I usually have the same New Year Resolutions every year. You know. Lose weight, be a better person, change some bad habits, etc.
But once in awhile something happens that recalibrates my brain and sets me off to higher goals. More transcendent goals. Goals that will make a bigger difference in my life and the lives of those around me.
This holiday it happened a few weeks before Christmas, when someone I love very much, had a massive stroke. I thank God that this loved one is pulling through and is expected to recover.
However, during this time I’ve had time to reflect on how finite we are. How temporary life is. And how important it is that we make good choices while we can. So here are some of my New Years Resolutions for 2017.
1. Be there. When something unexpected happens, when someone needs help, we often wonder what to do. Do we show up? Do we wait for an invitation? Do we cancel our plans? Do we ask about it?
I’ve struggled with this before. And frankly, I haven’t always made the right choice. I tend to second guess myself a lot. I want to give people space. But what I have concluded is that it has always been better to be there than to wait.
If it ends up being nothing, if I don’t get to help much, if all I do is lend a hug, it is still better to be there. Show my support. But this is not only true of emergencies, this is true of everyday life.
In 2017 I want to be the one that will be there. I want to put my priorities in order, drop the urgent, the unimportant and even some of the important and be there. Be there for the conversations, be there for the walk, be there for the hugs, and be there for the hard times. Be there.
2. Follow up. The first days at the hospital the waiting room is swarming with loved ones. The day the teenager gets in trouble everyone is on top of it to make sure they are disciplined correctly. The moment someone asks for prayers at church a whole team is rounded up to pray in a circle.
But who makes the phone call to find out how it’s going a month after surgery? Who checks in with the teen two weeks later to just talk and see how they’re doing? Who asks how the marriage is going a month after prayer?
I want to be the person who follows up. I want to be there when everyone else forgets because that’s when it might be needed most. I might have to write it on the calendar and send self notifications. But I want to be in for the long haul. I want to follow up.
3. Step out. Over all, I live a comfortable, predictable and very busy life. It’s hard for me to get out of my routine to do something that may not be familiar to me or might even cause me some discomfort. But I believe I will grow as a person to the degree that I am willing to step out in order to help others.
This year I am already stepping out in a few ways. I’m joining my husband in the real estate business, I’m finally publishing my book and hoping it will help others in their homeschool journey, and I’m hoping to take more missions trips to Latin America.
These are some of the ways I want to step out. Step out of my comfort zone, step out of my routine, step out of my strengths, step out of my security.
So I’m still going to try to lose weight, watch what I eat and change some bad habbits. But I’ll be mostly focusing on those things which will go beyond 2017.
As the year begins and moves forward I know I will have opportunities to carry out these new year resolutions. What about you? How can you be there, follow up and step out?