I don’t generally do the whole New Year’s Resolution Thing, but this year I’m in a very different place in my life and sort of starting over in a way. I’m pregnant with my second child and doing things differently than I did during my pregnancy and first year of Aliana’s life. Here’s some thoughts on what I want to accomplish and who I want to be in 2014.
I want to passionately pursue a loving and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ every day, every night, every hour. There is so much that I could say about this, places that I feel like I have failed, and there is always room to grow and to change. I want to let God continue to mold me and shape me into the woman that He has called me to be. I want to trust and obey no matter what He calls me to do or where He calls me to go.
I will invite Jesus to shine through me in my marriage and family. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to be perfect, but I want to be real and I want to demonstrate love. I don’t want to put on a show for my husband or children (or other people for that matter) by pretending to be something that I am not, but I want to show them grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. I want to teach Ali by example to show these things to others. I want to be a blessing.
I want to find the passion and love that I had for helping people again and put it into action. I served as a missionary in Honduras working as a volunteer teacher and a volunteer in an orphanage among other things. I really miss Honduras and the right time to go back to live there has not come along yet, so in the meantime I want to find the passion that I had for helping people in Oklahoma City before I left the country. I was very involved in the inner-city, especially with children, and it gave me something to live for, something that lit a fire in my heart and it gave me a meaningful and purposeful life. I want that back, and I pray with God’s direction I will find it.
I want to go back to the simplicity that I left in life. I went from living rather simply in Central America, to coming back to the states abhorring everything lavish about the lifestyle of the average American, to buying into those ideals and getting stuff-stuff-stuff and more stuff. I recently counted (and was ASHAMED). My daughter has more than 25 pairs of shoes that fit her. She’s two. Does she really need that many shoes? (The answer is no.) I slipped somewhere and fell in love with the consumerism that is America and began buying her too much stuff (and letting other people buy her way too much stuff). I know too many people that don’t have shoes or didn’t have shoes until they were six or seven. How did I forget about that? I’m not going so far to say that having stuff is wrong, but it just doesn’t feel right for me, for us. She has designer outfits that cost us so much that we could feed a family in Central America for a month on what we paid for them. What were we (we being mostly me) thinking? Yes, they are cute—adorable really, but how did I forget about my friends and family who are battling poverty everyday looking for ways to survive? How did we forget that my husband’s first job after graduating high school and technical school was for $27 a month and he worked fourteen hour shifts every single day with no days off. My husband and I often observed his family members who came over from Nicaragua in the past and looked at their lavish lifestyles and the habit that they had of forgetting their family back home and striving to have more and more than they previously had. Unfortunately we too have started falling into this trap, especially in the last year and mostly when it has come to stuff for our daughter. I want to go back to remembering what is important in life and recalling that it’s not about things, it’s about people. It’s about relationships. It’s about love. This is what we want to teach our daughters. It’s time to go back to the simple life with Aliana and show her what’s really important.
There are hundreds of other things that I would like to do, see, and change, but these are the ones that are most important to me. I’m excited for the New Year and the changes that it will bring for our family, especially our new addition, Breysi Jayde. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in 2014.