One of the only things that makes bearable the passing of our delicious Christmas season is that it quickly gives way to the hope and anticipation of a fresh chapter. In the spirit of that New Year newness, I love to evaluate the key areas of my life to ensure I’m on track with fulfilling God’s grand and specific purposes for it. I only get one, after all. I don’t want to waste it.
I’m thankful to my pastor for introducing me to a series of evaluation questions created by Donald Whitney. If you’re into that kind of thing – you know – you’re the kind of person who loves new school supplies, fresh calendars, goal setting, and you’re on a first name basis with the receiving department at Goodwill or the dump – you can find that list here.
Out of my recent evaluation, among other things, I’ve come to three major conclusions:
- My daughters are hurtling toward adulthood at warp speed and I’m desperate to slow and savour these years. That cannot happen if I am busy and mentally encumbered. I don’t want to skim by these years and look back with regret, so I’m committing to continued mid-course corrections regarding my life load to ensure I am both physically and mentally present in their lives.
- Unfinished projects and nagging responsibilities make me cranky. After reading all those “good mom” articles that tell me to ignore the mess, forget the projects and leave the dishes to go play with my kids, I honestly try to turn a blind eye. But go figure, the dishes don’t go away and the mess is still there. I’m just dealing with it at 10:00 at night, which we all know greatly improves our mood while doing it. Oh wait a second. No it doesn’t. I’ve prayed for the right attitude for years, but perhaps have fallen short of taking some practical steps to help with this dynamic. So I’m committing to building in enough margin in my days to take care of as many of those tasks as possible so that they don’t sabotage my emotions and exchange Happy Mom with Shrew Lady. (Baseboard painting, here I come…)
- Writing weekly, as marvelous and fulfilling as it is, is a LOT of work! It’s like writing an essay or position paper every week that is evaluated, not by one professor, but sometimes by tens and sometimes by hundreds of readers. That’s just ever so slightly distracting to everyday life.
Why do I tell you all this?
It’s not because I think you find the details of my life particularly stimulating. But because these conclusions effect you, kind reader, in one small way: I will be posting every other week instead of each week. This one change alone will provide me a bit more time to study (that’s good for all of us) and that allows me to carve out more margin for the family-enhancing alterations I mentioned above. That’s good for me and my dear ones and for the bestselling “How to Be a Perfect Parent” book I’ll write someday.
So for now, enjoy the freshness and realigning that your New Year can bring, and I’ll see you in two weeks as we continue our pursuit of virtue, wisdom and excellence through a study of Proverbs 31.
Now if you’ll excuse me, today is my 20th anniversary and I’ve got a hot date to get ready for!