We are 12 days from the end of 2008 - and people are beginning to think about resolutions for 2009: lose weight, exercise more, save money, clear up all that credit card debt (that reminds me, I need to call John Camuda back...)...you get the picture. Good intentions that last...maybe to MLK Day (if you're lucky). I stopped making lists of resolutions years ago. I tend to pick one "flaw" and focus on that for a year - and let me tell you, God has used that to teach me some valuable lessons about myself! There is a lot of truth in the saying, "be careful what you ask for" because, just because you think you've thought it all through doesn't mean you see it as God sees it for you...
But for the last two years, I have kept returning to the same resolution - well, actually, it is more of a mission statement for the person I want to be - and I think I will be embracing the same resolution for the coming year - 'cause I don't think I've got it all together just quite yet. C.A.R.E. is an acronym for:
C: Communicate generously. Use letters and other forms of communication to let friends, family and loved ones know their importance in my life. In this day and age of the quick email, text message, Facebook and Twitter - we are losing the art of the written word - the note card that shows up unexpectedly in the mailbox with a stamp on it! I know I love getting mail that is not asking for a donation or soliciting for something I would never support anyway, so wouldn't my friends get the same joy from walking to the mailbox? I am pretty good at doing this, but I could be better. (If you want a card sometime in 2009 - other than your birthday - send me your address and you never know!)
A: Accept people as they are. Stop trying to change people to be who I want them to be and just accept them as they are - warts and all. Yeah, that one is kinda hard for me because I think I know what is best for everyone...must be the Scorpio in me (if you believe in horoscopes and all that stuff). But, if I would just do this, it sure would save me a whole lot of frustration, headaches and tears in the long run. Patience, grasshopper, patience.
R: Return gratitude for every act of kindness. Treat others as you wish to be treated and express gratitude to those who are kind - in expected and unexpected ways. I may have this one (almost) under control. I do tend to do the "thank you" thing almost too well. But, I think what I need to work on is the "treating others how I want to be treated". More patience needed here as well.
E: Embrace every blessing...that God sends my way - even when the blessing shows up in a different form than I expect them. I think we limit God when we only want blessings the way we want them. We pray, "Dear Lord, give me a man 6'4", 200 pounds, athletic, a good singer, nice looking, kind to children and animals" (and no Wayne, I am not talking about you! hahaha) - and instead God sends the 5'6" Christian brother with a good job, good credit, but maybe he has bad skin, bad breath or a crooked, jacked up smile and you are like, "uh, thanks but no thanks"... sometimes our greatest blessings come in the plain brown paper wrapper and not the shiny package with the bow on top.
So, that's my resolution (again) for 2009. What are you resolving to do (or not to do) in the year ahead? Whatever it is,