Happy New Year, guys! I have a ton that I want to post soon: Maggie's bday pictures & her one-year letter, half of December, Christmas pictures, the list goes on and overwhelmingly on...
But, instead, I thought I'd start the new year by posting the first journal entry that I wrote in 2013. A way of marking a new year, with new resolutions, but with the same me, struggling with the same things. It's not quite in keeping with our usual blog-tone, but it is in keeping with my usual inner-tone. Which is to say, a hot mess.
January 2, 2013
It's a new year! But the same me.
The same broken, excuse-filled, self-centered me that still hasn't filled up the New Year's journal I started three years ago. Who already messed up this shiny, smooth, new journal by writing the WRONG YEAR on the cover. (Seriously? Seriously.) The same me who slept in yesterday instead of getting up to exercise and write in this journal, LIKE I RESOLVED TO. Who hasn't stuck to a single resolution for a whole year, ever. The same me that so often is selfish and judgmental and lazy and cruel.
And I think during the last week of December, part of me forgets. Part of me begins to stir hopefully, renewing faith in myself. Part of me forgets how incredibly broken I am. How desperately I need. How deeply I fail.
And then, during the first week of January I dash my hopes all over again. I break my own heart. I resolve never to trust me again. I sleep in when I resolved to get up. I snap at my son when I resolved to be more patient, more present. I eat an entire piece of cheesecake while standing in front of the fridge when I resolved to... well... not to do that crap anymore. I write THE WRONG YEAR on the cover of my pretty new journal.
I feel caught, Lord. Caught between wanting to be better, to obey, to strive for beauty and perfection, and the knowledge that I am none of those things, and will never fully be them this side of heaven.
Please, prevent me from relying on my self, from putting my faith in me. Prevent me from thinking I can save myself, perfect myself. Help me instead to bring my resolutions, my hopes, my dreams, my failures to you. Knowing that YOU are the one who bridges the gap between who I am, and who I will become.
New resolution: to lean on you more. To see clearly, daily, my own lack and your glory. To find hope and truth in the knowledge that when I am weak, you are strong.
And honestly, Lord, I'm still clinging to my other resolutions. They're really good ones! I want to eat healthier, exercise more. I want to be more disciplined about getting up in the morning, more diligent in spending time with you. I want to be a kinder, gentler, more patient wife and mother. I want to be diligent and hardworking and find more balance beween work and home. I want to be more self-controlled with our finances, and use our money responsibly. I want to be a better, more invested friend. I want, I want, I want. Clearly, I want heaven, now.
I look back over that paragraph of resolutions, and at first I feel hopeless. But then I look again, you show me the fruits of the spirit blooming up between the lines. I look and my desperate desire for love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self- control.
And I remember afresh, for like the 200th time, that those things come from you. Only from you. From being rooted in you, built up in you, dependent on you, faithful to you. That YOU grow those things in me. That I do not, can not, will never, grow them in myself. I remember that my only call, my only resolution, my only allegiance is to you.
So this year Lord, I resolve to leave my resolutions behind, in favor of trying, once again, to fix my eyes on you, instead of me. I resolve to break my resolutions quickly and repeatedly. And when I do, I resolve to bask in the grace and mercy that you unfailingly provide me. I resolve to find comfort in being less, because it reminds me that you are more. I resolve to find purpose in being weak, because it reminds me that you are strong.
So bring it, 2013! I plan to fail your challenges, fall short of your goals, and to be dissatisfied and unfufilled by any meager successes that I might fumblingly accomplish. Because regardless of what I do or do not, I know that my Lord will hoist me up, carry me over the finish line, and rejoice over me with singing, so it should be a pretty good year, yes? Yes.