Reflection and Resolution

I used to be one of those people who thought New Year resolutions a waste of time but studies have shown that almost 50% of people who set resolutions are still making positive changes six months down the track. There’s hope for me yet!

It seems appropriate before setting goals for the New Year to look back on the old year and see how I did with the goals I set twelve months ago. Did I make it to the six month mark? Do I need to be more realistic? Or do I just need to be more motivated/determined/persistent?

Faith. It seems that what I thought I needed to focus on this past year is different to what God wanted me to focus on. I had identified what I thought were the obvious lacks in my faith but God showed me there were things I hadn’t even dreamed about that I needed to learn. Some I had already learnt in the past but this time God took me to a deeper level. So what did I learn? I learnt that God’s grace is sufficient; I learnt that He is faithful and will take care of me; I learnt that His ways are not my ways; I learnt that He is my refuge and strength; I learnt to depend on Him more fully; I learnt that He will let me walk through the fire but will not allow me to be burnt; I learnt that He has called me by name and I am precious in His sight; and I learnt to trust Him more even when circumstances and feelings gave me what I thought good reason to doubt.

So what are my goals for 2011? I’m almost too scared to set goals in this area but perhaps I could set this one (or is it two?): to have a teachable and willing spirit.

Family. Our family made the adjustment to a smaller household and welcomed a new DIL into the family. We celebrated at the news that our family will expand by two in the coming year. We enjoyed times together and several celebrations. I saw my sons step up into their father’s shoes when he was away – or, as with Son#5, when we were away from home – and I was proud of them (perhaps we didn’t do so badly at parenting after all).

This year I want to spend more time with my family and doing for my family and of course welcome these two new beautiful grandbabies into our family. Somehow I don’t think that last one is going to be too hard!

Pastimes. I finished the quilt for Son#2 and his new bride and haven’t looked at another patchwork project since then (despite a few unfinished quilts on the go). I learnt to knit socks and became quite addicted. I managed to move on from the plateau I had hit with my flute and can now play the second octave - finally!

Goals? To finish a cardigan that I’m knitting for the grandbaby due this month (it’s so cute!); to knit more socks; to finish my cross stitch of the church DH and I were married in; to start collecting fabrics for another quilt; to practice the flute (which I haven’t touched since before Christmas); to overcome my nervousness about playing the flute in public and join one of the music groups at church for their practice times (even if I'm not ready to play in church yet); and maybe, just maybe, finish off an unfinished quilt or two.

Writing. I finished my third novel but learnt that my publisher wasn’t accepting fiction MS until June 2011. How disappointing that was. I found another publisher who showed some interest and made contact with an editor with whom I hope soon to begin working.

In 2011 I need to make more of an effort to make time for writing especially over these holidays. I want to work on at least one other novel. I want to edit MS#2 and MS#3. As for this blog which has been an opportunity to write, I’m not yet sure whether to keep it going or not. It seems to be a form of narcissism and hardly the source of edifying others in the Body of Christ that I hoped it might become.

Feminine Beauty. I didn’t lose weight. In fact, I put it on. I compared myself far too often to other women – and came up wanting. I doubt I slept more, laughed more or loved more. In fact, my inner well being was seriously threatened by the struggle I had with depression. But I think I grew in strength and courage – as hard as that was at times. I learned to look at others and see that they were hurting too. I realised that I’m not alone – regardless of how it feels at times.

Weight loss will not be a part of my resolutions for this new year even though I would love to be slim again. Instead, I will work on becoming healthier – whatever that looks like for me.

With only 4”/10cm to go until I reach classic length, I’m going to be working toward that end, doing everything I can to baby my ends and keep them healthy. I don’t know if I’ll stay there but for once in my life I’d like to know what it’s like to have hair brushing the top of my thighs. I’ve long admired that length on other women – now I’d like to see if I can attain it for myself.

Perhaps I will learn that there is more to life than a dress size and that my worth isn't dependent on the numbers on a scale. Perhaps too I will smile more since I’ve often been told that it’s my best feature and why let something good go to waste?

So overall, it looks as if I accomplished little and failed at much. But sometimes life is like that. What will 2011 bring?


SchnauzerMom said…
I don't remember last year's resolutions so I guess that means I didn't accomplish them. Oh well. Yours sound very good and worthwhile.
busymomof10 said…
This was a beautiful post. Very Real. Life rarely happens the way we think it will, and we often learn lessons we weren't anticipating! Thanks for sharing. And I vote for keeping your blog open! I enjoy reading about your life!
Ohtawen said…
I love this post. Jules, you described your hopes and goals so beautifully. I feel moved, you know. I've never been the one to make New year resolutions, but I've always pondered upon things I would like to achieve. I always remind myself though, of that "Thy will be done". Don't worry, Jules - whatever the outcome of your resolutions, it will be good and have sense. The Lord's decisions are always the best ones :)
winterwren said…

I hope you keep your blog open.

Just so you know.

Why do you want to close it? Do you enjoy writing it? Because I think the rest of us love reading it. I have never thought it seemed at all narcissistic. Obviously you know your own struggles best, but even so, if we had to wait until our motives were 100% perfect, no one would accomplish anything (at least I wouldn't.)

As far as being edifying, you have written about many important topics and encouraged honest discussion (as well as introducing me to the New King James Version translations of the Psalms, which I think are more poetic.) But just as important, your blog is very sweet and cozy--it is comforting in the same way something like Little House on the Prairie is comforting. Your stories--like those about your boys or the Most Adorable Granddaughters--show the overarching beauty in the truly significant but everyday things, such as family. Life is messy, busy, and hard, and it is easy to forget how meaningful it is while we are living it. Your blog is a good reminder to pay attention to what is important. Don't underestimate the value of that!

Sorry for rambling. I wanted to comment sooner, but have had a lot going on. Best of luck with your resolutions.
Jules said…
Well, I think I might keep this blog open for a little while longer. I'd pretty much made up my mind to do so when DH read it and made a comment that convinced me not to give up.

Busymomof10, my life seems to boring in comparison with yours, but I'm honoured that you enjoy reading about it. Winterwren, your words really touched me and reminded me that one of the reaons I started this blog was to remind me of what's important. And thank you for the sweet and touching comparison. Ohtawen and SchnazuerMom, I'm just blessed to have wonderful readers such as yourselves. I appreciate you all so much.

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