In my almost 46 years, I made many a New Years Resolution list. And most of the time, the list was cast aside within a week or two. The lists were always super long and completely unrealistic. I should have called them “perfection attainment lists.”
A few years ago, I learned the concept of “imperfect progress” from author and speaker, Lysa TerKeurst. It’s funny how a simple concept can escape us for our whole lives and then, BAM!, it makes perfect sense.
Perfection is no longer my goal. Progress is.
- I want to move forward with a steady pace while accepting the fact that I’ll teeter backward here and there.
- I want to grow strong and deep while acknowledging it will require painful pruning by the hand of my loving Gardener.
- I want to pursue dreams and goals with passion and purpose while agreeing that God has final say over timing and results.
For the past few years, I ditched my resolution lists and chose a focus word for the year. For 2015, my word was CHOOSE. And boy, oh, boy, have I gotten plenty of practice in choosing this year! Choosing joy over despair. Choosing forgiveness over bitterness. Choosing kindness over pettiness. Choosing perseverance over quitting. Choosing truth over lies.
I didn’t choose wisely every time, but having the word “choose” in the back of my mind all year helped me consider my choices with more intention.
For 2016, my word is MINDFUL.
My mind is like a spoiled toddler. Sure, it can behave and even be cute and precious when it wants to. But, most of the time, it runs wild leaving a trail of destruction in its path. It’s time for my mind to grow up and behave itself.
So…how to you teach a toddler to behave? With lots of consistency, repetition and patience. And time-outs…lots of time-outs.
I think the best way to get started on this mindful adventure is to pray about it.
This prayer was a long time coming. My mind’s been running wild for way too long. I dabbled in mind-wrangling in the past, but I gave up too easily. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of hard work to whip my mind into shape. I’m ready, Lord, and I’m trusting You to give me the wisdom, strength and perseverance I need.
Make my mind a treasure chest of truth.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—[help me] think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
Infuse my mind with hunger for Your Word.
“[Put Your] law in [my mind] and write it on [my heart]. [You will be my] God, and [I] will be [Your girl]” (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV).
Neutralize the worries with perfect peace.
Keep my mind in perfect peace as my mind steadfastly trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).
Divulge the next leg of my journey.
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived–the things [You have] prepared for those who love [You…and I love You]” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV).
Fix my thoughts on Your will and Your way.
“[I will] fix [Your Words] in [my heart and mind]” and will post visual reminders of Your truth in my living spaces (Deuteronomy 11:18 NIV). “[Open my mind] so [I can] understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45 NIV).
Undermine the enemy’s assaults.
“[I will] be alert and of sober mind. [My] enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. [I will] resist him, standing firm in the faith,because [I] know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:7-9 NIV).
Light up my life with brilliant hope.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of [Your] great love [I am] not consumed, for [Your] compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV).
Lord, I love how You speak my heart language fluently. You know just what to say to help me “get it” and get over myself. I’m ready to get my mind swept clean of clutter and stacked high with truth. Make me mindful, Lord, by the power of Your name.
Have you picked a word for 2016? I’d love to pray for you! Leave a comment and share your word. Let’s spur on each other toward a tremendous 2016.