Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Lenten Resolutions (Post-Cana Post)

New Year's resolutions bear a certain resemblance to Lenten resolutions, and, for many of us, they last about as long.  But 40 days of good behavior is better than nothing, so there's no reason to give up trying on that account.

A wise priest once told me that, instead of making one or two big Lenten resolutions, I should pick six or seven small things to do every day.  After choosing these seven things, I realized that they all needed to be done anyway.  Making sure the kids got their vitamins, doing one load of laundry every day so it didn't pile up, fifteen minutes of washing the big pots and pans by hand since they never came out clean from the dishwasher.  These seven tasks turned from Lenten resolutions into year-long goals.  And essentially year-long goals are New Year's resolutions.

So now, every New Year's, I pick one resolution per family member -- for a total of eight. The kids are reaching a lot of milestones this year, so the bulk of my resolutions are to help them reach those milestones.  My eldest daughter has ADD, and the growing demands of  middle school require her to start on a medication regimen.   My son just began fourth grade and realized that to get good grades he can't wing it any more, he actually has to study.  My preschooler needs to learn to read, and my first grader needs to learn to read better.  The two-year-old needs to learn how to talk, which she has deemed unnecessary since usually a pout suffices for her to get whatever she wants.  Oh, and she has to be potty-trained, too.  My middle daughter is very organized and accomplished at school, so she doesn't need help with that.  She told me what she wants from me is more love.  My husband asked me to resolve to make the kids pick up their shoes (six pairs of shoes scattered around the floor is apparently not pleasant for him to come home to). 

As for me, my New Year's resolution is to pray more.  Just looking at what lies ahead for the year intimidates me.  It seems impossible for any human to accomplish.  For this reason, John Paul II told families that they needed to be strong with the strength of God.  That strength comes from prayer.  As the Bible says, I can do all things in him who strengthens me.  I surely can't keep any of my resolutions without his help.


1 comment:

  1. Sure is hard with so many children! God bless you and them as you surely need it in this day and age. It is great that you are so grounded with God, and a person who prays. I have learned you must sincerely pray and ask God for His help. Even if it seems kind of unfair of Him not to help us if we do not ask, His purpose is to bring us closer to Him, and that will only happen if we recognize His help because we asked. We must realize we cannot bring things about only by our own efforts; it is too much for us, and much cannot be in our control or done through our will.