“I want to look back on 2017 and see that I’m living an abundant life, using the gifts God has given me and blessing people. Not knowing exactly what that will look like, I resolve to keep my eyes and ears open to how the Lord wants me to live each day.” Those were the last words of my January 3, 2017, blog post. January 2018 has arrived and I have dared to allow thoughts shared last year to hold me accountable. One year ago I told of five ways I had grown in 2016 and then resolved to continue in that growth. I haven’t been consistent in all five areas. Perhaps you can relate and will decide to join me in reviewing and possibly reviving our resolutions.
- Playing the piano: I’m not sure I improved as a pianist, but I did keep at it sporadically. During December, I played from a lesson book of Christmas carols. Then, after our little family finished our gift exchange, I sat down to play “Silent Night” for them. They seemed to appreciate it, so I continued with more carols, played quite imperfectly. The music prevented that little let-down that comes when there are no more gifts to open.
- Memorizing the book of James: I’ve reviewed James often enough to keep most of it and also put Psalm 103 to heart.
- Helping my future daughter-in-law choose her dress: On April 1, she wore that dress as she became Eric’s wife. We have grown closer during holiday gatherings, Easter at their home and Christmas at ours. My husband and I are blessed to be able to worship and eat with them in Columbus from time to time.
- Continue to blog: The first anniversary of Thoughts Collected by Lisa came in August. I signed on for one more year and kept writing, completing my 75th post on December 27. I’ve added some pages, including Fruit of the Spirit and Printables.
- Connect with neighbors at Christmas time: I picked a date and invited the ladies who live on each side of me and across the street to a Christmas brunch. All were available! I’m thankful for a season when it becomes a priority to visit with friends and family.
I wouldn’t give myself an A+, but progress is progress. In looking through other posts from 2017, I noticed some additional and perhaps more meaningful ways in which I challenged myself and my readers. Putting resolutions in writing increases the likelihood of carrying them out as does sharing the goals with someone else. I’ve realized that posting the commitments on the internet adds an extra sense of responsibility to follow through.
- Choose humility over pride. (Yelled At and My Independent Streak)
- Work for good in my community. (Need Help? and Train Them Up)
- Clear our home of clutter. (Out With the Old?)
- Pursue and defend truth. (Concerning the Shack)
- Use my gifts for good. (Warm Up America)
- Love people. (Impossible Love)
- Cast my cares on the Lord. (Faith like a Fisherman?)
- Cultivate patience. (Waiting for the Sun and 7 Hour Traffic Jam)
- Decrease negative speech. (Breaking a Bad Habit)
- Choose to seek and to serve Jesus Christ (2017 Holiday Season in Full Swing)
This list could completely overwhelm me if I sought to complete it in my own strength. In January 2017, I shared the story of a couple who walked In Perfect Step. Seeing their synchronized movement helped me to understand the role and power of the Holy Spirit in my life. My part is to “focus on where He wants to lead, as well as when and how fast we are to move.” My resolutions can be summed up as follows: “link elbows with the Holy Spirit, walk in step with Him, and bear the fruit that is uniquely Christian.”