Several years ago I stopped making New Year’s resolutions because within the first month (sometimes the first week!), I had broken them. You know, things like, “lose 30 pounds, have daily devotional time with God first thing every morning, travel internationally, have a hot marriage, be the world’s best mom.” Then I felt like a failure when they didn’t happen–even remotely. Do you relate?
According to speaker/author Donna Partow, here’s some facts about New Year’s Resolutions:
25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after 1 week.
60% of people abandon them within six months.
Most people make the same New Year’s Resolution 10 times without success.
I decided that instead of resolutions (or even “goals”), I’d pray to God for a Scripture and a “one word” and/or theme for the coming new year. This has worked out well for me. And I no longer feel like #wifefail or #momfail or whatever fail.
Last year’s “one word” was intentional.
Each year, I’ve discovered how accurate the “one word” was for that year with both its blessings and challenges to overcome. Throughout 2017, I had to make very intentional choices.
For 2018, my “one word” is JOY. Whenever I begin to see or hear a word or a Scripture two, three, or more times, I know that God is speaking to my heart and wants to teach me something.
I’ve begun to see this word JOY a lot and recently found a Christmas decoration with two red cardinals (cardinals are very special to me), with the word JOY on it. I felt that was the final confirmation that I needed to use this as my one word for the coming year.
I look forward to this, as 2017 was hell, one of the worst years in my life (and I’ve had some bad ones before!).
My two Scriptures for 2018 are Nehemiah 8:10, NLT, and Psalm 126:5, ESV:
“And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10, NLT)
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126:5, ESV)
This verse in Psalm 126:5 is especially profound, because I cried a lot during 2017. (More than usual!)
On the Blue Letter Bible website, that word “joy” from Nehemiah 8:10 in the original language is chedvah. It simply means joy or gladness.
You can have God’s joy even in the midst of painful circumstances, because our hope as believers is always in our faith in Jesus Christ and His second coming, not in what is happening around us. We fix our eyes on Him, not the storm.
The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines joy as:
1: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight.
2: a state of happiness or felicity: bliss.
3: a source or cause of delight.