We are four days into the New Year. I’m not sure how 2015 arrived so quickly – but it did. And for that – I am extremely grateful. If you’re like me you have spent the past week or so standing around (or laying in bed at night) processing the goals and plans or “resolutions” you have for this coming year. It’s only natural. December 31 ends a “fill in the blank” year and January 1 begins anew.
You want to lose “blank” amount of weight, spend more time with your family and less time at work, more time playing with the kids on the floor and less time playing on Facebook, spend less money, extend more grace. The list continues. It’s goal after goal after goal. And maybe beneath all of those lists you’re making you know you can only achieve a few and the rest will bomb, but something feels good about saying it outloud.
I’ve been doing that. Laying in bed at night and going through all of the bad that we’ve been through in 2014, all of the finances, all of the gained pounds (15 …. ), the growing babies who won’t seem to slow down, the arguments with my husband, the moving from state to state, and the fact that we are so close to the finish line of an extremely draining chapter of our life. You know what I do then?
I think about how I’ve failed as a wife, failed as a mom, failed as a woman, failed as a friend, as a Marine spouse, as a daughter, as a sister, as a blogger, as a Christian, as a person. Time and time again I lay in my bed and stare at the blank wall and (after I’m done thinking about how I really need to hang pictures on the walls) I think about how 2014 sucked because I sucked. I didn’t run as much as I wanted to. I didn’t stick to eating healthier. I spent way more money than I wanted to. We bought a car sooner than we were planning. I didn’t play on the floor enough. I wished days away when my son was a screaming infant. I focused more on what I didn’t have instead of focusing on what I did have. I gained weight, didn’t lose it. I didn’t have sex enough with my husband. I drank more beer than I wanted to. I fought with my husband more than I should have. I complained about the Marine Corps. (When they’re the ones paying for my meal ticket, home, car, and lifestyle.)
Failure. Failure. Failure.
“You could have done better.”
“You could have spent less money. Look at that bank account.”
“You didn’t need a new car that quickly.”
“Your son is 8 months old and you spent the first 2 months whining about him.”
“Why haven’t you worked out this week?”
“Your family isn’t eating organic food. You’re giving your kids cancer.”
“You are hideous. Cover up your body.”
“If you would have stuck to that diet you wouldn’t feel this way about yourself.”
“You are NOT what your husband wants to look at.”
“Why aren’t you applying yourself more?”
“Look at all of these women with kids graduating from college. You’re a failure.”
I don’t say all of that to seek pity. On the contrary. It’s simply the truth that must be stated. After all of this self-loathing I look above my kitchen sink to a sign that reads,
“Live Simply ~ Remain Grateful”
A few days before Christmas my very best friend and I were discussing how sometimes our blessings are masked by insecurity. We are so insecure about our weight that we forget that we have a body at all. A body that, mind you, birthed healthy babies and has good strong legs to carry me from place to place. A body with arms to hug my husband and squeeze my children. A brain that, while sometimes goofy, helps me to write and read and think. To learn and feel emotion. I feel insecurity as a mother, that I forget I am a mother at all. (That one alone kills me…)
So as I stood back and read that sign, and processed the simple words, it hit me.
Live simply. Remain grateful. Screw the rest.
So here’s what 2015 Resolutions looks like for my family and me:
Grace for my children.
Grace for my husband.
Grace for my family.
Grace for my sisters.
Grace for my friends.
Grace for my enemies.
Grace for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Grace for self.
Will I try to eat healthier? Yes. Will I beat myself up when I don’t? No. Will I try to extend grace and patience with my husband and children? Yes. Will I climb under a rock of failure and self-loathing when I don’t? No.
Look … I’m like all of you. I want to lose 50 pounds. I want to eat healthier. I want to be more patient. I want to save more money and I want to run more miles. I want to spend less and I want to do with less. But what I really want … SO BADLY … Is to stand in front of that mirror in the morning, yoga pants and messy hair, and feel unbelievable thankfulness. And grace.
Maybe I won’t solve world hunger. Maybe I won’t get my degree this year … or even in the next five years. Maybe I will only lose 20 pounds. Maybe my husband and I won’t be any more intimate this year than we were last year. But I’m so exhausted with laying in bed, losing precious sleep, thinking of how miserably I’ve failed at life. How I’m not worthy because I don’t have a Bachelors degree or a Masters degree or even immediate plans to achieve one. I am so tired of hating myself because I have cellulite and stretch marks. I am so tired of looking in the mirror and seeing defeat staring back at me.
I’m so … tired.
But oh man, when I think of the Lord’s sweetness. His mercy. HIS GRACE. When I think of the fact I am still breathing. That I am still a mom. That I am still a wife. That I am still His. Oh the wondrous thought.
So … No more. This year’s goals will be tangible and will be ones that are necessary.
2015, you are my year of grace.
Join me … Won’t you?