I've come to love January. It gives me what most other months steal, time. No one wants their photos taken in January. Everyone is partied and get-togethered out. A day that seems boring in August, feels restful and refreshing in January.
I don't embrace the idea of New Year's Resolutions. I get that people like making a fresh start and that a new calendar year makes that fresh start seem more concrete in their minds. But there were reasons people did what they did in 2010. Bad habits, addictions, and wrong ways of thinking are not eradicated by a resolution but instead by truth and self-discipline. Truth must be sought after and self-discipline must be learned and practiced. Most peoples resolutions fail because while their intentions are good they don't have the tools to make their resolutions stick.
In San Antonio, our church typically did some sort of fast beginning in January. During a fast, something must be given up and replaced by prayer and reflection. Maybe fasting might help people both create valid resolutions and stick to them. I decided that I wouldn't purchase anything unnecessary until the end of February. That means no clothes, extra makeup, home decorations, movies, books, games, pictures, camera equipment, baby items, etc. I've been spending money clothing our family for winter, a season we really haven't experienced for six years. I've also been spending for Christmas and my business. I wasn't out of control. I just thought it would be good to reflect on what it means to live simply and what it means to need something. I've found myself telling several people this decision. I hope I didn't come across as self righteous. I guess I just want to share what I'm processing both spiritually and practically.
A couple of my friends have suggested selecting one word that they would spend the year considering and focusing on. Words like prioritizing, simplifying, and listening were thrown out there. A friend of my sisters said hers would be peace. If I made New Year's Resolutions, one would be that I speak kinder and yell less to my kids. Maybe if I reflect and prayerfully consider peace in 2011, I'll be inspired daily to live out this resolution.
Can a house with four kids six and under be peaceful?
What does that even mean? It certainly does not mean a house without disagreements or discipline. It probably does not mean a quiet house, although more quiet moments would be nice.
And what about peace beyond the limits of our immediate family. What does it look like between people who are of different opinions or different values. Maybe the Prince of Peace will give me the inside scoop.
I thought peace tied into my shopping fast. I guess financial peace came to mind. I think we have financial peace already, but I'm open to new revelations on this front as well. Although, I will not be reading any Dave Ramsey books this month. I already have a book I need to finish. A book I agreed to read in August that I feel like I haven't had time for, but now... January is here.