Sustain Habits with Hope

New Year Sunrise

It’s that time of year.

Making goals, approaching the new year with hope- or perhaps dread…thinking about past failures- promises made, goals set, things hoped for and never achieved.

Sometimes it can be easy to wander into “why bother” land.

In our culture that measures everything by achievement- by success or failure- it is easy to forget that our God does not see as we see.

He longs for our hearts to be submitted to Him- to long after things that please him.

Whether we are considered successful in the eyes of the world matters not at all.

Instead, we should focus on how we are living our journey.

How do you respond when you have a bad day?

Do you throw in the towel and give up?

I admit, I am a very all or nothing personality.  I am a recovering perfectionist- only by God’s grace.  He has shown me just how much I want to depend on myself and therefore receive all the credit.

The great mystery and wonder of submitting ourselves to him lies in the freedom it gives.  If good happens- we glorify God for we know it is in his strength that we triumph.  If we fail, we run to our strong tower, seeking forgiveness and renewed hope to try again.

We endure.

We press on.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

There will be setbacks.

Consider how you will respond to them.

Be ready.

Stand strong in your resolutions to create new habits.

Take it one day at a time.

Don’t focus too much on your failures- learn from your mistakes and speak optimism and hope to yourself.

Take an honest self inventory. 

What are your weaknesses?  How can you solicit help to discipline yourself as you seek to create new habits?  What roadblocks do you foresee and how will you handle them?

This year is the first time in a long time when I have been making spending daily time with God a priority.

I would have said that before, but it is different now.

I don’t want to face the day without Him.

I need to hear Him speak truth to me- to help me discern the truth from the lies.

To remind me about what’s truly important.

I get distracted by life’s white noise.

One of the questions I keep asking myself- what will I regret not doing?  At the end of my life, when I look back- what will I most wish I would have done?

I find myself thinking things like- spend time with my children, take family camping trips, visiting with old friends and family, taking time to read the Bible together and pray together as a family- teaching my children about God and how precious they are in His sight- helping them to learn how to seek God in prayer and through His Word to help them make decisions that bring honor and glory to God’s name and testify to His Lordship in their lives.

It comes down to people, to investing and giving sacrificially of myself without expecting anything in return.

Serving in Love.

And as an at home Mom, my hope for this new year is that I let go of the guilt for taking time for things that give me pleasure.

I want to work on being honest about my needs too- when I need to take a morning and go to the monastery to be alone with the Lord, I know I need to learn to ask- and when my husband says yes- to not feel guilty and worry about them needing me the whole time I am gone.  But to take that time to focus on God and where he’s leading me- to be sure that I am being obedient to His will for my life.

I pray that this year will be full of eternal blessings.  That we will see God’s hand in our lives and experience a new level of hope and trust in our Savior and Lord.

That we will find that unshakeable rest that only He offers and that the worldly pursuits would continue to dim in the light of his glory.

That our life’s priorities and habits would reflect an eternal perspective and not an earthly one.  I am still trying to discover what that fully means- how to untangle myself from this world’s pressures and shoulds and musts.

O Lord, I pray that we might we touch the lives of others as we seek to love and serve you, our Savior.  That your love would pour out and spill over in our lives- saturating everyone around us.  We need you Lord, as we fight the urgings of our flesh and the pressures of this world- we feel a tug of war going in inside of us.  Give us strength to obey- when we long in our hearts to please and trust you.  When we fail Lord, help us not to hide but to come to you, humbly seeking forgiveness and accepting your discipline.  How can we grasp the heightsor depths of your love for us, or your longing for us to be all that you have made us to be?  To run unhampered by the burden of sin and see forward to eternity- O God my heart hopes for it- my spirit prays for a deeper walk with you.  That my roots would be held fast in you- trusting you for fruit in your righteous and perfect time.  We lay this year at your feet- all other things may fail- but please O gracious and loving God, let your name be glorified through my life- however you choose that to be- whatever may come- Be glorified over all the earth.  In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.




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