Do you know what the top New Year’s resolutions are? To lose weight, get organized, and spend less money. Those are the things that we value and most desperately want to change about ourselves. While those are by no means bad things to strive for, I want to aim a little higher, a little deeper, when thinking of what I want to set as a goal for myself.

This year, I’m taking a different approach to making New Year’s resolutions. While I don’t think this is the only time of year resolutions should be made, I do like to participate in making them as a form of tradition. However, in lieu of a laundry list of things I’d like to change about myself, I will be focusing on one big-picture resolution.

In this coming year, I am endeavoring to learn the art of resting.

I want to rest in Christ instead of worrying.

I hope to find rest in the middle of uncertainty, doubt, confusion, pain, darkness, frustration, and chaos.

I will pursue rest in the midst of the fast-paced world I live in, making time for it as if my life depended on it– because it does.

I will rest in the middle of my striving to accomplish all that I want to do– including creating more time for rest.

I resolve to take a more restful approach to life, accepting changes and challenges as they come instead of stubbornly fighting to keep things the same.

I will remind myself to breathe and rest in the security of the things and people in my life who are constant and good in the middle of everything that isn’t.

I will remind myself of my commitment to rest in hopes that it will become more ingrained in my regular rhythms, something that’s a natural component of my daily life.

I will seek ways to incorporate rest into every area of my life, making it a focal point for the next twelve months.

I will refuse to let my focus drift to other things and cause my resolution slip through the cracks, but will bring everything back to resting.

And I will extend more grace to myself when I fall short of my own high standards and impossible ideals, cheering myself on for every step I take in the right direction instead of berating myself for each step backward along the way.

I am excited to see what happens when I make more time to rest in the Lord’s presence. I hope to see my relationship with Him grow deeper and more satisfying, more all-consuming. I hope my relationships with my friends and family are also affected as I become more like Christ. I hope to gain a bigger perspective– one that allows me to relinquish control and ownership, be more flexible and adaptable as life’s curve balls come my way, have a more relaxed approach to life, and appropriately prioritize the different parts of my life.

But no matter what happens as a result of making more time to rest in the Lord, I will cherish every step of the process. This next year will be more about the journey than the destination, as I learn what it means to rest in the daily rhythms of life, embracing opportunities to take breaks from the chaos, find faith in uncertainty, and remain on solid ground as I cling to my Rock if and when things around me get shaky.

What are you resolving to do in the new year?

January 5, 2016

Jessie

I am a twenty-something recent college grad trying to understand what life in the “real world” looks like, even as I trip over my own two feet quite a bit in the process. I am a firm believer in grace, fitness, community, nutrition, simpler living, travel, books, sunshine, kindness, creativity, living life with my people, and pursuing a full life in Christ. I like to spend my time cooking (and then devouring) healthy and delicious food, running outside, curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, and relaxing with friends and family. I'm a program manager for the maintenance side of a display fixture company by day and a writer/cook/reader by night. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Communication, but I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. When I'm not writing, you can find me cooking up some new-to-me recipes in the kitchen (inevitably making a huge mess), watching a show on Netflix (lazy Sundays, anyone?), hanging out with my friends or family (they're the best!), or curled up on the couch with a big book (the best way to unwind, hands down). My idea of a perfect day would include all of those things-- getting in a run in beautiful weather, making a delicious and nutritious series of meals, playing games, watching a movie, or just chatting with friends and/or family, and curling up with a good book and a nice soy candle. And maybe some dark chocolate. Always some dark chocolate. It is life. I am prayerfully seeking to live every day with purpose, intentionally pouring into the things and relationships that mean the most to me. I want to make the world a better place, one day at a time, in whatever little way I can.

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