New Years Responsibility

Christmas Day and New Years Day were unique this year in that they fell on a Sunday, which only happens every 7 years. I liked it. I liked that I got to worship with my church family ON Christmas day. I liked that 2012 began on the Lord's day. And I'm a pretty big fan of my husband's preaching, so I'm thankful I was challenged by him from the pulpit (I'm challenged by him at home every day) on the first day of the year.

On January 1, his sermon was not about New Years resolutions, but New Years responsibilities. I loved this perspective. According to dictionary.com, a resolution is: "the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc." Whereas a responsibility is: "the state or fact of being responsible (geez, don't you hate it when a word is used in its own definition??)" and responsible is: "answerable or accountable, as for something within one's power, control, or management." So, if you resolve to do something, there's a determination there, but not necessarily any accountability. This is why every gym in the world - and I can confidently say in the world because I saw it happen in South Africa - is packed in January and then slowly the numbers die down as the year progresses. When you are responsible for something, you are held accountable for your actions. 

Naturally, after hearing his sermon, I began to ask myself what my New Years responsibilities were. It didn't take long for the Lord to jump into the conversation and reveal several areas in need of change. As a way to hold myself accountable for these, I'm going to share the ones I've discovered with you (I'm sure more will be revealed as the days and weeks pass by).

#1 - procrastination
I am the world's worst procrastinator! In little things and in big things! I think the best worst story I have concerning procrastination occurred when I was a seminary student. It was my first semester and I was asked to go on a mission trip to Haiti. However, this trip fell during a school-week, so I had to get all of my schoolwork done ahead of time. Do you see where this would be an issue for a procrastinator?! One project that was due the week I was going to be gone was a 25-page paper for one of my missions classes. I was leaving on a Sunday, thus the paper needed to be finished Saturday night. When did I begin the paper?! Saturday morning! That's right...the day of! 13 hours later (most of that spent in the library) my paper was done and I was ready to begin packing for my trip.

Now that I'm a homemaker and mother, I find that my procrastination involves housework and mommy duties, mostly. It wasn't that big of a deal with just one child, but now that there's a newborn in the mix, I realized very quickly that old habits were going to have to pass away. Now, I certainly don't have it all figured out yet, but I feel like I've made some headway - baby steps, friends! My new motto is if I see or think of something that needs doing, I'm going to do it right then instead of saying, "oh, I can do that later." So far this thinking (and doing) has relieved some unneeded stress. I want to be the best wife and mother I can be, which means I have to work hard! This is my first responsibility this year...and in the years to come.

#2 - positive thinking
No, I'm not reading a Joel O'steen book (no offense if you're an O'steen fan - I am not). Unfortunately, I can be a very negative person, and this causes stress in my own brain and in my relationship with others (namely my husband who is SUPER positive!). I go to a Bible study on Thursday mornings called Community Bible Study. Right now we're studying the book of Colossians, and part of the commentary for the first week (which happened to be the first week of the new year) talked about "eliminating the negative by accentuating the positive." I'm definitely going to try and make this a theme in my life this year. I'm tired of immediately finding the negative in a situation or person. When I accepted Christ, I became a new creation. I am to put off the old self and put on the new (Colossians 3). Part of that old self is negative thinking. If I continue to think negatively, then I am not living the victorious life available to me in Christ Jesus. I am choosing to live a defeated life - one that not only affects me, but others around me as well. So, another responsibility for me this year is to be thankful in all circumstances - even when Ella's crying, Riley's whining and dinner is supposed to be ready in 20 minutes. :) 

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving." 
Colossians 2:6-7 

#3 - taking care of my temple
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Plain and simple, now that I'm no longer pregnant and can exercise regularly again, I need to do it! Now, I'm not one of those people that loves exercising. I would rather eat toothpaste than run (not sure where eating toothpaste came from - just the first thing that popped into my head!). But, I've found that I LOVE Zumba, and there just happens to be a class offered in our church gym every Tuesday and Thursday nights. Last Friday I was cleared by my doctor to exercise again, so this past Tuesday I was at Zumba, and it felt so good! I'm going again tonight. The class is at 5:30, so it's going to take effort to continue going each week since that's right in the middle of dinner prep time. But, if I don't procrastinate, think positively, and start dinner early, I can do it! :) 
And those, my friends, are my New Years responsibilities...so far. Like I said, the Lord is constantly refining me and showing me areas that are in need of change. I'm sure more responsibilities will be added in the coming weeks, but for now, I'm focusing on these three. Feel free to hold me accountable and ask how I'm doing with each one!

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