I had firmly resolved not to blog about resolutions this January, since plenty of wiser folks were already sharing their thoughts and plans and goals for a New Year.
…So I suppose this post will be a classic example of how good I am at keeping resolutions. :o)
I want to share something I learned from my father. I’m a slower learning. Dad has been keeping this practice – now a habit – daily for as long as I can remember. And finally, this January, I’m taking it to heart.
Every morning when my Dad sits down at his desk, he writes on his daily planner notepad. At the top of the page he writes Psalm 90:12, which says: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Dad always teaches that if we keep an eternal perspective about our life and how fragile and fleeting our time on Earth is, it will help us approach our tasks and lists with more wisdom, prudence, and productivity.
After writing the verse, Dad then prayerfully makes two lists for his day: the “To Do” list, and a second one: “Not To Do.” I’ve heard my father say that one of the hardest things to discern in life is when to say no, even to very good, very worthy, very exciting things.
It’s the second list that my Dad makes in his planner that has been on my heart since Advent.
For my little family, the past year and a half has been insanely busy. The Hubs and I are both active, (at least partly) choleric, type-A personalities, and it’s been easy for us to fill our plates, our calendars, and our to-do lists to the brim. This past fall, I’d say the main culprit of the to-do list insanity has definitely been me.
While being busy and doing a lot of things is very fun, and very good, it comes with a price. My spirit has not been restful, my prayer life is not as strong as it should be, and I’m easily distracted from core responsibilities of my vocation by really fun, really good, other things.
Right before New Years the Hubs and I went out for a date night and discussed our past year – the good, the bad, the things that needed to change, and also made some goals and plans for this new year. I realized after the date night that the things we resolved to look at more closely or change were all good things that we decided we should take off our plate, or decrease in our lives, in order to make room for the core important things to our family.
And I thought of my father, and Psalm 90:12, and the “not to do” list he faithfully prayers over each day.
My only resolution this year is to pray for more guidance on the things I should take off my to-do list – to make myself more open for God’s call to rest, refresh, refocus on what matters most.
On that date night with my husband, I reflected that the happiest season of 2014 for myself and the kids was late spring/early summer. I realized it was at that exact time that I decided to take a 2 month blogging sabbatical, in an effort to spend more time in other areas of life (personal reading, working to de-clutter the house, and spending most of my time outdoors with the kids.) It was such a happy, blessed time here at home.
Blogging is a blessing in my life – I love the chance to memorialize events from our daily life, connect with others, and tap into the wonderful online community that is blogging. But after last year’s blogging break I feel such release and relief from any pressure to grow my numbers, build a bigger or better blog or online presence. I’m content with giving my blog attention when I can, and shutting down the laptop when it’s time to focus on other things. In her book Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequist wrote: “Maybe it was the change in the air, or the other changes under our roof, maybe it was the nature of writing – so much activity in the mind and the heart and the fingers, [that] sometimes you have to close the computer and live in the world again…”
That was my summer, closing the computer and giving myself a chance to refocus. I hope to do that occasionally this year as well, taking needed breaks to pray and think over balance and priorities.
In the meantime, I can’t wait to share more of my heart and our lives with you here on my blog, and I so look forward to connecting with you here this year. If you’re still gearing up and goal setting for 2015, perhaps you’ll write Psalm 90:12 on a little note next to your daily planner, and remember that there are two important lists for a balanced, happy life: the do’s and the don’ts.
Happy New Year!
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
— Psalm 90:12