Paul expresses it so perfectly in Romans 7:15-20...I am using the Message translation.."I'm full of myself -after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary! But I need something more! For I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize I don't have what it takes. I can will it but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but then I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time." Oh boy! Does this describe you? It certainly describes me!
So, it is here that once again - I look forward to a New Year, a fresh new calender - with no marks on it, no scribbles, no mistakes yet. And I have this amazing opportunity to FINALLY GET IT RIGHT!
Oh wait ...see above, Merit - I won't get it right! It's impossible! With every fiber of my being - I alone cannot get it right!
Yet I set these goals for myself today:
- I will be the best mom I can be - teaching my girls that they can be strong AND loving and caring all at the same time.
- I will strive to be a good and effective teacher at my school for the rest of the year -understanding how I can make a difference in the lives of my students right now.
- I will work hard to do my best in graduate school - managing my time more effectively as best I can - knowing full well this is a challenge for me.
- I will strive to keep balance in my relationships - the new ones and the old ones - allowing them to grow and mature in a healthy way.
- I will work to clean out the clutter that drags me down at home - but give myself some grace to know that it isn't the most important thing I need to focus on.
It all sounds great doesn't it? No problem - I've been called Super Mom more than once in the past 4 months. But that's not who I am striving to be...remember - See above verse from Paul! Sounds admirable and noble and inspiring and blah, blah, blah! I CAN'T DO IT! So what's the point?
The point is this...I CAN do it! If I keep my eye on the prize - the Prize that sets things right, that in this life of contradictions - where I want to do good , be good and live good - offers me the strength and the hope to achieve the victory. It is only through my devotion and focus on the Prize of Jesus Christ that I can even begin to hope to achieve the very least of my dreams and goals. Yet He has even bigger and better plans for me that I understand!
The verse that follows me around...2 Corinthians 12:9..."My grace is enough; it;s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness."(Message again - my favorite!) This, to me at least, says it all. You see that precious list above - those are all the things that I am really weak in...yet - with the strength I have through my relationship with Christ and His abundant grace for when I totally mess up on a daily basis - I have hope! I have the hope that:
- I will be a positive influence in my daughters' lives even in the times I make mistakes...by admitting them.
- I will survive the school year without losing my mind(just being honest here) because I feel called into another vocation that hasn't opened up for me yet AND still have a positive influence on the children I teach.
- I will do the best I can with the time I have to get my work done for school and most importantly enjoy what I am learning even if I don't manage to get an "A" every time!
- I will be okay even when relationships die or change and realize that new ones are always around the corner.
- I will continue to have clutter! There is no getting around this one I am afraid!
So as you look forward to your new year...what are your hopes and dream? What is the source that will sustain you when you break your resolutions, fail at something, are broken hearted, hurt someone you love, see a door close to something you had hoped for? Do you have the source that will offer you peace and abundant love, grace and mercy? I hope you do. Let Christ take over! He can handle it! His mercies are new and shiny every morning!