My husband and I do not make New Year's resolutions for much the same reason, I suspect, as why we do not celebrate most holidays. We believe in taking responsibility for our relationship, our choices, and our habits every day of the year and not just on the national 'you-should-do-this' day. However, just over two months into 2010, I have realized that there is definitely something new and wonderful and beautiful happening in our home.
Michael and I are both apprehensive of schedules, avoid to-do lists, and generally reject time-imposed routines. Translated, this means that neither of us is able to commit to any daily activity or task that is not related to human necessity. The result is that we have a lot of spontaneous fun and experience time freedom - but lack the discipline to change or to acquire habits with any degree of success. This has been a source of individual frustration and marital tension, on and off, for the better part of our 9+ years together.
But in this, our tenth year of marriage, we are changing. Something happened, in a sort of slow, under-appreciated, and easy to miss way. I have noticed that each of us, separate of the other, has made intentional - indeed, radical - decisions to discipline ourselves in areas that were previously great weaknesses. For most of this new year, we have been steadily working towards improving ourselves, changing our daily lifestyle, and just simply blessing the other person. I know we have shared our choices with each other, so it's not been some secret or surprise, but as I reflect, I am amazed that each of us had the personal motivation to move in this direction. At the same time. But not necessarily together or because of the other.
What a great encouragement! First of all, I am encouraged that the Holy Spirit has been working on my heart. I had struggled over the last 6 months with feeling purposeful, and the discipline that I have been acquiring over the last 2 months has literally changed the way I wake up in the morning, not to mention the way I use my time throughout the day. I feel empowered and strengthened in the grace of Christ to fulfill the calling he has on my life as a wife, mother, minister, and artist. It's freeing and challenging all at once!
Additionally, I am so proud of my husband and am finding even more reasons to fall in love with him. I see him feeling encouraged in his personal disciplines, and I am excited for what lies ahead for us. I am reminded that 10 years of marriage is just the beginning, and that God is still hard at work in us. We have the opportunity to counsel so many couples, and I love that we can share how 'long' it has taken us to change, so that we can encourage them to keep at it!
This year has been a fresh start for us. One that we didn't plan or expect or even think we may have needed. It feels like a great big renewal, a giant "spring cleaning" of our hearts that overflows into our home -- and hopefully pours outward onto everyone else!