Category Archives: 4 Ways to Radically Change Your Life In the New Year–An unresolution

Cultivating Time With The Father {31 Days to Holistic Christ-Centered Living Day#16}

When I was a very young mother with two small ones, I went through a season of illness. My baby was only months old when postpartum depression took me under with the sucking force of it’s quick sand.

There were so many days that I was a ball of a mess of emotions, I couldn’t get out of bed or get dressed, I got angry with my two small children, I couldn’t handle the baby’s cries, and one time I even put the baby in her crib and walked next door to my mom’s to call my Pastor’s wife for help in a moment of pure desperation.

When Husband came home in the evening, I didn’t know what to do with the hormonal chaos that threatened to overtake me, and I blurted out too many words, making the air thick and heavy and it left us rotting and sagging, everything crumbling under the weight, our footing and our course unsure.

I was a woman lost and empty

I had nothing to give my family because I was void inside. I was depleted, depraved and hopeless on my own.

I was rotting in my own sin-stink, and I self-loathed and I was flailing and sinking in my attempt for a way out, an escape.

And maybe if I just whisper this, or if I shout it, maybe it really is true–

the miraculous wonder of God is that He is mighty to save and He offers a way out for us.

“Now I know that the Lord saves his annointed; he will answer him from holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. O Lord, save the king! May he answer us when we call.” Psalm 20:6-9

My Pastor’s wife encouraged me in everyday liturgy, not in legalistic, religious forms, but in habits that would benefit me, that would bring me closer to God, that would make me whole and bring peace to my family’s days.

I began meeting with God in the quiet every morning with just my bible and my restless heart.

As I came to God in the stillness, He met me there and quieted my soul, melted my resistance, and He hushed my angry, weary, frustrated spirit.

It was this liturgy, this rhythm of habits, a consistent gathering with God that would illuminate my path and cause me to blossom in the rich depths of the soil of His word and worship and prayer.

It was in this revolving back to God, this daily habitual clinging, that I came up out of the depression, out of the mighty quick sand’s grasp, and I was able to give to my family, to be patient with my children and begin teaching them about God, and I found truest joy.

I still huddle quiet with God in the stillness and beauty of softest morning light every day.

And on days that I don’t do so well, I don’t let it beat me into the ground. I just start over the next day and come to Him who is waiting there for me, my Beloved.

“Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Songs 2:13

And I know that it is this beautiful liturgy, this constant turning to God, these revolutions over and over again back to Him that are my lifeline, my true north.

This is part of a series, 4 Ways To Radically Change Your Life In the New Year–An Unresolution…you can go here to read the original post that started it all.

I hope you will join me as I try to explore the rest of the 4 Ways this week…

Join me at Ann’s for more reflections on the practice of habits?…

And at Emily’s…

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…