I admit that I am not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions... they just don't do it for me. They don't inspire me... they actually make me feel worse. Whenever I think of them thoughts like this cross my mind...
"Oh good, MORE things I will probably fail at! Perfect."
And so I don't do them. I just don't.
My sweet friend Susan from 5 Minutes for Mom shared her 3 words for the New Year in a post today and I would really encourage you all to go and read it. There is also a linky with links to other great posts. Several bloggers that I know are choosing words that they hope will encapsulate their 2011. I have been struggling to come up with mine for weeks but Susan has inspired me and so I will share the three words I have chosen.
As a person who has struggled deeply with depression I often feel hopeless. My mind gives me lots of great reasons to be filled with hope- everything from the fact that Jesus has given me real life to my wonderful husband and amazing children. But my emotions often don't cooperate.
I often have to remind myself of the HOPE that I have... whether I feel like it or not. SO I will continue to cling to hope for 2011. I will continue to fight the depression and darkness the threatens to take over because I don't have to do it alone.
When my daughter was born a little over 4 years ago we gave her the middle name "Joy". It was very deliberate. I had already gone through two serious bouts of postpartum depression and feared a third. Aiden was not yet diagnosed with Autism and things in our household were not going well. We were under an incredible amount of financial and emotional strain. So my husband and I used Olivia's middle name to declare that our daughter would not only bring joy but would feel joy in her life.
I am a cynical and often negative person. Some days it takes a ridiculous amount of energy to focus on the good. I realize that sounds foreign to many of you but trust me when I say that joy does not seem to come to me naturally.
But I will continue to work towards choosing JOY in my life in 2011. Not only because it will make me FEEL happier but also because it is the right thing to do and it is what I want to model to my children.
I am blessed. Really blessed. God has been exceedingly gracious to me in more ways than I could possibly list here. My life is full of good people and good things.
For many years whenever I would go to bed I would lay there and think about all the stupid things I had done that day, all the ways I failed as a person and as a mother, and all the ways I was liable to screw everything up the next day.
I didn't do it on purpose- it would start out with me praying and end up with me begging God to protect my kids from my pathetic-ness as a mother or some other horrible thought and I would fall asleep feeling like a total failure.
But at some point God finally got through to me that I needed to stop focusing on all the ways I've screwed up and all the negative crap and focus on all the good... because HE wasn't focused on all that crap and He loves me and He loves my kids and He is taking care of us.
I began to purposefully focus my just-before-sleep thoughts on what I was thankful for.
This year I want to really focus on being thankful and I hope to pass that on to my children as well.
So there you have it. My three words: Hope, Joy and Thankfulness. All three are very intertwined for me and I don't really think you can have one without the others.
What are your 3 words?
May you too be filled with thankfulness, joy and hope in 2011.