Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Resolve Not to Make New Year's Resolutions

I resolve not to make New Year's resolutions. Instead, I begin each year asking God to give me a verse He knows I need to master in my life. Just one verse a year--I figure I can resolve to do that. Right? Not always.

God gave me my first verse years ago: "Fix your eyes on Jesus..." (Hebrews 12:2) What a great scripture. So good, that I've kept it as my life verse. I can be miserable fixing my eyes on people who disappoint and circumstances that frustrate. But Jesus, well, He's the Man. I'll keep my eyes fixed on Him.

Another year God gave me "Practice hospitality." (Romans 12:13) I'm not great at inviting everyone in the world into my home for a gourmet meal with napkin rings and fresh flowers from my garden. Martha Stewart I am not. So, I welcomed this verse because I really did need to practice my hospitality. God surprised me though. That year I broke my foot, was in a cast for three months, and watched as my amazing church practiced their hospitality on me by descending on my home each night for ninety days with a fresh cooked meal. I learned then that hospitality begins with the word, "hospital" and while I recuperated I swallowed my need to give and learned to receive with grace. Jesus gave me a daily illustration of what it means to practice hospitality when a hot meal arrived promptly at 6:00 p.m. What a blessing.

The year He gave me, "Examine yourself"(2 Corinthians 13:5) hurt more than my broken foot. Ouch! I was great at examining others and examining my sweet hubby, but not at examining myself. "Examine your spouse" is not in the Bible, by the way. I looked. Shame on me, I needed so much work in this area that "Examine yourself" was the scripture God gave me year after year after year after year. I finally stopped asking Him for a verse and I just kept examining myself.

I don't know if God gave up on me or figured I needed to move forward, but on January 1, 2010 He gave me a new verse. It is January 6. I've given God five days to change His mind, but He keeps pressing me with the same thought. Oh dear, here I go. God's project for me this year is to "...be holy...." (Hebrews 12:14). Whoa, I'm thrilled and a bit frightened at what God wants to teach me over the next months. I hope to blog about my quest for holiness and I welcome your comments, your keeping me accountable, and your teaching me how I can better live a holy life. Of course, I would love your companionship on this holiness journey. Come on along!

So, if you want a splash of serenity in your New Year, I suggest you ditch the resolutions and ask God how He wants to transform you over the next 12 months. I'm in for the challenge. Are you?

A Blessed and Holy New Year,



  1. You are one brave woman, Elaine. If I asked God for a verse, He'd probably give me, "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger." Yikes.

    As far as I've learned, "holy" means set apart, for a special purpose, like those napkin rings and good china you mentioned. We are princes and princesses of the King of the Universe. He empowers us to take His word to the nations and live like His sons and daughters. Hold your head up high and respect who you are in Him. But treat others with kindness befitting a princess.

    Didn't mean to preach there.

    Audience of ONE

  2. Preach to me! I love it, Jen. You are so right. When my children were little and we lived on a Pastor's salary, my children asked, "Mommy, are we poor?" I answered, "Are you kidding, your Father is the King!" I love being His Princess!


I would love hearing from you! Thanks for sharing!