TRADITIONS...What makes you come alive?

TRADITIONS...To make New Years Resolutions or to Not make New Years Resolutions! That is the question!

The holiday season always tends to be a reflective time for me. I cannot help but think about the past year and dream, plan and wonder about the year to come.  I'm not big on New Year's resolutions because they just seem like a chore.  How often do people really accomplish them and how guilty do they feel when all enthusiasm is lost by January 3rd!?!  However, I am a very goal oriented person. I tend to feel more balanced in life when I have a sense of purpose and a few goals in mind. But what are my goals and what is my purpose?  

Right now, I would say that my purpose is to serve God, love my husband and take care of my kids...and to be kind & loving to people around me.  But I have to be honest for a minute here.  While it is not all bad and I love being home with my kids, life as a stay at home mom (even with its rewards) can be tough. It is physically and emotionally taxing and unceasingly monotonous. For a person who loves change and spontaneity it is rough at times. I do not thrive on routine...I dread it! Also, I have a few health problems that tend to make life with two young kids difficult at best (but that is a whole different story for another day).  I am often plagued by self doubt and fears about how to raise our kids & how to love my husband well.  Despite my husband's wonderful and regular appreciation I often question if I am ever going to get it all right.  When I get stuck in all this stuff I worry about how to set my goals and make time for my dreams. It can all just seem so overwhelming and messy.  And then...every so often...I am once again struck by one of my favorite quotes: 

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; 
ask yourself what makes you come alive.  
And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
- Howard Thurman

Isn't that the truth? Really...Isn't that a great quote? So what makes me come alive?  Being creative, being with people, having fun, learning about God, singing, traveling, being in nature, drinking coffee, reading a good book occasionally and even cooking from time to time (the cooking one is always a blessing and a curse because you have to clean up and I HATE doing dishes...HATE....but where was I?)  Oh Yeah...so when I do the things I love, I usually feel "filled up" and the fun & joyful side of me comes out.  I am realizing that I need to regularly find the time to focus on doing things that make me feel "alive" - so that I don't feel so bogged down in my day to day tasks. And not just for me...but hopefully I can help others around me feel more alive in turn!

I have seen this reality take shape in the past year and a half  as I set out to lose the dreaded "baby weight" of two kids. Through the help of Weight Watchers not only did I lose the weight I intended to lose...but I also have kept it off for the past several months now! It has felt so great to stick with something difficult and see it through and maintain it! There were times I wanted to give up but with my goals in mind I just had to keep going. I will talk more about my weight loss journey some other time but my point is that it helps to remember how great it feels to accomplish goals. 

Along those lines I am learning that what I am doing as a wife and mommy has dignity and purpose if I am doing it for the right reasons! I am learning to set goals and do the things that make me come alive with the unconditional love of Jesus to help gently remind me of His purposes for me. He gives me new strength every day (and every moment) and honestly I would be lost with out Him. I would be lost. So His love and His strength keep me strong...keep me grounded...give me purpose! God's word tells us that He does have great plans for our lives:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you...to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
So now the question is... "What makes you come alive?" and will you consider writing your goals and hopes for your future rather than trying to live up to last years resolutions!?!  God has great plans for you... and hopes for you!

Maybe this year I can give up the guilt, be free and ask myself what makes me come alive...I hope you will too!

Happy New Year!

xoxo - *laura*

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome !!! Love your brutal honesty!!!