2009 Resolutions

Ok, I'm about 10 days overdue on this post, but I'm letting myself off the hook and writing it anyway!  I love a new year because it represents a new start.  I also panic about a new year because I know from my own personal history what will most likely happen....

Beginning on January 1st, I'll get out my fresh pack of new thin-line sharpies, a new crisp, blank journal, and I'll do what I do best...make lists!!  Lists about what I want to change this year, what I want to accomplish, what my goals and resolutions are, etc., etc.  Lists are kind of like my OCD drug of choice.  I LOVE a good list.  But what I don't love is that inevitably, by the middle of February, I will have already failed to do or keep up with half of what I've written.  Why?  Because I always seem to shoot for the moon when I have a new year in front of me.  Rather than choose 1 or 2 things to work on, I choose 25.  And no one can do 25 new things!  

So that is why this year, I have let myself think and pray about what GOD wants me to work on this year.  I have taken my time to be careful about what I'm going to commit to and to also be realistic.  I keep reminding myself that I'm having a baby!  I know every thing that has been "normal" up to this point, is about to be thrown out the window.  Including my loads of free and personal time :)  So, in effort to not fail this year, I'm focusing on one thing that the Lord has been putting on my heart consistently.  

Memorizing Scripture.

In the past, writing those words and publicly committing to that would have sent shivers up my spine.  This is one of the hardest areas for me in my walk with the Lord.  Not because I struggle to memorize but because I haven't had the discipline to do it.  I get lazy, I forget to do it, and I just don't prioritize it like I should.  But I've had an epiphany about memorizing lately and why I believe the Lord is calling me to it.   

It is terrifying to think about becoming a mother sometimes.  I've shared this fear of mine before that almost paralyzes me about wanting to do this right and wanting to do it well.  And if I'm honest, maybe even perfectly.  I want to be a great Mom and I want the Lord to be pleased with my efforts.  So I do what comes naturally.  I lay awake with anxiety, I get every book that tells me "how to really love your kids", I scour the internet for "tips", I register for the safest, newest products to help me, I plan and scheme and make lists, I labor and labor and labor.  And then I wonder, "is this what God wants or is this what I want?"  And then the guilt sets in and I beat myself up for yet another spectacular "attempt" at being what I want me to be and forgetting about what God wants me to be.  And so the cycle continues.  

But lately, in a million little ways, I keep hearing that still, small voice of the Lord speaking to my heart.  Not audibly, but in my thoughts.  

"Stay in my Word Stephanie, everything you need is right there.  Let me teach you how to love me and how to love Ava.  Let me show you how to be a better wife and how to love other people.  Let me show you how to give and how to be a blessing.  And let me do it under the umbrella of my grace and my love and my sovereignty.  I am the way, the truth, and the life.  My words bring wisdom and freedom and the comfort you are so desperately striving for.  Spend time with me, let my words soak in and marinate your heart.  I loved you first and I want you to succeed in everything I call you to.  You're going to make mistakes, but I'll be there to help you recover if you'll turn to me.  Trust me Stephanie, trust me and know me.  Write my words on your heart and let me guide you this year."  

At every turn, those words are in my head and on my heart.  And so I've decided to do something about it.  I have had several offers to join scripture accountablility groups in the last few weeks (Isn't that just like the Lord??  He prompts you in something and then provides you an opportunity to take Him up on it??)  but I've tried to be careful about which one I say yes to.  So, I've chosen to partner with some women from my Church who have formed a group on facebook, of all places :)  Isn't that funny?  It's perfect for me. I see these women all the time, which keeps me motivated and accountable, and yet I have to flexibility to get on facebook when it's convenient for me and to check in with my verses.  We are committing to memorizing whatever verse or passage we want to and then writing it out from memory every Thursday.  I can do that!  One verse a week and God's words etched on my heart...

Here are the verses I've memorized this week and the verses I'm claiming as my "theme verses" for the year.  I'l be sharing some of my verses as I do this, again mostly for accountability, but also to encourage you in something the Lord has shared with me.  I am asking the Lord for a wonderful 2009 and for a new hunger to delight in Him and His word as never before.  So, here we go!!  I said it.  It's public.  And I'm going to do it!!  Here are the precious words I have been praying over this week and now I'm praying for you!   Happy New Year!  

Phillippians 1:9-11
"And this is my prayer for you, that your love may abound more and more, in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God!" 


Rebecca Jo said...

You are going to be an incredible mommy raising Ava in the Lord!!! Good for you for finding a group that will hold you accountable with scripture. I've already seen the fruits of memorizing scripture for the year - just two weeks in...

petrii said...

The Lord has been speaking to me in very similar ways as well. I'm memorizing scripture this year too. I'm being accountable through The LPM website. BMoore has a really good mini-tutorial on memorizing scripture on that blog. It is really good.

You are going to be a GREAT mommy!! You have a heart that follows hard after God, and that is what that child will need the most, parents that put God first in all things.

Have a Blessed weekend,

Amanda Hoyt said...

That is awesome, Stephanie! I have been wanting to do something similar and may "take a page from your" blog and try it out :)
Hope you had a wonderful Sunday.
Hugs and prayers,