goals for the upcoming year, dreaming big dreams and setting some priorities for our lives.
I used to be one to make resolutions, but no longer. Not that they are a bad thing to make, but I went about it the wrong way. I always resolved to lose weight, read the Bible through in a year, and save or make more money. I always failed by March and by May, what New Year's Resolutions? Oh...yeah, I wrote some down...somewhere.
D-E-F-E-A-T.
I stopped making them and on my birthday began to make a list of things to do in the next year before my birthday that corresponded to the age I was. That went well. In my 37 Things to Do in the Year of Laurie, I did aged more gracefully (covered the grays), didn't quit smoking, didn't learn to master the art of silence, didn't ride in a horse drawn carriage in New Orleans, did read through the Bible 3 times, didn't stay overnight in a B&B, didn't read To Kill a Mockingbird or War and Peace, didn't quite check my voice mail every time I saw the light on, did go to the movies a little more often, got an anti-aging facial, didn't send a message in a bottle, didn't visit Square Books in Oxford, was a little more outgoing, didn't paint the back porch swing, didn't fly or take a train, decided not to watch all 10 seasons of Friends, did have better posture, most certainly did not overcome my fear of elephants, watched more tv, didn't quite read every book on my bookshelf, didn't take an online class, did visit Graceland (twice), ate a little healthier, lost weight but not enough, didn't make a list of all the books I read throughout the year, did write in my blog more often, didn't do the weekend roadtrip alone, didn't read the paper often, was a better wife, did spend more time in prayer daily, didn't send a card once a week just to let someone know I cared, did do more crossword puzzles and didn't work in a homeless shelter like I wanted to do.
D-E-F-E-A-T.
Probably why I didn't find time to do the 38 Things to Do in the Year God Gave Me.
Eeeek!
I say I didn't do it because Daddy had pacemaker surgery on my birthday and by the time I got caught up on the things I had gotten behind on...well....we can see above that the defeats got me.
I don't like defeat. I like victory. I have decided to live a life of victory. That being said, I'm going to answer some of the discussion questions below.
What is your favorite "resolution" in the Bible?
" May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." ~ Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
The Hebrew word for may is 'emer, which means:
1) utterance, speech, word, saying, promise, command
David was literally promising God that the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart would be pleasing in God's sight.
Do you do a New Year's resolution? Why or why not? Does your family make a resolution together?
I used to, as I mentioned above, but they always spelled defeat for me. This year I have resolved to do two things: read God's Word more closely and grow closer to God in prayer. God put it on my heart to do and if He had done so in September, I'd have delved into it then. Alas, He gave it to me now. Our family doesn't make resolutions together. Steve and I have in the past and we pretty much stuck to them when we did. One thing we did was budgeting, and that was a wonderful thing. We worked together at it and it went well. Then it became second nature and we just do it all the time now. Pretty much. Since Kristyn flew the nest, we didn't have to budget as closely as we used to. Once she married and had children and we had some medical problems, the budget is back!

Usually a resolution comes as a result of regretting something you didn't do the year before...how do you let go of the regret and move forward?
I usually made resolutions as a positive thing. They didn't stem from feelings of failure of things from the year before. They were more anticipatory of the things I wanted for the year to come. This is where D-E-F-E-A-T came in. Did you see where I made my mistake? Oh, you'd have to look very closely. In the word " I ". The things I wanted... What about the things God wanted for me? When I sought God on what He wanted of me, not necessarily what He wanted for me to do for a New Year's Resolution, but what He wanted of me, I clearly understood that He asked me to do two things. Read His Word and grow closer to Him in prayer. He didn't ask me to take an online class or to lose more weight, He didn't ask me to run 5 miles a day or document which books I read in a year, He didn't ask me to stand up straighter or get over my fear of elephants. He only asked me to read His Word and grow closer to Him in prayer.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV - Emphasis, mine)
The Greek word for forgetting is epilanthanomai, which means:
1) to forget
2) neglecting, no longer caring for
2) forgotten, given over to oblivion, i.e. uncared for
I'm not one to live a life of regrets, but I admit that in the past I have looked back and that defeat can be somewhat of an albatross if you let it. I don't nurture the regrets any longer. Like Paul, I have chosen to forget what is behind and press forward to the goal of eternal life. I will not nuture the regrets or the defeats of the past. I want God's best for me. Victory.
"for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." ~ 1 John 5:4 (NIV)
Would you like to join me in walking toward victory rather than defeat? Victorious living is awesome. Cast down defeat and refuse to nurture it or care for it. Let's grow in victory together!
V - Verify that your resolutions are from God and not yourself. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." ~ Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
I - Ignore the world's prompting and go with the Holy Spirit. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)
C - Continue to seek God's will for your life daily. "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." ~ Psalm 105:4 (NIV)
T - Take time to read God's Word daily, searching the Scriptures for His will to light your path. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." ~ Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
O - Obey God in everything He directs you to do. "But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." ~ 1 John 2:5-6 (NIV)
R - Rejoice in God's plans for you rather than your own plans for yourself. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
Y - Yield any resolutions or committments to God for victory. "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." ~ Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

11 comments:

He And Me + 3 said...

We do not do resolutions, because they just get broken & lost by the wayside. We make goals...and I make lists, but no resolutions. My goal this year is to grow closer to the Lord every day. Also to spend less and give more. I think I will do ok with 2 of those...the spending may be a little tough. Pray.

Mandey said...

I don't call them resolutions, but that's prolly what they are. Our church hands out sheets of paper, one with last year on it ("2008, I'm releasing the past") where we can write the thing we regret, the things we need to change and then throw it in a garbage pail to be burned at a later time. The next sheet is this year ("2009, I'm Grasping my future") where we put our goals for the year, ones that God has inspired in our lives, things we want to see change, with Bible verses to support them. I'm still working on my list. It grows and changes the more time I spend with God.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Awesome, anointed wisdom as usual, Laurie Ann. Your acrostics alone are meat enough to keep me chewing for awhile.

LOVE this one:
I - Ignore the world's prompting and go with the Holy Spirit. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Amen, that's one I need to work on!

Joyfull said...

I also enjoy our acrostics, they always fit and offer practical suggestions for our lives. Beautiful and encouraging post and I am looking forward to the journey to victory!

Yvonne said...

you made me smile with you list of "resolutions" with its mixed results...so typical of all of us.
Thanks for the inspirational acrostic!
Vonnie

DarcyLee said...

Thank you for giving so much Scripture in your post! What an inspiration.

lori said...

Laurie Ann...what a thoughtful and PACKED post...I read and read...it was wonderful! You know it's not in the defeats but rather the VICTORY!

Resolving today to have a renewed spirit and to live out Colossians 3:17...if I can DO that this year...it will ALL be good!!

peace..and I Laughed OUTLOUD...Graceland twice, huh?? My baby turns 9 on Thursday...he shares it with THE KING!! LOL!!

Peace,
lori

Rebecca said...

I love the VICTORY! R, rejoice in God's plans rather than your plans for yourself. Good goal. Much wisdom here today. :) Rebecca

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I loved your post, sweet one. I must admit that when 'I' make the resolution 'I' feel defeat too. When I seek the Lord and ask Him what He would have me do..I am well on the way to victory. Blessings to you, my sweet friend.

Patty Wysong said...

This really spoke to me. I've been saving it until I could read it without interuption and it was so worth waiting for. Thank you so much!

Jennifer said...

I don't make resolutions but I makes goals for the next year using an acrostic of G-O-A-L-S. I did very well at last year...but, haven't gotten around to making one this year...oh, well...maybe later.

Great post...put on your list of 38to do's if you do one...meet me and Laurie for lunch one day! We can make that happen!

I have been truly blessed this year to have met so many wonderful friends in the bloggy world...like you, my dear friend.

((hugs))
Jenn