January 1 – Do you “do” Resolutions?

Nope, I don’t either… if I’m going to change something about myself or my life or my focus, etc… I just decide that it’s going to change, and then I change it.  Ok, ok… I admit sometimes that’s harder than other times.  Point is, if I’m going to resolve to do something different I don’t necessarily wait until Jan 1 to do so.  

However, at the end of every year I like to reflect back on the last 12 months… the ups and downs, the lessons learned, the celebrations lived out in those 12 months, the deep soul-struggles, the personal growth… well, a time of reflection occurs quietly in my heart for the last few weeks of the year and from that time usually springs a new focus for the next year.

Sometimes I settle on focusing on a word or phrase.  Sometimes it’s a quote.  Sometimes it’s a Bible verse.  One thing I can say for sure… it’s always transformational.

For 2013 the theme was FORGIVENESS.  And I just realized I never blogged about this…. so, maybe I need to do a recap of that one in a few days.  What do you think?

For 2014, it’s a phrase from a verse in Psalms:  I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”….

Psalm 139:13-14
Psalm 139: 13-14

I’ve been reading a book called A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman.   While I typically prefer the feel of turning actual pages (I’m kind of “old school” that way), I keep this one on my tablet so I can take it with me…  and I’ll read another chapter here or there and then take a while to “chew on it”.

The topic is thought-provoking… and somewhat heavy.  Personally challenging, to say the least.  So I bite off a chapter at a time and let it sit with me for a while before picking it back up and “taking another bite”.  I’ll share a brief description from Amazon.com:  “A Million Little Ways uncovers the creative, personal imprint of God on every individual. It invites the discouraged parent, the bored Christian, the exhausted executive to look at their lives differently by approaching their critics, their jobs, and the kids around their table the same way an artist approaches the canvas–with wonder, bravery, and hope. ”

I tell you this to explain that one of the themes that runs through the book is this:  Each of us were created to be image bearers of Christ.

We all look different on the outside, we were all created for the same purpose:  to praise Him.  We were created to glorify His kingdom.  We were made to leave a mark on this earth that no one else could.  We are unique in His creation.

But more importantly, we are perfect… just as we are… as flawed as we are … we are perfect because we were created by a perfect God.  Even in our sin and our feelings of inadequacy, and our downright rebellious/lame/immature actions… God loves us and accepts us just the way we are.  We don’t have to strive to be perfect (especially because we’re typically trying to meet the standards of the earthly definition of “perfect”).  He loves us just the way we are.

When I’m feeling inadequate, when I’m feeling two inches tall, when the tape recorder is going off in my head (saying, ‘there you go again!’, ‘why can’t you ever get that right?!’ or ‘will you ever fix that about yourself?!’) I remind myself (by playing a different recorded message on the tape player in my head) … Lori, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  

God didn’t make any mistakes when He made us.  Period.

This year I want to change the “recordings” in my head that try to tell me differently from time to time (this topic will have another blog post soon).  With God’s help, and only God’s help, I know that will happen.

My renewed focus, and the theme for 2014 is Psalm 139 <— click here to read it!

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