I love New Year's resolutions. I love reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to what's to come. I also love making lists and setting goals. It's part of who I am.
With that said, this year's list looks a bit different. Mainly, because one goal stole the show.
First, let me give a bit of background on how this goal came about.
A few weeks ago, I read this post by Jami Nato. I was immediately struck with the desire to pray for one trait I could work on this coming year, both in myself and in my family.
A few days later, I read Tim Keller's "Blessed Self-Forgetfulness."
As I was journaling about what I'd read, the heavens opened up and a dove landed on my shoulder with the message "love others more than yourself."
Ok, not really.
But I did immediately know this trait was the answer to my prayer.
I also knew this was quite a lofty intiative. Loving others more than myself isn't exactly something I can mark off a list, so how was I going to turn such a goal into reality?
After days of praying I concluded I have no idea.
BUT, in the few short days I have prayed I've already seen God show up.
During one of Bray's fits over not sharing a new toy with his cousin, I sat him down and said, "it's important we show the people we love how much we love them and one way to do so is to share your favorite toy even if you really, really want to play with it... Bray, Jesus wants us to love other people more than ourselves and you get to to do this by sharing your toy."
It may not seem like much, but I knew the moment I said it God was working through me.
And in case you're like me, wondering if it worked, if Bray shared his toy and morphed into a super holy three year old? The answer is Heck no.
In the three times I've given Bray this speech he's responded favorably once.
But I think that's ok.
I knew this wouldn't be easy or quick and I get to use the times he continues to throw a fit to teach him His dependence on the One who can change him. I usually do this by sending him to time out and telling him to ask Jesus to make him want to love others more than himself.
Let's be honest. There are days I need to put myself in timeout and say the same prayer.
I know working on this trait will take time, consistency, and lots of prayer, but I'm confident this is the right direction for my family. By nature, we are self-consumed and culturally, we are pounded with phrases that feed our ego: pamper yourself, you deserve this. If I don't work to be counter-cultural and fight for a biblical position, my children will grow up thinking they must look out for themselves, which will produce a sinful independence from the Lord, distrust in His provision, and heinous self-centeredness.
And I need to work against what's already ingrained in my mind and train myself to think differently.
Oh, what a year this will be.