I usually make resolutions. I do it probably weekly rather than annually. I resolve to eat healthier, pray more, read my Bible more, be nicer to my husband, be more gracious with my children. These are not good goals. These are not measurable or even attainable because there will always be "more" and "nicer" and "more gracious." I set the goals and I frequently fall back to old habits. Occasionally my lifestyle does change for weeks, months, even years at a time before life catches up and I fall into the lazy way of life that does not meet these goals and leaves me wanting to be better.
This year we decided to talk to our kids about New Year's resolutions. We made some as a family. My five-year-old resolved that he wants to learn to read and swim. My seven-year-old wants to become a better reader and swimmer. (Can we see a theme here?) My two-year-old did not set any goals, but I have some for her. First and foremost, she should start sleeping in her bed through the entire night. (I do not know if this has happened more than three times in her ENTIRE life.) It may be too high of a goal, but it is one I am going to really encourage her to work on. My ten-year-old had some goals that I can't remember, except one - praying more. This little girl is so self-disciplined, if she sets her mind to it, she most likely will follow through. And so far she has. The past two days, she got her Bible and notebook and sat down with her dad to do her prayers. She told me today she is reading a chapter in Matthew each day and then praying three prayers with her Dad. I sometimes really wish I could be more like her!
They say kids are more prone to do what you do, not what you say or even what you do with them. I do not know who "they" is, but the idea is if you want kids to read, read; if you want kids to run, run; if you want kids to watch TV, watch TV, and so on. I had been talking with my husband a few weeks ago about my fear that when my children grow up and are asked to remember their mom, they will say, "When I think of mom, I think of Facebook and Pinterest." And they would probably be right. My husband always thinks of his mom doing laundry, endless loads of laundry. I am sure my children will not say that when they think of me. Laundry will not be the thing. What do I want them to think of when they think of me? "She was the best mom; she always had time to listen and never lost her temper; she spent time with us, ran a lot, read a lot, and spent time with God." That is the mom I am going for.
So, I asked the question, What do you think of when you think of mom, kids?
"Running, reading, and cooking.""Running, reading, and eating""Running, reading, and sleeping."
Well, I have two consistent themes, running and reading. So, I bravely shared my resolution to spend time each day reading my Bible and praying. This used to be normal for me. I took pride in my ability, even in college, to get up at 5 a.m. and read my Bible, pray, and go for a three mile run. A day rarely went by that I did not do it. But then life started to happen, and four kids later, my time of quiet is rare, and I unfortunately do not make it a priority. When I have quiet, I check Facebook and Pinterest.
So, it is day two of January. Day one went by without a moment of Bible reading or prayer for me. I will give myself a little grace; I was sick as I have been in years. But today I woke up feeling a bit more human, so at rest time, I sat down with my Bible and read and prayed.
Later in the afternoon, my ten-year-old said, "Did you do your Bible reading today Mom? I noticed your Bible was out."
She is watching what I do. They all are.