Happily Whole

Living well from the inside out

Resolutions in Reverse

January 9, 2017, written by katie
New Year Resolutions in reverse

I’m a week late on resolutions and loving it! Sure, you might believe a blog all about wellness would’ve wanted to jump on the January bandwagon. Nope, not this one! You see, it’s all about authenticity here on Happily Whole. I ride the ‘inside-out’ train, intent on finding meaning and making connections before measuring waistlines and cutting carbs.

Let me explain what happened the week I intended to write resolutions into my New Year….

My debut week of 2017 began all cross-eyes and bent over backwards. So, instead of stepping the intensity up, I stepped away to save my sanity. I stopped working out for the New Year. Yes, you heard that correctly. I stayed away from the gym and most all exercise. I ceased paying such close attention to what I grabbed from my pantry. I sacrificed squeezing in tangible self-care to refocus on soul-care. I simply stopped.

And honestly, reversing my resolutions has been revolutionary. Walking exactly opposite the rest of the world was like a soul-sigh of relief.

I longed to get right with God. In my condition, I couldn’t hear His call. His voice had become muffled by the madness of my own life…and sometimes of my own attitude. Nestled in the midst of all my well-intentioned work hid frustrations, failure to trust and a frenzy of to-dos. I found myself busy but working without heart. And so I stood there, lost on my to-do list feeling void of meaning and misplaced in my own life.

Because, you see, hustling hands lead to broken hearts and busted up souls filled with forgotten love and lost intentions.

First, the emptiness subtly tugged at my sleeve…then it started banging on the back door….and before I knew it all my ‘good work’ and ‘happy hustling’ turned up desolate at the end of the day.

But by taking on too much, all I did was crowd Him out, creating an emptiness human hands can’t heal. Eventually, I got all caught up in controlling outcomes and carrying burdens not my own. I desperately longed to reconnect with Christ and give Him all my cares!

My soul felt agitated as my calendar overflowed and I strived to solve each problem that popped up by performing more…doing better. I worked hard…but not smart.

The problem with solving our own problems is we haven’t first asked for His perspective! Suddenly we find ourselves on a road without Him because gradually we’ve walked away. Then overwhelm inevitably sets in and we realize our souls are suffocating and all along we what needed was to abide in Him.

Yeah, the antidote for a suffocating soul is to abide in Him where we can inhale the oxygen of His ever-present, peaceful presence.

Reversing my resolutions allowed for much needed soul-resting with Him to reconnect with what He has in store. 

So instead of joining the January frenzy, I sat in the solitude of my home feeling the protection of His love like a fortress. Finally, in His shadow and shelter, I resolved to discover the JOY of JESUS all year long, in all things, in any circumstance. Because you see, situations don’t generate joy, total trust in HIM and the truth of already knowing our eternal end inject our hearts with an unmovable joy!

I realize this kind of joy comes from a certain wisdom, a wisdom requiring work, soul-work. The kind requiring redirection every time I turn towards an old pattern of trying to make things work my way. It’s the type of work that tests my trust, a work requiring me to walk opposite the way of the world.

I started by scaling back and listening for His whispers. I literally cuddled into His comfort as I prayed, rested in His Word and wrote. I simply stayed away from traditional resolutions and I let Christ cup my tear-streaked face and stare straight into my eyes reminding me HE IS THE SAVIOR…and I am His willing, humble servant.

Do any of you do what I’d done? Have you tried to take matters into your own hands instead of trusting Him or taken so much on that your to-do list governs your day and you forget to ask His direction? It may take a while but you’ll finally notice your soul’s all agitated and you’ve muffled God’s voice and crowded His call out of your life.

Maybe you too need to put your self-care resolutions in reverse and commit to soul-care first. Take time to soul-rest before you sprint into 2017 any further. If your soul is suffocating and the eyes of heart desire to gaze into His, if your lungs long to slowly inhale His breath of life, slow down and make space for Him.

If there’s anything starving your soul or crowding out Christ, it’s never too late to pause in His peace to seek His purpose. There’s never a bad time to turn to Him. Commit 2017 to discovering the real JOY of JESUS with me!   

Stop Striving


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