“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” -Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I usually make several but I can’t say I’m all that good at keeping them.
So this year, I’m making only two and I’m writing them down so I can refer to them and see how I’m doing.
My first resolution applies to my walk with the Lord. I want to seek obedience to God’s call in every area of my life as I strive for a more commited walk. However, I must consider that success of my actions is determined by whether I’m obedient to God’s request of me, not the end result of my efforts.
For example, if I believe God is calling me to strive for a stronger relationship with my stepchild, I will take small steps every day to show unconditional love and acceptance toward him/her. I will pray for my stepchild to soften his/her heart toward me and accept me as an additional parent in his/her life.
But, I won’t weigh the success of my efforts on the reaction of my stepchild. My personal experience reminds me that sometimes my efforts don’t matter because my stepchild is in too much pain or confusion to accept my gestures. But that doesn’t mean my efforts are futile.
Although my stepson couldn’t accept my attempts toward a loving relationship with him during his adolescent years, he now appreciates the efforts I made, and accepts me as an additional parent who loves and cares about him as a 21-year-old young adult.
My second resolution for 2012 is to banish negativity from my thoughts and behavior. 2011 was a difficult year for our family and I fell into a trap of negative thinking in more areas than I want to admit. I allowed my negative thinking to influence my behavior, manifested in selfish actions as a result of our out-of-state move.
I focused on my loneliness and feelings of displacement, instead of God’s provision and guidance after my husband lost his job. I became entangled in a web of self-pity as I questioned God repeatedly on why He moved us four hours away from our three children back in college, instead of simply accepting God’s plan and allowing Him to guide me through the difficult days.
Negative thinking becomes a powerful motivator when we allow it to control us. I’ve seen it destroy stepfamily relationships when a stepparent focuses on the negative behavior of his/her stepchild instead of the positive potential that can be created through a loving relationship. I’ve seen step-couples allow negative thinking to tear down marital bonds when they give up on peaceful communication, instead of creating positive ideas toward harmony.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can strive to banish negativity from our everyday thoughts and behavior. The choice is ours.
Simple resolutions with a powerful punch. That’s what I’m striving for in the upcoming year. I think I’ll start today.
What about you? Will you share your resolutions with us? I’d love to hear them!