A New Year's Resolution

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Every year, (I mean every year), I say,  ‘This year I will not make New Year’s Resolutions.”

(Which end up being false promises and short-sighted solutions to issues greater than this plan I am concocting can fix.)

And yet, I can’t resist. I tell friends and family and radio audiences and social media networks about dreams I have to read more, eat less, rest regularly, learn new skills. I can’t help it. The idea of being re-made into a better version of myself calls me every time.

There’s a reason for that.  Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory.” Colossians and Romans both talk about our renewing of our mind and of our image. It’s how He made us, to be in a continual state of growing closer to how He created us. My New Year’s compulsions aren’t bad, just a little misguided if that self-evaluation only comes around once a year.

Shouldn’t there be a little bit of that longing (to be more than I am right now) in me each day?  What would it look like if each day I started with a gut check.  How today can I be more like Him?

One of my rather unrealistic New Year’s resolutions in 2015 is to learn Hebrew.

Who wants to guess how long that’s going to last? If I focus on the desired outcome (understanding God’s word and how it’s written in context) instead of the expressed goal (learn 3-5 phrases a week), I exponentially increase my chances of success. If I feel I couldn’t master a vocabulary list several weeks in a row, then I am more likely to give up, missing an opportunity for growth. Transformation doesn’t just happen, I don’t just suddenly speak Hebrew, there is a discipline involved, but it’s not about completing a task. It’s about making room, paving the road, putting myself in a posture prone to transformation. Then, I give the Holy Spirit ripe soil to do his work.

This New Year’s season, I am going to start a practice I hope to continue throughout the year. I am going to focus more on who I am being (or better yet, becoming), than what I am doing. I am going to challenge myself to be present for my family, in my faith, in my marriage, instead of overcommitting to events and relationships I won’t remember a year from now. I am going to wake up and ask how I am listening (instead of what I am saying.) I am going to pray for wisdom (instead of accumulating knowledge.)  And so the list goes on. It’s a tall order, but one I hope is a part of a master plan my Master has planned to make me more like who He believes I can be.

Blessings,

Beth

Beth Guckenberger

Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University with degrees in education, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico. Since founding the international arm of Back2Back in 1997, they have hosted thousands of guests on the ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children. Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013),Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014) and Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go (Standard Publishing, 2014). Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013),Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014) and Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go (Standard Publishing, 2014).Beth is the recipient of the the 2013 International Network of Children’s Ministry Legacy Award and the Cincinnati Christian University Salute to Leaders Award for her and Back2Back’s impact on children internationally. She travels and speaks regularly at conferences, youth gatherings and church services. Her style is based in story-telling and she draws from her vast field experience as a missionary and parent of nine children for illustrations of biblical concepts.