Although our Jesus Birthday celebrations have only just begun (we have 2 more to go one of January 1st, and one on January 7-9th) it's time to nail down those resolutions for 2012. It seems a little unreal to be thinking about and praying about this already, 2011 has gone by so very quickly, and yet here I am once again. Typically I pray about those things the Lord would have for me to intentionally work on as a Christina, wife, mother, homeschool teacher etc. well before now, so that all I have to do is pretty much lay out what that looks like for me in books to read, and Scriptures to memorize & study. However, I'm finding myself a little bit behind this time around.
Reflecting back on 2011, I can see how the Lord has shown me the depths of which I've lived my life in fear. That may sound weird, but I've thought quite a lot about my childhood, growing up in a single parent home, a father who wasn't involved at all, the child of an adult child of alcoholics, and a child of an alcoholic. The Lord has shown me that pretty much all my life I've lived as a people pleaser, and as such I've been somewhat of a spectator in life versus a participant. That also may be odd to imagine, since I'm a homeschooling mother and the essence of homeschooling is parental involvement. Anyway, I digress... So, in the interest of transparency, here's a Fear Factor to a different degree...
~ I have always shied away from playing games, because I know I'll not win, and if I don't win that somehow would mean I'm less than acceptable to those I'm playing with, and they wouldn't want to play with me any longer. So, instead, I sit on the outside watching everyone, and laughing with them, but not sharing in the experiences of building memories with them. So, I started over the last couple of months having a game night, inviting a couple or two over for snacks and gaming... my family loves this!
~ In ministry, I realized (God showed me, rather) that much of my involvement has been based on the fear that if I don't say 'yes' that the person asking will somehow think less of, not like, or shun me (now that's a LOT of me! >:( gag! ) So, when asked about being involved in ministry I tend to not say 'sure!' right away, but go to the Father and ask Him what would be His best for me. (Do you see the shift in focus from the 'me-centered,' fear-based approach, to a confident, God-centered one?) Sometimes I still find it a bit difficult and I have to literally say to myself and to the Lord, 'Okay, Lord, I'm choosing You over this person... what's Your best for me?'
The verse He gave me is: "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." ~Galatians 1:10 Sadly, I've done a lot of serving in the name of Christ, but really just to please people... Anyway...
These are just a couple examples of how the Lord is working fear-based living out of me. Please don't get me wrong, there is a balance.... I'm surely not saying that it's wrong to do things to please others- we are called, after all, to serve one another in love. The difference is in the motivation behind the service- is it out of fear of rejection (or whatever) from that person, or out of a godly love for them and for our Lord?
All that said, let's get back to resolutions for 2012. A couple of things that are on tap for the New Year is #1 to continue breaking 'The Fear Factor' in my life (we'll all be the happier for it, I'm sure). #2 is something I've struggled with for many years, and that is taking time regularly to just play with and connect with our boys. I've done better over the last year, but not to the degree I'd like. Some of this is the 'Fear Factor' that has characterized my life for so long, and another part is just that, as a task-oriented person, I have a long to-do list every day. Relationships with our children are so important, especially as they are growing through the tweens and into the teens, my desire is to cultivate strong relationships with them now so as they walk through that trying time of life, we have a strong relational basis for open communication.
Well, that's it so far... I'll probably post a little later this week a specific plan-of-action (PoA) for 2012... or knowing me, it'll be a couple of weeks before I have this written down... :)