On Preparing my Heart for the New Year

My tree is still standing in the corner of the living room with puddles of fallen needles beneath it, the ornaments have scattered themselves into little clumps about the height of a two-year-old’s reach, and patches of old snow still litter my yard from our post-Christmas covering.   I am thinking of untrimming the tree later today, but why do today what you can put off for tomorrow?  Huh?

new year


I have a full-sized carnival popcorn machine to find a place for (umm, yea?) and new toys  pepper the floors, waiting patiently to be picked up, looked at and then thrown down again…


Baby Jesus, the wise men and the shepherds are all wrapped in wal-mart sacks and stuffed into red bins awaiting to be unveiled 11 months from now, and my refrigerator consists of half eaten carrots (left over from the reindeer) and jug of buttermilk, half full… because I use buttermilk, um, never… except when I bake random fattening holiday side dishes like “corn pudding”…. which the recipe is not included in this post because despite the 2 sticks of butter, 1 cup of buttermilk and 4 eggs… the pudding was DRY… I am pretty sure it was a scientific anomaly… how could anything with that much FAT be dry? (That was such a run-on sentence… I apologize, kinda.)


My two year old will not nap, and thinks getting up and running around the house during nap time is funny, but, on the bright side, the two older kids are playing together preciously, except they are playing with Daxx’s new spy equipment and I fear I will have to debug the house before any “adult conversations” can happen… my son does not know he is treading on territory that has the potential to be permanently damaging when hiding spy cameras in my bedroom…   All three kids think soda is a new normal, and that it’s perfectly fine to snack on chocolate chips, hot tamales and lemon heads all-day-long.


We have officially become undone.  Christmas ate our lunch… threw it up… and then ate it again.   Yep, that’s what I said.   Yesterday, after church we went for burgers and brought them home to eat.  We stuffed our selves full of ALL THE CARBS and then crashed for our sacred sabbath naps and woke up AT DARK!   We have collectively bit the dust.


I sit here, breathing it in, soaking up the reality and longing to gather back the pieces of my normal, sort them out, untangle the knots and lay it all out again, intentionally.  As I organize myself for the new year I must prioritize my goals based on my roles.   I have learned there are only a few callings I alone can fulfill.


1- My role in my relationship with the Lord – No one can do this for me, it is my job alone.

2- My role as a wife to my husband – Let’s HOPE no one can do this one for me either

3- My role as a mother to my children – This job was entrusted to me, for me, from the Lord.


So, as I itemize my time and energy this new year, and evaluate the health and wellness of our household, I must see life  through the lens of these roles.  Are my decisions enhancing my ability to focus on these three callings, or are they pulling me away from them?  As my children grow I feel the ‘winding-up’ of life getting tighter and tighter, the time slipping faster and faster, and the pressures of motherhood piling higher and heavier upon my shoulders.   But, fortunately as I turn to the Lord and HE says to me… “Heather, My grace is sufficient”, “Heather, My mercies are new everyday”, “Heather, My peace passes all understanding”, “Heather, My burden is LIGHT”… and most importantly, “Heather, I am in control”.


God is so gracious to give us a new start each year.  A point at which we can pause and evaluate the mental health of our families, the physical wellbeing of our bodies and set tangible and obtainable goals for the new season ahead.  The central message of the gospel is new beginnings, 2nd chances, turning from the old and seeking the new, surrendering our mistakes and accepting a clean slate… Setting resolutions can be the catalyst for revolutions.


As, I pick up the pieces of Christmas and I put everything in it’s physical place during this week of pause, the same thing must happen within, a time to evaluate the “yes’s” and “no’s” and the “no-time-for’s” and the “wasting-to-much-time-doing’s”.  I must “Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles so that I can run the race marked out for ME... The Christ-follower, the wife, the mother and the friend.” (Hebrews 12:1)


What are you making time for this new year?  What are you deleting from your life, or adding to your routine?  I’d love to know as I compile my list as well.

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