Why I’m Not Making Resolutions This Year

WNormally, you’ll find me filling up my journal with a list, making a hopeful set of resolutions for the New Year. Let me say at the outset—I like resolutions. I think they’re a good thing. Getting a goal in place, and resolving to complete that goal, can pave a clear road to growth and successful accomplishment. Resolving to “do better” can be a great motivator, even when it requires taking time to learn something new or apply myself to another form of self-discipline.

And let me clarify at the outset, no resolution can be kept on our own. Without the grace of God at work, unless I’m depending on Him for help and crying out in my weakness, I’ll fall on my face in defeat.

But this year, I’m taking a different approach—not better necessarily, just different. In this “new normal,” a list of resolutions seems a bit overwhelming and unrealistic. I’m stepping quietly (but boldly) into this new year with a list, but it’s not a list of resolutions, it’s a list of big requests. 

Perhaps you’d like to join me in these?

Big Requests for 2019:

  1. Father, would You open my ears to really hear what the hurting around me are saying? Would You help me to hear the need, to listen well, to hold my tongue so I can focus on what is being said, rather than rushing in with my thoughts and opinions? Would You, by Your Spirit, open my ears to hear?

2. Father, You’ve told us that kindness is a work of Your Spirit. It is fruit of You deepening the heart in empathy for others. It is the action of meeting needs with a cheerful disposition. I need You to do that work in me. Would You bring forth the fruit of kindness in my life?

3. Father, thank You that shaming people is not Your way. You never use guilt as a bully club or motivator with Your children. Thank You that You’ve told us that there is now “no condemnation” to those who are in Christ. Make me aware of when I’m resorting to the ugly tool of shame. If I’m speaking in a way that conveys condemnation to those I love—make me aware of that and give me the grace to quickly ask their forgiveness. If my facial expressions, or tone of voice, conveys a destructive “shaming message” then, by Your Spirit, cut my heart to the quick—that I might repent of that harmful attitude.

4. Father, deepen my faith. You know I grow weary with the long road we’re walking. Thank You that You’ve shown Yourself faithful and given me no reason to doubt Your loving care for us . . . but on those days when LeRoy’s pain is excruciating, when the future looks dark and precarious, deepen my faith. Remind me, when my memory grows faint, of the wondrous things I’ve seen You do; the incredible evidences of You at work in our lives. Don’t let me forget, that I might glorify You with steadfast faith.

5. Father, would You give me time to write? Would You place obvious holes in my day, spaces of grace I call them, when I can pause long enough to scribble out, or hit out on the keys of my laptop, the many words and messages that You have running through my heart each day? If You bring the holes of time, I will fill them. I will apply my fingers and mind to putting out the content that You are burning in my heart.

6. Father, You know that since I was a young girl, I’ve taught the Word. Sometimes filling in for my junior high Sunday school teacher randomly, but then regularly in high school with a Bible study in our home. That’s been a joy and privilege. But, in this season, that is something that needed to be set aside. You’ve placed on my heart that it is time. It is time to teach again, and I ask You for grace and help. I thank You so much for providing a Godly young teaching assistant that I can rely on when, or if, there are emergencies or situations with LeRoy that prevent me from fulfilling that assignment. Would You provide the study time that’s needed, the wisdom and grace, to convey the truths from Your Word to the women in this weekly study?

7. As I study the book of James, would You open my eyes to all You want me to see; all I need to see and absorb, all that You have for me to learn and receive? Would You use this little book of wisdom to impart wisdom in me?

There are many more prayers on my heart. I’m praying for LeRoy’s healing and recovery, for relief from pain, and for him to be able to return to ministry—that is a continual cry of my heart. Our children and their children, our precious church family, and our many friends . . . (and when you leave a comment letting me know a need in your life, dear reader, you are one that I lift in prayer) all are ones that the Spirit leads us to intercede for, but these requests I’m listing here are specifically my personal prayers for 2019.

What are you boldly asking for this year?

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20–21)

Dear Friends, your prayers are a tangible means of God’s grace in our lives. If you are new to the blog, and unaware of what we’re walking through and how we need your prayers, I hope you’ll read this post from the archives. Even though I’m unable to respond to your comments, I do read every one. For those who share prayer needs, I lift those to the Father and am so grateful to be entrusted with your prayer request. I love to hear from you, so please continue to leave your comments knowing that they matter.

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