2019 Resolutions…

Dear Friends,

2019 has begun

Last night, I was sitting with a group of our Junior High boys talking about setting a word or intention for the year, and they were being normally goofy and yet profound at the same time. Sometimes I don’t think they know they are profound.

One of them said his phrase was going to be, “Don’t skip on a step,” which he said his math teacher is always saying, but he thought perhaps it could apply to his whole year. You think?

Another young man chose the symbol of a Gingerbread man and the desire to have joy and gratefulness mark his life.

Another chose “Action,” or as he said, “non-procrastination” as his desire. Another chose “practice” as his word, reminding himself that all of life, to which we added spiritual life, takes practice.

A new year takes a set of the dial, like setting the guidance system of a plane. For me, this new year is set by the word “wholehearted.”

“What?” said the boy next to me at the table, “are you half-hearted?”

“Well, I can be. I can engage in something without being all in. Like you can do as well, I imagine. I want to dig deeply this year into what it means to walk in gratitude, become joyful, and have the courage that I believe is part of being wholehearted.”

This word wholehearted is connected, for me, also to some rules which I am choosing to live by this year.

They fall under some simply phrases:

No comparisons.

It seems that this is the best and easiest way to not be “all in” to any situation. So I am calling a halt to any and all comparing of myself to another. This has been a regular pattern of mine for too long. So, 2019, my 60th year, it is about time to say NO!

No Assumptions.

Assumptions — assuming I know what is best for someone. I want to walk without thinking I have the answers found in assumptions.

No shoulds.

I find that word linked to a parental voice in my own head but also linked to shame in my life. I tend to “should” others and myself at time, when to refuse to do so would be a walk in more grace and more gratefulness.

No Advice.

The hardest thing sometimes not to give, but the thing most readily refused when not requested. So, I’m saying “no” to giving advice unless it is specifically sought out. And even then, often, people say they want advice but don’t really for they don’t take it. So, I’m calling a halt on advice.

Part of my wholehearted practice then is linked to these other ways of digging deeply into myself and into relationships:

  1. Pray
  2. Ask Questions
  3. Be Curious
  4. Be Grateful
Written by a 6 yo in church – phonetic spelling!

Hopefully, these will move me closer to the goal I have of becoming more like Jesus, whom I follow as the Spirit works within me. I know that it is His action within me that changes me. And hopefully, as you take steps to follow this New Year, you too will grow in the likeness of Jesus. There’s nobody wholehearted like Him.

2019 painting in acrylic by Karen Shimer

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