This year, I've tried to have 1 personal New Year's resolution, & 2 that practically affect our family. (not that the personal one doesn't, but you'll see what I mean):
1. more regular prayer
2. more of a seasonal diet
3. a more orderly home
1. More regular prayer- "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." (Col 4:2); "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Phil. 4:6)-- in our church covenant, we vow not to "neglect the great duty of prayer"- this phrase keeps coming to mind... I was especially convicted of the lacking in my prayer life while we spent so much time with our families over the holidays. Here we were folks we love so much and so seldom see, and it struck me that I hadn't been actively praying in preparation leading up to my time with them. It's not that I don't expect God to be working, more like I have forgotten that I could be a part of that working if I wanted to be, and by His Spirit's prompting, I DO WANT TO BE!! In order to help myself be more "thorough" about prayer, you could say, I've started assigning different people to different days. The idea is that [eventually] I'll just have to think about what day it is and be prompted to pray for specific members of my immediate family, close friends, and missionaries. In the past I've picked specific verses to pray for different people, and I think I want to dig out that little journal and start that up again.
2. More seasonal eating-- "And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years," (Gen 1:14); "He [God] made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting." (Ps. 104:19) In the psalmist's consideration of the Lord's marvels (sung so exuberantly by Fernando Ortega in "Creation Song"), he lists the seasons. It really is amazing, when you think about it, to consider how we get to enjoy distinct periods of temperature, precipitation, harvest, and planting. Even in places where it's springy-summer all year round there are seasons of rain and dry. There's a rhythm to the world, and I have to believe the joyful Creator intends it for His children's joy. It's really well-designed, too; in the summer, when we are prone to dehydration, fruits grow full of water: melons, tomatoes, cucumber; in the autumn, fruits that tend to keep easily, such as gourds, apples & nuts, grow and we have them over the barren winter. Our ancestors also had low-tech ways of preserving food which actually add nutrients to the food or makes it more digestible; fermentation (pickling), drying, boiling and preserving. So here at Szrama Clan KY we'll be trying to do better about eating in the natural rhythm of things. It'll be a fun dance to join in. Not that we won't cheat of course-- Ryan's birthday is far from the middle of strawberry season, and we definitely will have strawberries then-- but generally we'll be trying to eat things that either grow during that season, or can easily be kept fresh until that season (grains, legumes, & animal products sort of "grow" year round, in my mind...so does chocolate, of course). Anyway, it will be fun and will keep us eating a varied diet for sure!! I'm sure you will hear about this experiment as the year goes on!!
3. More of an orderly home--"Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." (Rom 12:13); "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (Prov. 31:27) As so many wives & moms know, one of the biggest obstacles to hospitality is a messy house... for a whole host of reasons, the least of which is not finding a place for your guest to sit. :) I want our home to be a "Homely House;" a place where pilgrims and seekers alike can come in and get a little respite from a world that does not know peace or love true beauty. I would love for the order and peace of our home to remind Christians of Heaven and even hint of it to non-believers-- something they glimpse here and not in other places. I want it to be a place where my husband and children can find refuge and be secure. It is said of Mrs. Edith Schaeffer (wife of the famous Francis Schaeffer) that as many students were saved through her cookies as through her husband's teaching. :) So... I want to be better about keeping this place clean and organized. Hehehe I don't want Eowyn finding nasty stuff to eat, either, now that she's starting to pick stuff up and eat EVERYTHING. I'm getting help in the form of a simple chore schedule (Nicole, you could make me one with stickers if you want), and the website flylady.com... Again, I'm sure you will have updates about this throughout the year!
Well, those are my "new year's resolutions!" Feel free to share your own in the comments!
"To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (II Thess 1:11-12)