Thursday, January 1, 2009

What Resolution?

New Year's resolution.... do you make them? I do!

I love setting small goals for myself. They keep me accountable and focused. Without them, I could just wander around aimlessly with no drive, direction or motivation. I love creating a "to do" list and then enjoying the satisfaction of scratching out each line with a pen or pencil. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task.

Last year I made three resolutions for myself. One was practical, one was personal and one was spiritual.

The practical resolution was to go through all of my children's photos and organize them once and for all! You know how it is, you take all those pictures, download them for developing at your favorite photo place, drive to the store, pay for them, bring them home, look at them, then stick them in a big box marked "family photos" and forget about them. At lease that is what I do.

Ever since I purchased my first digital camera (which was years ago), it became a lot easier to just look at the photos on my computer screen. I got real lazy and never bothered to get them printed. Now I have THOUSANDS of photos on my laptop and camera. I'm completely overwhelmed!

This could cost hundreds of dollars to have all these photos printed out! I don't have the time to sort through them! Which ones do I print and which ones do I pitch? Should I put keep them on my hard drive and save storage space in my closet for extra shoes? Would my kids look at them anyway?

All year long, I thought about my practical resolution. I planned time on my calendar to begin the sorting of photos. I dreamed of how nice the photos would look in those cute little albums. I imagined sitting with my boys and telling them stories about when they were little as we looked at the photos.

The only problem is that the photos never were sorted, picked, paid for, organized, placed in albums and enjoyed.

F-A-I-L-U-R-E!!! Not really, but that's how I felt, at least for a while. Then I realized that it was my choice not to follow through with my practical resolution for 2008. It wasn't that I didn't have the time, I just chose to do other things. It was my choice.

Those pictures are still available anytime I want to look at them. I have placed them on a portable hard drive for safe keeping and have saved a lot of money in printing costs. Maybe one day I will print them all out and put them in albums but for now, I'm choosing to do other things.

Believe it or not, I've learned something very valuable from my failed resolution. Although I chose not to follow through with it, I also chose not to beat myself up because of it. That's because I've hidden a very special scripture verse in my heart which is "For there is no condemnation (blame, disapproval, accusation, guilt) for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1 (NIV). That includes me! God doesn't think less of me because I didn't get my pictures sorted all pretty and perfect in a photo album and neither should I.

I'm so glad His word has freed me not only from sin but also from my silly thinking. What about you? Are you hard on yourself? Do you expect too much and then get frustrated when you can't fulfill your own expectations? Are you your worst critic? How is God changing your way of thinking so that you freely receive His grace and mercy? Please write and let me know.


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