Happy New Year 2015

Are you too busy for your resolutions?  Millions of people make resolutions each end of December, with the hopes of keeping them and making a better life for themselves.  How does that work out?  Honestly, most people can’t get past the middle of January with their resolution lists.  Those that do make it a little farther, but very few make it for the year.

Do you know how long it takes to make something a habit?  Research shows that a new habit takes form somewhere between 21 and 28 days.  (That is just one month into the new year. )  I’ve been thinking about why resolutions fail.  Here are some of my thoughts.

–  Resolution lists are too long and challenging.  People have high hopes and big goals, but they are often not realistic.
–  There is no plan in place.  How can you expect a change if you don’t make a plan to implement that change?
–  What are you going to do differently to accommodate your new life-style? If you are resolving to exercise daily for 30 minutes, where are those 30 minutes coming from?  You need to change other areas of your life to fit your new goals in.
–  Big changes require a support system.  You can’t quit smoking or drinking without a good support system.  You can’t decide to change eating habits and eat more healthy without a support system.  You can’t decide to carve out time for yourself with a hobby without a support system to take care of your family while you are out.  Most resolutions you cannot complete on your own.
–  Have you set up a scaffolding system to reach your goal or are you jumping in with both feet?  Usually, if you set up a scaffolding system, you are more likely to find success and keep going.  If you jump in with both feet, you are more likely to fail and quit.
–  Have you asked God to help you achieve your goals?

With all of that being said, I don’t do resolutions.  At least not in the traditional way.  You see, it doesn’t need to be December 31 for me to decide that I need a change.  That can happen any day of the year.  Also, I am a bigger picture kind of girl.  I try to think of a way I want to live in all situations.  I know many people who also try to do this.  For me, it is a more powerful and realistic way to make a change in your life.

One way to do this and succeed is to choose one word.  One word to live by each day in all situations.  This will be my 3rd year choosing one word.  My first word was INTENTION.  Last year was UNDERSTANDING.  Living the entire year with one word in mind really helped to shape the person I am becoming.  And do you know what?  The “words” stick!  They stick throughout the year and into the next year!  It is an amazing transformation that is only possible through God.

Over the last two years, God has helped me become more patient, kind, and loving.  He has helped me focus on what I need to focus on and let go of things that are occupying my time but not producing fruit.  He has shown me a path that He wants me on.  He has helped me be a better wife, mother, and teacher.  He has done all of this a little at a time by giving me a word to focus on and pray about each day.

For this year, 2015, I think my word will be RELATIONSHIPS.  I’d like to try to work on building some good, solid relationships.  This scares me terribly, but sometimes, getting out of your comfort zone is where God can mold you best!  I have decided to let go of some social media because this gives a false sense of relationship.  I will be diligent in trying to nurture relationships in my life.  I have some interesting ideas on how I am going to do this and I am sure God will show me some more ways to work on this throughout the year!

I wish you all a blessed new year and I will pray that you find peace in your goals.  If you decide to live by a word, I’d love to hear what your word is and how you plan to do it if you know.  Feel free to share in my comments or email me.

Blessings,

Erin

I Knew This Day Would Come

I dreaded this day and every year, for the past 9 years, I wondered if this would be the year.  Well, this year, December 9, 2014, was the year.  My son’s 10th birthday.  A joyous celebration to most.  A rite of passage in some ways.  No longer a little kid, into double digits!  So many exciting things to look forward to!

Except that my son died when he was 1.

I wondered if anyone would remember.  I hoped some friends/family would acknowledge.  We have always gotten some cards, phone calls, hugs, emails, or messages in past years.  For some reason, I was really worried this year.  I felt like this might be the year no one remembers.  And, I was right.  (Well, 3 people remembered – but that’s it.) We got no calls.  We got no cards.  Not even one email message or facebook post on our page.  I got a rose in the mail from my sister, which she sends every year.  I got a message from my mom and a hug from my boss.  (And I so appreciated each of those gestures.)  But, wow.  The world has forgotten.

However, my amazing story is this.  While the world has forgotten, God remembered.  Do you know how I know this?  I shared that I was wondering if this would be the year.  I really worried about it in the days leading up to Louie’s birthday.

The entire week before his birthday I was so sick.  I dragged myself to the doctor on Saturday.  After waiting for over an hour, the doctor entered.  He didn’t introduce himself, ask me my name or how I was feeling, or anything.  He glanced at the computer screen which listed my symptoms, (sore throat, tight chest and cough, on and off fever), and he began to lecture me on how I am not taking care of myself.  He went on to tell me that I shouldn’t need an antibiotic more than once every six years.  I am obviously ignoring other things that are happening in my body and not taking care of them.  (Did I mention I never met this doctor before.)  Anyway, after about 5 minutes of this and me trying to get a word in edgewise, I got up and left.  He never looked at me, listened to my lungs, or anything.  I walked out.  I cried.  I was so furious, angry, frustrated, and still feeling so sick.

So, I struggled through Sunday and Monday morning.  Monday afternoon, I left work early and headed to a new Urgent Care facility near my house.  I needed to feel better soon.  We saw a doctor who was so kind and caring. He listened to me, shared that his mom and wife were both teachers and he understands how exposed we are to germs, talked with me and prescribed the correct meds to help me out.  As he went to leave, hand on the door knob, he stopped and turned around.  He said, “I hope this doesn’t upset you, but I just feel like I should tell you that I had a son that died 13 years ago.”  He went on to share Scripture that helps him through, how he remembers his son, a camp that he runs to help other families and more.  I had tears in my eyes.  I thanked him.  He said, “You don’t need to thank me.  I just felt moved to tell you.”

I told him that we, too lost our son.  And that his birthday was tomorrow.  His words and his Scripture were just what I needed to hear.  He had no idea that we were “part of the club.”  There would be no way for him to know that, except for a nudge from the Holy Spirit.  We shared some stories and pictures.  Shed a tear or two and said goodbye.

As I was driving home, I realized that it doesn’t really matter if the whole world forgets my son’s birthday.  What matters is that God remembers, and He did.  And He showed me that He remembered through this amazing doctor.  A doctor I would not have seen if I had not fallen ill, if I had not had a poor experience at my regular practice, and if I had not decided to take a half day on that Monday.  None of this was a coincidence.

My heart still hurts that our human world has forgotten my boy.  But I rejoice in the knowledge that our Creator is with him and will never forget him or me!