1. a firm decision to do or not to do something

So I have been challenged by Bethany @Apple Cider Mill as well as the lovely ladies at (in)courage to come up some New Years resolutions. (in) courage asks "What are your God sized dreams for 2010?" while Bethany challenged me to come up with 10 for 10! I have spent the last week praying and thinking about these. I think these resolutions answer both, so here we go...

"In our greatest fears lies our greatest opportunities for success"
I heard this quote recently and it has stayed with me for days. I don't know who said it but it pierced my heart. I am afraid of many things, mostly things I cannot control or know the out come of. I am a perfectionist at heart and I struggle with fear of failure, fear of not being accepted or liked. I once told my husband that "I just want everyone to love me and do what I want them to do when I want them to do it!"
Well don't we all!
So in 2010,this is my God-Sized Dream! I resolve to work diligently to overcome this fear I have to succeed and live a truly authentic life in Christ and for Christ. I will do my best to push through the darkest parts of my heart and see how fearfully and wonderfully made I am.
I will believe it and I shall NOT fear!

Many people have told me what an inspiration this blog has been to them over the past few years. They have told me that I am a faith filled woman, spiritual and strong. Such praise is lovely but let me be very clear. I am a sinner, a work in progress. I ask that you don't put me on that pedestal because when I fall off (and I will) that bruise is gonna be a nasty one.
Writing a blog allows me to speak my mind with MAJOR editing. As many of my dear friends know I have the mouth of a sailor. I mean I can curse up a blue streak. Yes, I have caused old ladies to blush and cover their mouths in shock. I have received high fives from sailors because I can use the "f-word" as any part of speech. I am also VERY snarky, sarcastic and prone to gossip. I struggle everyday to be kind in both word and deed. People can really annoy me and you don't see that on this blog very often.
Yes, I LOVE God! Yes, I LOVE my family! Yes, I LOVE to read and bake!
But I am no better than you in the eyes of Our Creator so please always remember that because I really HATE bruises. It's the black green part that freaks me out! Yuck!
So I resolve to be a more authentic blogger in 2010!
Perfection is for God alone.

I resolve to begin each day in prayer.
Because of my schedule in the New Year this will require some reorganizing of my morning since I will be working part-time as a substitute at Courtney's school. It will require me to rise earlier (I am so NOT a morning person) and for me to retire at a decent hour. Just writing this I can feel the battle begin. But as Jennifer said "We must pray before battle" and so I shall. I also resolve to read more in the way of scripture and books that expand my knowledge of my Catholic faith. Yes, those are the kind of books that hurt my brain the most, but that's what resolutions are for. To challenge us and take us out of our comfort zones.

to live and to love with ALL I have
I have learned many things being the mother of a special needs child. The first one is you never know what the day will bring followed closely by you never know if this will be the LAST day of your life. Courtney had a pretty rough year and so did her Momma. I discovered that you can prepare all you want but sometimes you just have to be in the present moment and ride the waves. Sometimes all the planning and organizing has to be set aside so that you can hold and console, so you can breathe deeply the glory that is this life. We do not know the day or the hour when Our Creator will call us home, so live and love with ALL you've got. Today might be your last chance.

the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Now many of you might think I do this well and for the most part I agree. I am being honest here not boastful. However I am challenged to be as hospitable to those I love as well as those I find difficult to love. It's the difficult ones that I resolve to do better by. Some of our extended family relationships are challenging for me as well as some of our church family relationships. I resolve to see Christ in each of them and see them as He did. I resolve to not gossip or speak ill of those I find most difficult to be with. By God's grace, I can do this.

home organization
Now that I will be working part-time once again, home organization takes on a new level of importance. Not only will I have less time at home but with hubby's increased study time as well as J's return to living here and going to school locally, I will have less support but more responsibilities this year.
So the organization and scheduling of daily tasks is paramount to having a clean, friendly, organized and peaceful home. This will include a planned meal schedule and grocery shopping, a schedule of housecleaning tasks to stay on top of the clutter as well as a to do list of larger projects to be carried out over the course of the year. I resolve to stay on budget with both time and money.

financial responsibility
(This one is for Jerry)
I am not very good at budgeting or self denial. It is a HUGE weak point for me. I don't like to wait and I turn into a snottly little toddler if you tell me NO. So I resolve that in 2010 I will follow the family budget so lovingly created by my spouse to care for our family in a reasonable and responsible way. I resolve to not throw a hissy fit if I can't get a new book or magazine because it is not in this months budget and Starbucks will now be a a privilege NOT a right. I resolve to place my families needs above my own selfishness and be financially responsible.

living intentionally for God
I have lived much of my life by the seat of my pants, without a plan or map. I am a spontaneous person by nature and I tend to leap before I look causing many very ugly, messy landings. I resolve to look before I leap this year. I resolve to live with more intention and directed purpose. I will say NO to my selfish wants and desires and YES to God's will in my daily life. It is OK to leap when you feel God calling you to and it is amazing how that net gets woven just in time to catch you. However to leap stubbornly because it what I want...well that will just end badly for everyone involved.
Your will Lord, not mine.

I will FINISH the book!
Yes, I know that this is number nine and some of you think it should be higher on the list. But what I have figured out that if I don't have my house in order, I can't write. The distractions are too many and the emotional energy expended trying to ignore them doesn't exist anymore.
So with my house in order, I resolve to finish the book by March 1 and be ready for final editing and revising. I can feel my stomach tying in knots already. However, With Him who gives me strength, I can do anything (Phil 4:13)

temple renovation
Ok, I have blogged about this more than once and yet, it is a lifelong process. I have several readers who are Weight Watchers devotees that just cringe when I start baking a little sweet or a Paula Deen full of fat recipe. Well, my friends, I will be working on my temple renovation with more direction and intention this year so I resolve to eat healthier and move this body in 2010. This includes portion control, whole foods and less white stuff. The challenge will be doing this while being faithful to number six of my 10 for 10! This also includes loving this temple no matter what the size and dressing it with respect and loveliness. One does not have to be dowdy even if there are more curves than flat surfaces.

Well I think that takes care of the next year and to be honest the next decade! As my father would say "Play to win or go home". So we will take one from his playbook and be ambitious this year. If your wondering (like I am) about how these will be accomplished, check back in throughout the month of January and I will be breaking each one down into bite size pieces with a daily living plan and monthly goals. When you begin a marathon, you take it mile by mile, and that is my promise to myself for 2010. Just keep walking and Christ will walk with me.

"Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it." Psalm 37:4-5

I will trust my desires to Him and be true to His will. I wish you each a Blessed, Hope-filled and Most Happy New Year! On this Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, may she wrap her mantle of grace around each of us and stay watch with us in prayer to her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ throughout this New Year.

To be inspired check out these other bloggers at Apple Cider Mill and (in)courage!
Blessings and Grace,
Now and Always,