Wednesday, January 1, 2014

JUST ONE for 2014

And, we're off to the races!  2014 is here and... seriously.  It still feels just like 2013.  

2013 was stellar.  Likely the greatest year of my life, to date.  So how am I supposed to top that?  How in the world can I expect anything more from 2014?

Well, for starters, I won't be making resolutions this year- shy of this one:

Love God.  


Wait.  What?

You mean, I'm not going to try to lose weight this year (for the 34th year in a row)?  You mean, I'm not going to read my Bible more?  You mean I'm seriously not going to resolve to love my husband more, to try to be a better wife, mom, etc?  You mean I'm not going to resolve to work harder, to hit the gym more, to (FILL IN THE BLANK)?

Nope.  I give up.  

So does that mean I'll become lazy (lazier)?  Does that mean I'll totally neglect everything I need to improve about myself?

Absolutely not.  

What it does mean is that I'm tired of resolving to do all of these things.  Tired of working hard for about a week, and failing. Tired of getting back on the horse 862349781264 times every year and telling myself that it will be okay because tomorrow is always a new day.  This has NOTHING to do with self improvement or weight loss.  This has nothing to do with being churchy or trying to sound uber spiritual.  

I think I've finally discovered the key to becoming who I always felt I was meant to be- LOVING GOD.

Matthew 22:36-40 shows us this interaction between Jesus and his disciples: 

“Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?” Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command.  And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’  All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands.

Did you see that?  It's THE MOST IMPORTANT LAW- to love God with ALL of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Period.  That's the single most important thing that Jesus taught us to do.  In verse 40, He says that all of the law and writings of the prophets depend on this.

Wait.  So when the Bible gives us instructions on how to live- like, for instance, when it is written that we wives should submit to our husbands... you mean, that is dependent upon this, on me loving God?  


I used to read Proverbs 31 and think to myself "Well, crap.  I'll never be her...  I hope he'll settle for less because that's just impossible."  I've actually encountered this mentality several times throughout scripture.  One of our life verses for our entire family is 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whatever you do- whether you're eating or drinking, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

That's an awfully noble goal, right?  Well, what if, perhaps, I loved God more than I loved Facebook?  What if I loved God more than I loved my own body?  What if I loved God more than I loved texting or shopping or spending time with friends, more than I loved ministry or writing, or my husband or my children?  What if...?

I'm fairly certain that if I TRULY loved God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength, all of these amazing things that I want to accomplish- all of these tremendous (and seemingly impossible) goals would happen as a byproduct of simply loving God.

So, you read that right, folks. This year, I'm not going to resolve to do anything more than I was created to do- to love Jesus, and to be loved by Him.  I think I'll be quite surprised with the results and with the lack of let downs on my part.  

So as I bid you adieu, here's my toast to 2014:

"Happy New Year!  May 2014 be the year you experience God in new and amazing ways.  May 2014 be the year of freedom for you- freedom from trying, freedom from striving, freedom from unrealistic expectations and goals.  May 2014 be the year you truly understand how wide, how deep, how high, and how great His love is... and may that one simple truth set you free.  Bless you, brothers and sisters!"

-The Real Life Mom