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Friday, January 2, 2015

5 Things I Want to Leave in 2014

I've been itching to get to my computer all day. A new year has begun, and I am practically brimming with ideas, goals, and dreams for 2015. I feel like the Energizer Bunny after he's consumed a case of Red Bulls. First item on the agenda: get a dust rag and a can of Pledge and go to town on this blog. I can't believe it's been almost a whole year since I've blogged! And I call myself a writer? What a disgrace!

2014 was a whirlwind of change: we rented out our house and moved into my mom's old house; my boys started school for the first time; real estate went crazy; we said goodbye to many dear friends at church; my sweet, dear, precious Grandma went home to Jesus; and plenty of events in between to keep us on our toes knees. As I reflect on everything that happened, I feel almost breathless. Whew! Sometimes I wish we could ask God to let us off the roller coaster and give us a turn on the placid, predictable Lazy River for a year or two. Wouldn't it be grand if we could be assured that only good things would happen in 2015? Although I have no idea how the New Year will pan out, at least I can determine to abandon those things that hinder me from experiencing God in all His fullness and glory. In order to successfully launch into the New Year, I feel God reminding me that a few things shouldn't accompany me. Here are 5 things that I'm determining to leave buried in the dust of 2014:

(1) Negativity 
I recently deactivated my Facebook account for an extended period of time, and once I logged back in, I was overwhelmed with story after story of more bad news: crime, tragic accidents, sickness, disease, heartache. Although social media can be used for much good, I am starting to realize how much negative information our brains and hearts are forced to process when we participate in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I believe having the whole world at our fingertips is making it harder for us to think positively. I want to do my best to avoid negativity in 2015, even if it means reducing my time on social media.

(2) Love of Possessions
I'm not saying that I'm a hoarder… but I do need to remind myself, as the old song says, that I can't take it with me when I go. I especially want to convey this message to my sons. As they grow older, I want them to know they will never find true happiness in things. I realize that this truth must begin with Fernando and me. As their parents, it's up to us to show them how to appreciate their possessions and how to distinguish between "I need" & "I want." May 2015 be the year that materialism moves out of our hearts and home.

(3) Comparison
Compare, compare, compare: I've compared myself, I've compared my husband and sons. I've compared my family, my job, my church, and my friends. I've compared everything from my parenting skills to my Origami Owl necklace. Is there any area of our lives that isn't affected by the bad habit of comparison? I am asking God, even now on January 1st, to remind me to keep my focus on Him when I'm tempted to compare and criticize others.

(4) Apathy
I looked up the definition of apathy so it would stick with me a little better. Apathy is: "absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement." This is a tricky area, because many times, apathy goes unrecognized. Apathy is often not addressed BECAUSE OF apathy. It's probably best described with three words: I don't care. With each passing year, I become more aware of the brevity of life and how important it is to infuse our daily activities with fervor and purpose. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. Life is so much more enjoyable when we resolve to leave apathy behind.

(5) Laziness
If you would've told me a few years ago, that one day I'd be resolving to avoid laziness, I'd have punched you in the face. When my sons were babies and toddlers, I barely had time to take a shower. They kept me moving all day, and in the brief moments they napped, I would catch up on my real estate duties. But now my babies are older. They've started school, they've learned how to do many things for themselves, they go to bed earlier, and they don't require the constant supervision that they did when they were *little*. [Insert crying emoji here] Even though I work full-time, I've found myself with a lot more "free time." Pedicure? What's that all about? Lunch with a friend? Yes, please! Grocery shopping alone? Sign me up! I have truly enjoyed having a few more moments to myself throughout the day, but I've also noticed an increased tendency to spend more time on my phone and computer in the afternoon/evening hours (READ: laziness). I am determining now to make a better use of my time in 2015- to stay busy, to not complain when laundry piles up, to work hard, to find ways to run my household more efficiently, to go to bed each night absolutely exhausted from a day well-lived. Time to trash the couch and leave it in 2014! (You do realize I don't mean that literally…)

I am determined that these five things will not be coming with me into the new year. 2015, come what may, will be a productive year lived for the Lord. I want to be busy doing things that matter! I want to roll up my sleeves and work hard for others. I want God's grace and love to be my footprints. Wherever I go in 2015, may His truth be my constant companion.

What bad habits/attitudes would you like to leave in 2014?