Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A little reflection ...
I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions. I don't think it's a bad thing to look at your past year and look ahead to your future. However, as I said two years ago: "During the first few days of every year it seems that I read a magazine article, watch a television commercial or view a news program that starts off with the phrase, "New Year—New You." These pieces always suggest that the new year is the perfect time to start again, to lose all the weight we ever gained, to find the love of our life, to get a new hairdo, to get rid of the old and embrace the new, and to change into something better than what we were before.
Give me a break.
I have to confess, there is something about those words, "New Year—New You," that just doesn't sit right with me... Why is new better? The way I see it you are already wonderful, unique, a work of art, a one of a kind..."
So, this is the obligatory things I learned in 09 post. So here they are, hopefully, sort of plain and simple (although little I write ever is):
1. It's easy to forget in the midst of struggle, but God is a heavenly father who wants the best for his kids. Difficult times get our attention and it's my belief that God uses them to refine us, strengthen us and help us grow.
2. Love must be sincere. See Romans 12: 9-18 for more detail.
3. I have a tremendous amount of love in my life. It's up to me to use it. Satan will spend all kinds of energy trying to convince me that I am unimportant, uninteresting, undesirable, unworthy, unwanted, unattractive, unpopular, unlikable, and unwelcome. But, as a daughter of the king I've got to find away to remember all the people he's put in my life who love me so dearly, and more importantly His great redeeming love- that is far and wide and high and deep.
4. As I mentioned in a previous post, Learning to be a grown up is mostly about learning to love people.
5. Man looks at outward appearance, God cares about the heart. At some point I've got to stop measuring how good I am by how many compliments I get, how many people mention @msw04c in their tweets, how many fb friends I have, or pounds I lose and start looking to the only place Good can come from. Again, see my post about beauty products and my summer in New Orleans for more on the issue.
6. Most of the time, I'm not sure what I should be doing or what direction I should be heading. Every step I make I second guess myself a bit. However, in all my moments of self-doubt and questioning my prayer will forever be that of Moses in psalm 90:"May the Lord make us sure of his steadfast love, and may He bless the work of our hands. Yes, bless the work of our hands."
7. I hate it when people aren't direct in their relationships. If you are a boy and you like a girl, ask her on a date already. If someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, just say "I don't want to answer that" or "I don't want to gossip." If you did something wrong and you feel bad, just call them and apologize. Quit all this text messaging, game playing nonsense. Most people aren't very good at it to begin with, and it's just plain annoying. Be loving, be appropriate, but BE HONEST. I can't tell you how many friendships/relationships I've seen fall apart or become terribly dysfunctional because people can't just tell the truth.
8. God puts dreams in our hearts, so it's human nature to get frustrated when things don't happen according to plan. But, we only see in part. We don't know the whole story just yet and we have to be mindful of the bigger picture of what God might be doing. Thankfully, Romans 8:28 doesn't have conditions: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." This year, Hollygrove Church opened its doors to reach out to a neighborhood in darkness, Mid-City Ministries finally incorporated and became an official 501 c 3 nonprofit opening the doors for us to serve more children and adults than ever before, and around 50 Nepali Refugees have come to learn English and are beginning to understand the love of Jesus at Southern Hills. I could go on about the big, seemingly impossible things God does with people you wouldn't expect, but I'll leave it at a simple "thank you Lord for your faithfulness."
9. "Everything was created by him and for him. Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together." Colossians1:16-17 aka I was created by Him and for Him. Before I was created, He was already there. He holds ME together. When I feel myself starting to fall apart it's usually because I've lost sight of that.
Hope you learned a lot in 2009!