The Strength Of My Resolve

by Barbie



                               

As I’ve sat and reflected on the coming New Year, there are a few goals I would like to accomplish.  I have always been one to make resolutions — a resolution to lose weight, spend more time with my family, be more organized, simplify, eat better, sleep more, and be more patient and loving.  But as each year has come and gone, I have found that, for the most part, my resolutions remained unmet, and I was left confused, angry at myself, and unmotivated to continue the journey.

I have always been an “all-or-nothing” person.  And when I fall short, I can tend to be hard on myself.  If I come even a tad shy of reaching my goals, it isn’t good enough. I tend to look more at what I didn’t do, rather than looking at how far I have come.  Maybe I didn’t lose 50lbs.–I lost 10–but it still isn’t enough.  Or maybe I don’t have the energy to organize every room in my home, but there is one that is looking pretty good. Still, I fall short.  Or perhaps I am not as patient with my children as I should be, but I am doing better, but still… in my eyes, I’ve failed.

Over the last week, I have spent time with the Lord and asked, “What is it that YOU want me to do”?  

And as I’ve allowed Him to speak to my heart, I have had to ask myself how strong is my resolve.  Am I really determined to meet these goals, or are they just words?  Am I committed to doing what it takes to cross the finish line?  It will take sacrifice, time and energy.  Am I willing to make the investment now to see a greater return in the future?

As I was reading about resolve, I came across this definition:

Resolve – turn, change, be transformed (verb)

And then the light came on.  I don’t have to do these things on my own.  Sure, I could make resolutions, decisions and commitments about all sorts of things in my life.  But what is it that God wants me to do?  Am I willing to turn and walk a new direction, allowing myself to be transformed into the image of Christ in the process?  I just love how The Message translation lays out this scripture in Romans:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 – The Message)

As I prepare to sit down and write out my goals for 2011, I can do so now from a place of freedom.  God’s desire is to walk with me, in partnership, and help me to accomplish all that He’s put on my heart.  But my first resolution has to be to fix my attention on God, setting my eyes on Him.  Without this, I cannot accomplish anything.  The strength of my resolve is in the strength of my focus on the Lord.

I keep my eyes always on the LORD.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8 – NIV)

So in these first days of 2011, I will place my goals before Him as an offering, asking for His help and leading.  I will fix my attention on Him and will not become distracted.  When I do this, I cannot fail!

Email Author    |    Website About Barbie

Barbie is a wife and mother to four children. She works full time while juggling faith, family and ministry. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, reading, writing, painting and spending time with family and friends. Visit her blog, My Freshly Brewed Life, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kymberli January 2, 2011 at 3:08 am

Barbie, Very well written and encouraging Thank you for sharing your heart and being so transparent to all of us. You are an amazing woman of GOD and I admire that.
Love you~ Kymberli

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2 Beth January 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

Wonderful Barbie! I can soooooo relate. We sound familiar with the self-condemnation if we “fail” by not completing a goal.

I love the perspective from the Message version you shared. Love it! I’m going to go read over that again.

God bless you in 2011 as you walk with Him.
Beth

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3 Jill January 2, 2011 at 10:23 am

Happy New Year Barbie! Loved this-I tend to be an all or nothing person as well. Which is hard because there are days that I have to wear many hats and giving my all to everything is impossible and so it frustrates me to no end.
I too am sitting down and writing out my goals and trying to listen to what God wants from me and for me!
A lot of my goals are also your goals-I will be praying for you-please pray for me too!
I hears a pastor preach once on the dangers of making resolutions because it focuses on what “We” want to do with our lives and how “we” will accomplish our goals for the new year and if we are Christians that our lives are not “our” lives that we need to be in pray-in communion with God and what He “wants” for our lives and what His “will” is for that coming year. I thought that was great because I do tend to fail at anything( New Year’s resolutions or not) if I decided something is what I need do be doing with my life and I have not consulted with God about it first-even if it is good for me or others around me and it is what He would want me to do-when I try to go it alone without His help it even works. I am praying that this year anything I do will be with much prayer about it first.
Love ya-hope you are doing well.
Jill

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4 Barbie January 4, 2011 at 1:38 am

Thank you Jill! I so appreciate you! Yes, this year I am focusing on what God would want to change in my life. I have a few goals, with His permission, but have fully given him free reign where those are concerned. I’ll be praying for you and with you my friend.

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5 Child of God January 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

Very good post! We need a renewing of the mind in order to accomplish change and with our eyes fixed on Jesus how can we fail? We cannot for He tells us ‘…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Thanks for sharing your heart.
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6 Sharon O January 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

This is a good challenge.
Last week I took the time slowly focus on ‘what needs to be done’ in the new year. Yes weight loss, Yes exercise, Yes organization, Yes more writing, Yes more listening to the Lord. I rested even slept in and took quiet time to read a book by the fire and slow down. God is doing an internal work and it is good.
Be Still and know that I am God…he reminds me.
As a new year begins.

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7 Faith Barista Bonnie January 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Thank you for sharing what God placed on your heart. From your freshly brewed life, Barbie. Blessings to you in this coming year as you continue to pour out this resolve with Him!

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8 Rebecca January 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I love this blogger. I always get uplifted and encouraged. She’s a good read and wonderful to follow along. I’m so glad to see her featured here!~

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9 Barbie January 4, 2011 at 1:39 am

Thank you Rebecca for your kind words and for reading.

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10 Alysun January 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Just what I needed to hear! I was not going to make resolutions this year but instead will ask God for direction. Thanks!

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11 Joye January 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I love this Barbie!! My heart agrees! “The strength of my resolve is in the strength of my focus on the Lord.”

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12 Gina January 3, 2011 at 12:17 am

great perspective Barbie!! I need to stop being such an overachiever and focus on what He is asking me to work on this year 🙂 gina

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13 Sonia January 3, 2011 at 10:41 am

Thanks for your comments. What I really need to doing is to stop looking back at what I left UNDONE in previous years…

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14 Kimberly January 4, 2011 at 7:54 am

I am an all-or-nothing kind of gal, too. Add that to finding myself trying to do things on my own too often, and that equals many unmet goals…or me not even wanting to set any goals.

I love this version of the verses from Romans 12. So glad God is willing to help me place my everyday, ordinary life before Him as an offering.

Thanks, Barbie. 🙂

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15 Carol Hatcher January 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

Wow. This was fabulous Barbie. I’m so like you. I beat myself up for not being perfect and forget to celebrate the small transformations. But I need to focus on seek Him first, and all the other stuff will fall into place. Thank you.

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16 Shelly January 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Great post, Barbie….thank you for sharing and encouraging. I can so relate to not measuring up to our own personal measuring stick or reaching our mark of (falsely assumed) perfectionalism 🙂 What would we do without His unending mercy and grace….

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