To floss my teeth everyday, was my answer when Husband asked me what my goals are for 2013. It was a safe answer even though there was no way I could escape the real question with five more hours to go in our car and the open autobahn ahead.
It was January 1, a symbolic day to talk about new beginnings, and there were many desires in my heart, but if I’m honest, 2012 still haunts me. Last January we were warm in Australia, eating good food and talking about the year – 2012 – ahead and the years past. I was telling Husband that we’ve had almost every major life stress that a person can endure in our first year-and-a-half of marriage except for death and divorce. Five weeks later in February Husband’s father passed away. No one knew his cancer was back in early January.
What I’m saying is that all of my great dreams, plans and ideas about what 2012 would look like fell down around me, and it’s hard to look at a new year and think of good surprises because I now know that surprises sometimes come in terrible packages.
So here I stand at the beginning of another year and almost the beginning of a new year of life for me, and I know what my options are. Choose to be unhappy and afraid or choose to live in peace, joy and rest. There is a verse that God wrote on my heart many years ago, I set before you life and death, choose life that you may live. We are the only ones able to make the choices that govern the condition of our hearts, our minds and our attitudes. That is a domain unavailable to the influence of others unless we choose to let them in. I’m not the only one who had a difficult 2012, and I’m sure I’m not the only one of us who bought into the lie that there was nothing I could do about it. Yes, there is nothing we can do about circumstances that are outside of our control.
But all of us can do something about our attitudes. All of us can choose what we think about. All of us can decide where we want to set our hearts.
I want to stop complaining, whining and grumbling in 2013, I finally said to him. I don’t know how I became this kind of person, but it is not who I am. I don’t want this to be the attitude in our home. If the seed that I sow today is complaining, I will reap the fruit of unhappiness from our children tomorrow. I cannot do that to them. I cannot do that to myself.
There are many goals, many dreams, many desires in my heart when I look at 2013, and yes, flossing my teeth daily is one of them. But the most important one is this: Look daily for God’s gifts to me in all things, write them down, meditate on them. Gratitude needs to become a new cement in the foundation of my life.
I don’t believe in forcing emotions to change, and I will not become a liar to myself about what makes my heart hurt and my life difficult, but I will choose to set my mind on what is good, what is beautiful, what is perfect, what is coming from His hand.
Today, I am thankful that Small One and I made it home after a little meltdown on the sidewalk – that was icy, meaning not great terrain for a tantrum – and that I was able to carry him and a heavy sack of groceries without dropping him and all this while being 18-weeks pregnant. I am also thankful that I can pick up my phone and order pork spare ribs that shows up warm and tasty at my door 30 minutes later.