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Dear 2014 Self

I don’t make New Years Resolutions. I haven’t since I was seventeen. My sisters and I had this tradition where we went to a coffee shop with our prettiest notebooks and brainstormed the best resolutions possible. But the year I was seventeen, I decided not to make resolutions anymore. I never kept them and I felt exceedingly terrible about myself for it. What was the point if I didn’t actually mean them enough to keep them and then beat myself up over it when I failed?

So the next year, my sisters took their prettiest notebooks and I took my new reading book from Christmas. And we only brainstormed the best possible resolutions for them, which often included things like Have the Best Weekend Look, Practice Making the Ugliest Faces, and Always Dance.

I haven’t made resolutions in ten years. But if I did…if I set a goal for this next year, turning to 2013 Self and pointing through the doorway to 2014 Self, I would say one thing.

Give up.

Yep, super encouraging and motivating for another year. Really makes me want to jump right in there and have the best year ever.

My three year old is extremely determined. He wants things the way he wants them, even if it’s not working or if it makes his life difficult. We were playing Legos the other day, and his spaceship kept breaking. I told him it would work if he made some changes to the foundation and supported it better. But he refused to listen: “I DO NOT WANT CHANGE!”
I finally left him to it because he refused to give up and make a change. And you know, he never did get to play spaceship because he wasn’t willing to give up his idea.

So, dear 2013 Self, take a lesson from your son and just learn to give up.

Give up your over achiever expectations of who you are supposed to be and what your motherhood is supposed to look like.

Give up your drive to be perfect and just let yourself do something mediocre sometimes.

Give up your pride and genuinely pursue community and friendships.

Give up your rights to selfish Me Time and actually use your time to help yourself grow and flourish. Or go take a shower.

Give up your tight fisted desire to control and give in to the freedom that comes with living with an open hand and a relaxed face.

Give up your pity parties over a messy house and a dog that sheds and another super long grocery list and dinners with vegetables your kids won’t eat and being overtired and overwhelmed and never having time to read your Bible. And choose joy instead because those things are temporary.

Give up the pressure you put on yourself and you feel like others put on you.

2014 Self, it’s time to make a change, and that change isn’t to fix all the issues in yourself by “doing better.” That change is to give up the attitudes and actions that keep you stagnant and pull you down. The change is to give up the patterns and character issues that aren’t working and to focus on supporting your foundation. When your foundation is solid, you won’t be swayed by competition or jealousy or mommy guilt. When you rest on a rock solid foundation, your heart and soul rest peacefully. Dear 2014 Self, let Jesus be the foundation you invest in, the one you use to build your motherhood, your sense of who you are, and your expectations on. Give up the futility of trying to be everything, and be that “everything” perfectly. Make the change instead to embrace the rest and peace of a solid foundation. Then, as you stand at the end of 2014 and look through the doorway to 2015 Self, may you be able to pass a baton of a peaceful and fulfilled heart.

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