Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Friday, January 3, 2014

Musings on Resolutions



Resolutions for the New Year.  Do you make them?

There are articles and books aplenty, extolling the virtues of turning over a new leaf at a certain date and time, such as January 1st.  On the other hand, there is also much written about the dismal success rate of New Year’s resolutions.

Personally, I do not find one particular time that inspires me to make resolutions more than any other.  Perhaps it is a consequence of recognizing that I am such a work in progress, I shouldn’t wait around for the New Year to amend my life!  There’s the first of a new year, there’s Lent, there’s Easter, there’s summer, there’s the start of the academic year . . . opportunities abound!

A new(er) book out has helped me focus on one particular theme for 2014.  “Geek Priest,” by Father Roderick Vonhogen. Fr. Roderick gives a brief description of the book, as well as ordering information, at his website. 

No, New Year’s is not the focus of this book, but here is one of my takeaways:

“I learned to protect my boundaries and say no to what might be good in itself but not part of what I was called to do.  I learned that doing my duty was good enough and I could trust God to take care of the rest.”

Furthermore:

“This was one of the most important lessons I’ve had to learn over the years: to listen better to my conscience.  In my early years as a priest, I often acted out of concern for what people expected of me.  I said yes to anything they asked because I was afraid of the consequences of saying no.  I forgot to listen to my inner voice that often told me to slow down, protect my boundaries, and not worry about people’s perceptions or expectations.”

Obviously, this is not something unique to the vocation of the priesthood.  I’m guilty of not protecting my boundaries.  I’ve made mistakes in taking on too much.  It was an eye-opener, a humbling one, to learn some truths about my abilities.  I learned that it’s not that I was any busier than anyone else, it’s that I couldn’t juggle as many balls as others are able to keep up in the air.  So, I slowly made some changes to the way I take on responsibilities, outside of the normal ones of a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother.

That is what I plan to continue in a more purposeful way for 2014, the theme of “protect my boundaries.”  Prayer is a good preventative tool. I also need to have faith that “doing my duty is good enough; I can trust God to take care of the rest.”

Again, Happy New Year!

PS: I recommend Father Roderick's book. He calls himself a "new media missionary."  His is a good witness about Christians engaging in the secular world around us.  Very "in the world, not of it," and in the world because the world is a good place and we need to be a Christian presence in it!

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