Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Happy New year!
   I always think people make a huge deal about the "new year," like somehow this year will be the answer to all of life's big problems. As if it is going to solve everything and finally they will be happy and enjoy their life.
   I find this interesting, reflection is good don't get me wrong! I just find it sadly cultural that we tend to line out all the things we didn't do that great and then decide January first that we need to set ourselves up for being happy by getting organized, drinking less and getting a gym membership.
   Resolution by definition means "a firm decision to do or not to do something; decision, determination, resolve, solution."
   I actually think regularly making a firm decision to change something that's not working for you is a great idea- but what is behind it? It seems to me we often make these decisions because our year wasn't as great as we'd hoped and so THIS year is going to be GREAT, BECAUSE I'm changing it all.
   The one things I don't think I've ever seen on a new years resolution is "To change my attitude" or "to choose not to be offended by anything" or "to choose joy NO MATTER the circumstance" "to give unconditionally and love unconditionally" but each of these would root out the bitterness and negativity or self deprecation and replace it with a good attitude, a happy heart, and person that is so wonderfully whole and complete that people flock to them, want to be around them and want what they have. But what they have can be anyone's if we would only choose it!
   If we first chose to change our attitude we would come to find that we naturally WANT to get in better shape and when we see ourselves the way God sees us the gym membership is not for looks or our own skewed view of wanting to fit in- it's because we want to be healthy! We want to treat our body like a temple of the Holy Spirit and take caution to what we allow in it; making sure to keep in good shape for longevity and the ability to sustain a busy and consistently active life in blessing and serving our family and others. Fitness becomes exciting because we see how God made us to function and fall in love with the endorphin rush! It frees our mind from guilt and gives energy that surges throughout the rest of the day. Fitness is an incredible goal- but not because someone judged you- because God made your body to do incredible things and once you decide and know that- then you can really soar getting in shape and finding an activity you're crazy about!
   When we look around at the chaos in our life and decide we need to get more organized- it takes action to take control of our home and rearrange it. We have to commit to small daily activities that will change small things but eventually our habits will form and we will naturally reorganize things until we find a working function for our life. An example from my own life; when we were first married we moved into a nice three bedroom house. I had NO idea how to keep that HUGE house clean! It was so difficult to find a rhythm and seemed to me that it took all day just to get one thing done. Now, after each addition of a new child I have actually become much more efficient at keeping my home clean and organized and am actually the most organized now than ever! It seems backwards, because we all know i have NO time now- but had all the time in the day before Lucy was born. But now my life requires a bit of routine and so slowly the new habits began to form as i changed my attitude and forced myself to do more chores regularly until my natural instinct is now to be actively doing something all the time. Not that it's healthy to be a Martha- especially not replacing Jesus, spouse, or children! But it is necessary, as in Proverbs 31 to be a wife of noble character, to  find a way to get all of our chores done and spend quality time with each member of our family! It is possible, just choose to do one extra thing each day- write out a calendar you can see and check off the days you've done the assigned chores, that way you can see that you're getting better! Also, listen to something inspiring while doing your chores, a sermon, an inspirational book on CD or audio, something that is positive and uplifting. If you are a stay at home mom, your home is your ministry so accept your failures and find simple solutions for them; for example I LOVE the kids toys to be organized but some days they get out EVERY toy and it would take me hours to put them away where i like- so i have a toy cube wall with colored baskets and the kids and I just put them away in the baskets and slide them into their slots- that way the toys are put away but also look nice and organized even when they are not. I also sometimes take toys out if they're getting overwhelming and rotate them back in another time.
   Ladies, I do want to touch on something I hear from women and even men a lot. Often when we have kids we start wearing sweats all the time and not showering till late, not wearing makeup, and "letting ourselves go." I remember before Bryce and I got married this was his biggest concern with me, that i would have children and just get frumpy like most moms. I hear women say all the time that they don't know why their husband isn't interested in them after a few years- but honestly I wonder what they have tried. Men are visual, they want to look at you and be instantly amazed at your beauty- but it's quite difficult when we take no care for ourselves or their feelings. I think this puts a large rift in the marriage because a man cannot find a way to ask for this to change, and the wife is so sensitive she gets hurt and angry if he does find a way.
We have always tried to keep communication open and gentle enough that if a suggestion was made this way we could gracefully listen and try to change it. We are committed to the same person for our whole life- but if we wish to maintain the same level of excitement, attraction, and desire that our husbands seek after our hearts to win them every day, we REALLY need to step up our game! He needs to KNOW we love him, we need to BE captivating! He can't continually be visually captivated by a woman in sweats and an oversized t shirt without even clean hair- we really cannot expect a man to "love us as we are" if we cannot love ourselves enough to see the importance of taking care of ourselves.
   Is this making sense? By no means am I trying to place the importance solely on our looks, I do not believe this and I certainly don't think it is what makes us beautiful. It is honor for him, self respect, joy and kindness all wrapped up in keeping ourselves a beautiful package for him to unwrap. Aiding in keeping our husbands eyes solely on US not on the women of our culture who are taught to flaunt it all and virtually be naked on commercials and billboards. If we want our men to focus on us and struggle LESS in this area we need to accept the responsibility to step it up and take care of our bodies- exercise, eat right, get dressed up sometimes, be excited and happy and all those things he fell in love with. You can have his attention back- you just have to get to working for it! We cannot choose how they act toward us, or what they say if they need us to try a little harder, but we can control how we react and make a "resolution" to step it up and be the best we can because our spouses deserve it. Sometimes, with a brand new baby, this meant i got dressed and put makeup on and nice clothes five minutes before he walked in the door- but still it was done :).
   I hope you are encouraged and hear my heart, we are all heavenly created and beautiful, we have the power to change our WHOLE year just by changing out attitude about it and becoming determined to have a joyful attitude through every rough spot we hit this year- because we all know every year has them!
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deut. 31:6


  1. SO true!!!! Although in all good humor I have to admit that last night I looked down at myself, decked out in red and blue socks, purple and teal snowflake fleece pj's and a brown shirt, add to that a pony tail half undone because it was in the way of me putting my head back...know what your dad said to me? You are beautiful! Thank heavens for 30 years of love, it can make a man blind! hahahaha! I love your words Kales, they make me proud!

  2. Amen, amen, and amen, Kaylee! I wish every young wife could read your blog. Getting ready early in the day actually lifted my own spirits up and helped me to be on track, although every now and then everyone needs a jammy day. It is true what you said about goals too. My most important goals are the ones that grow me up into a better person. The goals I have for 2013 are the simplest they have ever been, so I actually might remember them! I made myself a bookmark of them - they are: LOVE, GROW, CREATE, STEWARD, and ENJOY.
    Happy 2013, my friend!