New Year, New Heart

I love Christmas! The trees, the lights, the decorations - it’s magical. But I’m ready for it to come down as soon as Christmas is over. I’m not a Scrooge; I just love the freshness and “restart” that clearing all the decorations provide. I feel like my living room expands by a couple hundred square feet (it doesn’t) and I see possibilities to redecorate and spruce up my walls once the decorations come down. Something about a new year approaching, even without the hype from social media, means a chance to get things in order once more. All the clutter, messes and broken resolutions can be cleared away! It’s time to start something new! Bring on all the plastic containers. Pin all the organization tips. We got this!! — or do we??

I’m a mediocre resolutions girl. I sometimes choose a “word” for the year, but typically forget said word within a month or less. I stick to my resolutions for about 6 weeks typically. You’d think at that point I’d actually be good since they say 21 days make a habit. By 6 weeks in, I should be acing my resolutions with my hands tied behind my back. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Because of this, for the past few years I’ve set attainable, loosely formed goals that provide grace and room for setbacks. Do I want to lose these last 40 pounds? You bet your whatever I do! Do I want to train to do 5K and 10K races once more? Yeppers. Do I want to de-clutter my home once and for all? Abso-toot-a-lute-ly! Will I feel like a failure if I don’t accomplish any of these goals? No, I won’t. I won’t because these are trivial things when I compare them to my Kingdom goals.

My Kingdom goals include: showing hospitality consistently and without grumbling, speaking with kindness to everyone, and becoming less so that Jesus, through my life, shines bright into this dark world. These are the things of importance. Loving well. Being bold in my faith. Proclaiming my redemption story. Making Jesus the highlight of all I do and say whether in blog form, on social media, or in basic conversations with my kids and friends. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 reminds us that salvation is certain, but the ways we seek to build our lives and reputations will be put to the test when we die. I don’t want all the things I’ve done, the hours and hours of work, the people in my home, the meals I’ve cooked, the mission trips I’ve been on to be burned up because they were done with selfish ambition. I want them to remain standing because it was never about me but always about Jesus.

When 2019 comes and goes, I hope I’ll be 40 pounds lighter and have a few race shirts in my closet. It’d be nice to finally have my laundry and clutter under control. But my ultimate goal for 2019 is to have a new heart. A heart that places Jesus first and foremost always. A heart that craves Scripture and God’s Word. A heart that seeks out the lost, hurting, and least of these and welcomes them to my table. A heart that shares the healing truth of Christ’s salvation once those people are at my table. Won’t you join me? Join me in deciding that in 2019 we will lay aside the earthly goals that weigh us down and trade them in for Kingdom goals!