this new year, I will choose to live differently. this new year, I will…
1. set aside all distractions while others talk, I will actively listen with my full attention.
2. keep a sense of humor, have fun, laugh more.
3. appreciate the value of facebook and social media in connecting with others, but live with the awareness that is it always more important to spend real “face” time with friends and family over coffee and meals when I have the ability to make that happen.
4. make more homemade cookies, even when I really “don’t have time.”
5. not allow the mound of laundry to haunt me. it is what it is. I will choose to live at peace with it.
6. read more books, not just “how to” type books, but all kinds – kids books, devotionals, classics, novels, parenting, and those that challenge me spiritually. instill in our kids a deeper love for books and time spent reading.
7. watch less TV and movies. spend my time watching only what I most want to watch, not the things I wished I wouldn’t have wasted time with anyway.
8. listen to more music – jazz, contemporary Christian, upbeat dance tunes, worship, old favorites, classical, broadway showtunes, and Dawson’s new favorite tunes.
9. dance. more. together. as a family and with my husband. teach my kids to dance the 2 step and let them teach me hip hop. or at least try. (:
10. worry less about having a clean house and more about the people in my house.
11. write more, from my heart, even if God and I are the only ones who read it.
12. spend more time soaking in simple moments, watching the sunrise, holding hands, enjoying my kids laughter.
13. turn off the cell phone at meal times.
14. share at least one meal together every day as a family, no matter how crazy life seems.
15. do my best to quickly return each phone call, email, text, or message within a 24 hour turnaround time. choose to give others much grace in this, because I know how much I’ve needed it myself through the years.
16. give more surprise gifts.
17. pay for someone else’s meal.
18. cook more and try new recipes. always say “yes” to letting my kids help in the kitchen when they ask, even if it ends up taking more time or I’d really rather just get it done myself.
19. stay involved with friend’s ministries and lives around the globe. keep a mission notebook of families to pray for or support on a more regular basis.
20. practice mission projects on the homefront, even if it is just a few doors down. be more neighborly, help others in need, instill the importance of living a life of “serving” in our kids.
21. travel to new places.
22. take a lot of pictures. and don’t feel guilty for not getting them into scrapbooks.
23. run in the rain with my kids and jump through puddles.
24. not be afraid to dream.
25. spend a few moments on my knees each morning, thanking the One who gave me the gift of another new morning.
26. play more ball with my boys in the front yard.
27. play more barbies and “american girl” with my little girl.
28. spend more time exploring and living life outside, I will prove to my kids I’m brave enough to hold a frog, that I know how to fish, and I can still do a pretty awesome flip on the trampoline.
29. enjoy every moment of life with kid-constructed tents scattered across the living room. if guests show up at the door, invite them in to sit in the tents.
30. show more hospitality, don’t wait for the house to be immaculate before inviting people over, give it up and let others into our imperfect, often messy world.
31. leave more love notes for those who mean the most to me.
32. if at all possible, in life at home, try to say “yes” more than I say “no.”
33. eat more healthy foods and less sugar. I will not use the word “diet” and will keep believing that chocolate and coffee simply must be good for me.
34. run a race, not because I’m fast or even very good at running, but just because I can still run.
35. take my dog on lots of walks and runs with me, give her and our 2 cats lots of love and treats. be thankful for our loyal furry friends who are very much a part of our family and lives every day. be faithful to help homeless animals find good homes.
36. enjoy watching our kids take care of our pets and learning how to respect and love animals like I do.
37. choose to not reflect too much on the past, or worry too much about the future, but enjoy every moment of the ages our kids are “right now.”
38. spend more time praying as I go thru the day, have an ongoing conversation with God, keep communication open.
39. pray a blessing over our kids every night before they go to bed, and speak words of truth to them before they head out the door each day.
40. remember, that even though life may always “be” busy, I will choose to refrain from talking about how busy “we” are. it’s really rather selfish and pointless. everyone else is busy too.
41. live in peace with knowing that I retain the option of slowing down by just saying “no, we can’t do that right now, but maybe in the future we can look into it.” I will try to remember – we hold the key to how much we allow into our lives. I will take moments to slow down. I will appreciate times of quiet.
42. build into life periods of “down time.” as tough as it is in this world, I will refrain from the life of too many activities and the over-entertainment of our kids. I will let them feel what it is to be bored sometimes, so that they will find fresh motivation to create their own fun and not rely so much on me.
43. believe the truth that boundaries are meant for our safety and live with wisdom in setting them around our family, routines, time, relationships, and lives.
44. keep my Bible open on the kitchen counter or with me in the car, and read nuggets of truth as I go about the day. I will ask God for wisdom. I will ask Him for direction.
45. let my kids paint when they ask to paint, even though it’s messy and I don’t ever feel like getting it out. in fact, I will paint too.
46. go to the beach and play in the water with our kids, jump waves, run, watch the sunrise and sunset, hunt for seashells and shark teeth, build a sandcastle, and look for shooting stars at night.
47. let my kids see me reading the Bible more. instead of trying to finish up before they wake up.
48. stop talking so much, listen more to what others have to say.
49. kiss and hug my kids every day, tell them how important they are to us and to God. I will let them see me kiss their dad and hear me say how crazy I am about him.
50. cherish my husband as a life gift from God, tell him “I believe in you” more, and never, ever take him for granted.
51. ask those in my life, “how can I pray for you today?” then actually do it.
52. learn a new sport with my family.
53. play more “old fashioned” board games and goofy acting games with our family.
54. choose to clean out and get rid of things, when I start to feel like our house and closets are no longer “big enough.”
55. keep learning about technology, but know when to turn it all off, and tune in to each other without competing with the screens.
56. take my kids to the theater, symphony, libraries, and museums more. instill in them a love for art, music, learning, culture, and creativity.
57. sing musicals in the car with the windows down and wind blowing through our hair. I will not worry about what my hair looks like or what we sound like.
58. memorize scripture every day, and build it into our family’s lives.
59. decorate our home with kid’s art, Bible verses, and favorite pictures from life memories.
60. read the Bible cover to cover and write notes on the pages as I go along.
61. live a life of truly rejoicing when others rejoice, share joys, be happy when others succeed, and celebrate life moments.
62. sit quietly, grieving when others grieve. carry burdens, take time to show support. know that it’s OK to cry.
63. worry less about what people think of me, and believe more the truth about how God sees me. I will care for the outside of my life, but just as much, if not more, take care of the inside of my life. I will choose not to compare myself with others, because I normally lose that game. I will be content with how God made me and with the gifts He has graciously given to us.
64. love people more, in spite of our differences.
65. keep having a political voice. teach our kids to be active in the world around them and to take a stand for what they believe.
66. do all that I can to be at peace with those around me.
67. be positive, instill hope, speak words of life and blessing, encourage, motivate, challenge.
68. practice random acts of kindness frequently and anonymously when at all possible.
69. show more appreciation to those who teach my children.
70. live loud. practice courage. be brave.
71. go camping with my kids.
72. do something every day that I’ve never done before.
73. live life to the fullest. remember that life is short, make the most of every day, believe the truth that just to breathe every day is a sheer gift from the grace of God.
74. instill in my children a love for animals, for nature, God’s creation. I will let them do crazy science experiments, let them collect rocks, collect bugs, plant a garden. we will get out the telescope at night, we will keep discovering new things, we will keep learning together. but we will not, under any circumstance, keep snakes, mice, or frogs in the house, thank you.
75. choose joy every day, no matter what.
76. be more thankful. say thank you more quickly to others, write more thank you notes, live with a heart that is grateful.
77. see life more thru the eyes of my kids, believing that each day is an adventure waiting to unfold, with new possibilities that await.
78. say the important words more – please, thank you, I’m sorry, I appreciate you, I love you, I’m grateful for you.
79. enjoy more candlelight dinners on the “good” dishes, with sparkling Welch’s grape juice in the nice glasses, even if the entrée is only mac and cheese.
80. dress up more to celebrate special days, even if we choose to just stay home.
81. only buy the things we can afford and don’t worry so much about the things we can’t.
82. worry less about building a kingdom of stuff here on earth, and focus more on building the kingdom of God in heaven.
84. be nice to all people, all of the time, at least I will try. I will remember that sometimes we are “entertaining angels” here on earth and are not even aware of it.
85. seek to live by “responding” in love, not by “reacting” in impatience or anger.
86. invite people to church, not because it’s the “right” thing to do, or because it’s expected of us, but because we love God, love it there, and want the best for others.
87. gladly enter my boys world of BMX bikes, cool cars, sports, drums, video games and minecraft. choose not to “hover” too much and give them freedome to do “boy stuff.”
88. always let the moms with the babies and young kids crowded in the grocery carts packed full of food, go first in the line.
89. forgive quickly, deal with jealousy that crops up in my heart, give grace to others, live with contentment, let go of bitterness, stop being critical, live a life that is set free, live guilt free.
90. love people more than stuff.
91. take our kids with to visit elderly friends who “don’t get out much” anymore.
92. start playing the piano again and continue to instill the love for music and learning instruments in the lives of our kids.
93. smile at people as I go about the day. it may be just the encouragement they were needing at that moment.
94. be more gracious when I leave tips for people in service jobs.
95. paint fingernails, do “make up,” and hair with my sweet girl, then go out for a fun girls night with friends.
96. live with less, live more simply, give away more to those who really need it.
97. save more for the future.
98. take a class to learn a new skill or to improve a skill I’m working on.
99. take care of those who have experienced a loss in life – loss of a job, loss of a spouse, of a child, etc.
100. act justly, love mercy, walk humbly through life.
101. love God with all my heart, mind, and soul…
And if I get through my day and fail to live out all these things that I so desire to do, I know deep in my heart – there’s a fresh day ahead – tomorrow – I will try it again.
And I can sleep well, resting in God’s forgiveness, peace, and grace. He is so good to us.