The new year is usually overwhelming for me. While I like the idea of a fresh start, I've never been much for resolutions, as I typically find them daunting and I'm bound to be disappointed in myself. Instead, I make no plans. For me, no planning = little to no growth. Rather than resolutions, I'm choosing intentions that shape my attitude and routines. I can't stop thinking about (another) quote from Piper:
When you get up in the morning and you face a day, what do you say to yourself about your hopes for the day? When you look from the beginning of the day to the end of the day, what do you want to happen because you have lived? If you say, "I don't even think like that, I just get up and do what I've got to do," then you are cutting yourself off from a basic means of grace and a source of guidance and strength and fruitfulness and joy. [...]
God's revealed will for you is that when you get up in the morning, you don't drift aimlessly through the day, letting mere circumstances dictate what you do, but that you aim at something—that you focus on a certain kind of purpose.
As much as I really love my job, I struggle with this, especially if I'm working a stretch of nights. I catch my thoughts spinning in a cycle of sleep, work, sleep, repeat. When I'm at work, I think about sleeping, and when I'm at home, I think about work. But as Piper reminds me, I am cutting myself off from a basic means of grace. And if I know anything, its that my heart needs so much grace, guidance, strength, fruitfulness, and joy.
So, I'm working on my attitude about this time of year. I'm planning and grouping these plans and intentions into three categories: Internal (heart attitude, etc.), motivational (pulls me to glorify God), and practical (adjustments to my routine and lifestyle).
Dedicating myself to gratitude.
I've long known that my heart errs toward discontentment, but this is a weakness I'm increasingly aware of lately. To proactively practice gratefulness, I want to verbalize my thanks to those around me more frequently, especially Nicholas. As it says in Luke 6:45, "For out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks." Also, since I learn and incorporate things into my routine best with writing, I want to write about gratitude more in this space.
Pursue Christ-exalting everything. Piper (again) says it much better than I can:
Lord, fill my mouth with Christ-exalting wisdom and Christ-exalting encouragement. And grant that I would experience Christ-exalting joy, and that I would be willing to make Christ-exaliting sacrifices, and serve my family with Christ-exalting helpfulness around the house.
Also, deliberate confidence in the character of God:
More walks with Nicholas
These are my favorite times with him. Uninterrupted, purposeful, and we're (literally) moving in the same direction in our conversation. Plus, I want to move more. I'm not committing to "working out" (the best way for me to do that is to sign up for a race), but moving + fresh air + quality time with my husband = something I can commit to.
More sewing projects
Nicholas gave me a sewing machine for my birthday this past year, and I'd love to get more comfortable sewing not only items for our home, but also some apparel. I've already been brainstorming for a project next week when I have a stretch of days off!
Thoughtfully planned side dishes, so our meals stretch further
Growing up, I turned my nose up at leftovers, but after getting married, I very quickly learned that they are the best. So, when I make more frequent and better side dishes, our meals stretch further, the meal has more variety, and we have leftovers to pack in our lunches the next day
Less food waste
The more I meal plan, the easier it gets, and the more I stick to my plans. I'm still learning the balance between adding variety to every meal cycle while still maintaining some of our favorites in the rotation. The key with meal planning (and sticking to it) is knowing with confidence that a certain percentage of the meals are guaranteed "successes," i.e. meals that we really like, are fairly simple to prepare, and balanced (for us, those meals are tacos, stir fry, and breakfast for dinner). That being said, I do want to continue to try new foods, but so often, I buy the necessary ingredients and enjoy the meal, but then don't know what to do with the leftover ingredients. One example? Asparagus. I want to think outside the box when it comes to incorporating things in my fridge into our meals so they don't go to waste.
Do you have any intentions for 2015?