I love fresh starts.? Maybe that is why one of my favorite times of year is the beginning. ?It feels like the slate has been wiped clean and it is time to start over. ?It is a time of reflection and anticipation. ?Reflection on what has passed, and anticipation for what lies ahead. ?It is a time filled with potential.
Last year may have been great, but?this year can be better.?? This year is an open book filled with blank pages that I am about to fill.
I can eat better. ?Sleep more. ?Workout more frequently. ?Pray more. Spend more time with the kids. ?Plan more date nights. There are so many possibilities. ?All for the better.
That is how I felt?on the morning of January 1st. ?Giddy with excitement about another year bursting with opportunity.
So long 2015….Look out 2016….Here I come! ?My Wonder Woman cape is on! ?Hold on tight! ?I am flying toward all of that potential at break-neck speed.
But then reality hits. ?The cape is removed. ?I am still me. ?Just because the calendar year changed, doesn’t really mean that I have changed. ? It isn’t about the calendar. ?I may have more excitement on January 1st for what lies ahead, but if I am not intentional then that excitement will eventually fade. ?If I am not committed to making these changes, then the end?of this year will look no different than the end of last year.
I can have one?hundred goals, but if I am not committed to the necessary work that precipitates change than I am just making resolutions for resolutions sake.
Change takes more than desire. ?It takes planning. ?It takes?commitment. ?It takes perseverance.
Before the holidays, we had our kitchen, and living room, painted. ?I feel like I have a pretty clean house. ?Or so I thought. ?Until that morning. ?What I discovered, on the day that the painter arrived, is that my house may look?sparkly on the surface, but when you move items around?you get an entirely different view.
Dust. Dust. And more dust.
I was appalled. ?My seemingly clean house was actually filthy. The parts of the objects that were out of my view had been completely neglected. ?The side that was seen was unblemished. ?The side that was unseen was a mess.
Something hit me when I saw all of that grime, other than the fact that I really needed to clean my house. ?I realized in that moment that it is easy to focus on what people see. ?Making the surface appear sparkly isn’t the hard part. ?The hard part is moving things around?and cleaning all of the parts that people don’t necessarily see. That takes extra time and commitment. ?For me, it is the same with my goals. ?If I want to make changes that will stick, then I need to focus on the unseen parts. ?I need to work from the inside out. ?I need to change the way that I think, and that will ultimately affect the way that I operate.
This year, I have set a goal to donate something every week. ?Seems lofty. ?I know. ?But, not impossible. ?I have set one big goal, not one hundred. ?For me, this works better. ?If I set too many goals, than I usually am not as successful.
I have a lot of clutter in my life. ?My sister calls me a stage-one hoarder. ?If you were to open the drawers in my house you would see that I am an extremely organized packrat. ?Why have two coloring books, that the kids rarely use, when you can have 30 saved up for a rainy day? ?Seriously. ?Not exaggerating.
I don’t need this much stuff. ?So, what am I going to do? ?I am going to be making some type of donation. ?Every week. ?52 donations made one at a time. I am going to go from the attic to the basement in small little baby steps.
I will donate more than?just material possessions. ?I will donate my time. ?My money. ?Whatever I feel God is calling me to donate that week.
Part of this isn’t just cleaning out the “stuff.” ?It’s cleaning out the dust in my house, and the dust in my soul. I’m praying that this adventure that I am embarking on in 2016 makes me more generous, more loving, more prayerful, and more aware of the abundance of blessings that God has bestowed upon me, and where He is calling me to share those blessings with others.
Right now my trunk has bags with items destined for Wheeler Mission, our church, and Goodwill. ?My daughter’s backpack has some books for her classroom. ?I’m starting with a bang.
The year ahead is bursting with potential, and I am ready for it. ?I am about to put on my cape.
Look out 2016! ?Here I come!