There. It's official.
I love the New Year. I'm always so excited to have a new start in the midst of continuation, giving me a natural point to ponder improvement. It's like a do-over for all the things that didn't didn't turn out as planned last year.
Chris and I have always taken time to come up with resolutions for the New Year -- determination to be better, do more, make more, spend less, weigh less... Our list this year included slimming down, running more, and eating less. Chris even came up with a rhyme for this year's goals -- "Looking fine in 2009".
Three days into our new mission, it dawned on me that everything on our list, everything that we determined would define our 2009, was external. Superficial. Our weight and diet and bank account and home improvement projects. Our list of resolutions had everything to do with how we looked and nothing to do with who we are or who we are becoming.
And that's not really what I want this year to be about.
Growing up in a true Southern family, I was taught that "Pretty is as Pretty does." And in Sunday School I was taught that "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Lesson learned: The external doesn't count, and banking on "looking fine in 2009" doesn't really get me anywhere.
What does count? Being real. Being accountable. Focusing on things that are good. Encouraging others. Trusting God completely. Loving each other despite our imperfections.
Those are the things I want this year -- and this life -- to be defined by.
So we changed our rhyme this year to "Make His heart mine in 2009". To focus on extending love the way Christ loves us, trusting Him wholeheartedly, and realizing that there is so much more to living life than my little world.
(just to clarify... that's not to say that we won't be looking fine this year... because, honestly, whoever thought up "pretty is as pretty does" obviously did not have to fit into a two piece for spring break!)
Happy New Year!