Well, being a semi-good blogger I have posted resolutions in years past. But being a normal person (read: lazy, busy with life, unmotivated) I never completed my list. And honestly, rarely even got half way on many of them.
So this year, with everything going on, I knew there was no way I was even going to pretend to come up with a list of resolutions. My main goal for this year is simple: just get through it.
A lot of good bloggers, in addition to posting their resolutions, will also come up with a word for the year. They pray to God asking him to give them a word for the year and then they use the word to guide them through the year.
Again, I wasn't planning on doing even this because, well, my plan for the year is to just get through it.
And honestly, just getting through it seems like a big goal for me this year. Not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but in addition to all that we are facing with Rebecca this year, Dan's mom has been diagnosed with leukemia. It will not be treated because of her age and her Alzheimer's. She has been given between 2 - 6 months to live. Dan's work is crazy busy right now and he's always stressed out about that. Peter and Sarah are both tired of school and homework and are ready for summer vacation. And, not sure if you've checked the calendar or not, but it is still 5 months away.
So at this point, just get through it seems like a pretty tall order.
But after reading post after post with other peoples words, I thought, perhaps I should just ask God for a word and see what happens. So, for several days, I prayed that God would give me a word to lead me through this year.
Nothing happened. No word dropped down from the sky in flashing lights. No one sent me an email that contained only one ward in bold print. No word just mysteriously popped into my mind with angelic singing in the back ground.
So I went on my way. Trudging through yet another day, just trying to get through it.
But then, a couple of days ago, as I was praying for my kids and my husband from my Stormie Omartian books (The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent), I realized it had been a very long time since I prayer for myself from her The Power of a Praying Woman book. So I picked up mycopy and began praying some of the prayers for myself. And several of the prayers that I prayed and Bible verses referenced contained the word joy. (I scoffed a little knowing that I had no joy. None!)
I was reading my daily devotion from Jesus Calling right after praying and the word peace was prevalent. (I scoffed again knowing that I had no peace. None!)
And then throughout the next couple of days the words Peace and Joy continued to float through my mind.
And I realized. God had given me not one word but two!
So, I am marching bravely into the new year knowing that with God by my side, I can make it through all of these trials. And not only just get through them, I can have Peace and Joy in the process.
And here is how I plan to have both peace and joy in the midst of what promises to most likely be one of the most painful years we have experienced as a family.
1. I will thank him for my problems. I will thank him for my trials. I will thank him for everything and I will let him take control. I will let his plan unfold.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7
2. I will not continue to obsess over my problems and my worries and my fears. I will give them to God and trust that he will take care of them.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:6-7
3. I will continue to write my 1000 Gifts List even on days I don't feel like trying to find something to be thankful for. Some days it can feel like a chore to find something to be thankful for but once you start looking for all the small things God sends you each day, you will realize that even in stress and strife, there is beauty, love, and yes, joy and peace. Some days for me it's a sunflower, a cheeseburger, and a hug from my kid. Other days it's a job offer, a refund check and a great report card. The little gifts combined with the big gifts, make a truly beautiful life even in the midst of sorrow and pain.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I guess in a nutshell, my plan for joy and peace in a year where I will be struggling just to get through is to lay my worries before God, thank God, and trust in God. And really, isn't that what he wants from each one of us everyday?
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13