4 Ways to Radically Change Your Life In the New Year–An Unresolution {31 Days To Holistic Christ-Centered Living, Day #15}

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, Per se.

I have always shied away from them. I am the type of girl who doesn’t make resolutions, those harsh rules that hold me to a schedule or date to start or complete something. I just decide I want to change or accomplish a category of my life, whether it’s January, July, or November, and I do it. I simply make up my mind. If I want to start up a new exercise routine, I transform my desires into reality and make it happen.

But even the most tenacious of us can have all our resolve to falter in the face of a giant mountain called fear of failure.

I think maybe this is the real reason I’m so hesitant, so rebellious about making resolutions–

because I know that I’m not able to carry this weight, once it’s strapped to my back and weighing me down, I know I will trudge and I will break under the pressure.

Strict schedules and rigid routines broke me before. They caused insomnia and anxiety so severe that the quaking damage still haunts me today.

I fear the repeated cycles and mantras will grow the head of a monster and consume me.

I know I like things light. I must have things light to survive.

This seeming confidence of tenacious resolve on my own terms and my own spontaneous schedule is really a masked fear of failure.

I woke up on New Year’s Day knowing that the year splays open before me like a stretching, yawning mile-wide gully, waiting to engulf me, waiting for me to mess up.

I woke up knowing that this year needs to be different, and knowing that changes need to be made and I have no idea how I’m going to do it and I see the failures of the past and I am afraid.

What really calms this wildly beating, rebellious heart down is to have not resolutions, but revolutions, as Ann so cleverly pens and plays with the words.

I just can’t get her words out of my head–revolutions. Not strict, set schedules and regimens that I will commit to, because I will not be able to live up to it. Not hard food and exercise lines because I won’t be able to walk the hard suspended lines without fear of looking down and falling if I have no support to hold me up, no strong muscle sinews grasping my frail wrists.

It is not so much about resolving to do, but more of a revolving, a turning back to God over and over, every time I am in need and every time that change must come and I stand at the brink of eternity and look out and I know in the deepest parts of my soul that the only way that I can carry out His calling to raise and educate four girls, to be a godly wife and daughter and sister and sister to my family in Christ–the only way I can do all of it–all of the things that only matter in eternity–is if I am turning and falling into Him every minute, every hour, every day.

I know that this intentional, habitual clinging, this intentional revolving back to God, is the only way I will survive.

This clinging to Him is the only thing that will absolve the fear and cause me to continue to revolve back to Him in grace over and over again.

So how do I keep revolving back to Him? My Revolutions for this year…
4 Ways To Radically Change A Life:

Cultivating Time With The Father–When I was a young mother, armed with not much correct theology but a passionate heart for Him, I began to cultivate a habit of meeting with Him in the quiet with my bible every morning, and it changed me, my marriage, the way I mothered. It was the one thing missing. The one necessary thing.

Cultivating A Cross-Centered Life Instead of a ME-Centered Life–Keeping His glorious gospel front and center, singing old hymns or choruses of the cross and the blood throughout the day. The suffering and victory of the cross illuminates everything. Everything!! This gives us strength!

Cultivating Humility–In God’s words to us, humility is so many times coupled with action. Serving at home, bending low to wipe mouths and noses and floors, baking a batch of cookies or pumpkin or banana bread and taking it to the neighbors, taking some food to someone down the street who has lost their job or is in need in some way. When humility is found in this type of serving, we find JOY!

Cultivating A Love For Context–whether it’s at home, with all the children, or juggling a job with crabby co-workers and coming home to children, or dealing with barrenness or loss, or failure…whatever the context…God calls us to just hush and be still and know Him and know that He has everything under control and this means that we are already right where He wants us, learning what needs to be learned, doing the next good thing.

This is going to be, hopefully, my last really long piece. I will be writing more in depth about the 4 Ways To Radically Change Your Life in 4 short posts next week. We will see how it goes. I hope you join me?

Join me at Ann’s for more thoughts on habits…

and at Emily’s…

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12 thoughts on “4 Ways to Radically Change Your Life In the New Year–An Unresolution {31 Days To Holistic Christ-Centered Living, Day #15}”

  1. “intentional, habitual clinging” Wow. I loved those words. Your entire post was great, but, those are what will be playing through my head today. Thank you

  2. hi Amanda,

    thank you for your kind words and letting me know it meant something to you…we all need that habitual clinging, dont we? clinging with you, sister…

    blessings in His grace,

    Nacole

  3. Nacole, I can't tell you what an encouragement this was to me — perhaps the most stimulating and life-changing post I've read in a long time. Thank you for that. I, too, always see that horrible mountain of fear and failure whenever I resolve to do something new or to try again at a past failure. But I just LOVE the idea of “cultivating.” It doesn't have the ring of “pass or fail” to it, but rather a process, an on going thing with no time limitations or being graded. Cultivating is doable for me. And its a word I can see, relate to. I'm picking up my hoe, girl, and going for it. Little by little!!!!

  4. thank you, Cora. so good to see you here. im amazed and overjoyed at you! so, so glad that this touched you in that way. im digging with you.

    blessings and love,

    Nacole

  5. emily,

    thanks for stopping by, friend. always a joy to see you! i think you and i think alike on the resolutions thing…must be the free spirit of an artist. im so happy this brings you hope! me too!

    blessings,

    Nacole

  6. Oh you got your response thing working…yeah…First…I love the family picture…it is in the corner in my room…where my Lover, Friend,Savior and I spend our moments…so I will see you daily…I love the picture to see when I pray…
    As always…great post…revolutions…yes…revolutions that come from following the only One who can brings us to those changes that change us forever…not momentary changes…
    Blessings to you sweet lady…

  7. Cultivating a Love for Context – that so affirms what He has been telling me – to find the peace in the now – He's taking care of the details. “Right where He wants us” is sometimes so hard to live in peace – but am trying to own that peace!

    Your post was NOT to0 long – it was a perfect message hugging me right where I am! Wishing yous sweet blessings in the journey through this new year!

  8. Ro,

    i am so overjoyed as always to see you here…to hear that you have my gift i sent in such a sacred place, to pray for me…you are a treasure to me!!! i told my husband about it, and he said, “there ARE still good people in the world!” thanks for the encouraging words–i can always count on you.

    blessings sweet friend,

    Nacole

  9. Maryleigh,

    how can i thank you enough for being a faithful friend and coming here to encourage me? you are so humble and loving. i am so glad this was a “hug” for you–that makes me smile warm–and thanks for letting me know its not too long–because i may not be able to keep up with the short posts several times a week.

    blessings sweet friend,

    Nacole

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