Marion Schefter, she told me once how she changed a dissolving storyline in her life into a good story.
She stood in the door of our little country chapel, one arm crooked through the handles of her purse, and she told me: “Well, I just purposed. Like Daniel. You know, you’ve read it — that Daniel purposed in his heart… so I figured that any dare to change my heart — starts with a purposing in the heart.”
I looked over at Marion and I could see it clear in her eyes: Purposing to change happens where prayer meets perseverance.
So I came home and I grabbed a pen and decided… I didn’t need New Year’s Resolutions this year… I want SOULutions … for a new me. I need to purpose in my heart & let prayer and perseverance meet, let there be a plan to purposely aim for, because if there’s nothing to aim for, you’ll get it every time.
My penmanship isn’t all Spencerian swirls like Marion’s but I scratched it down:
This is The Year
I purpose to —
* Embrace Imperfect: This is The Year to be held by the arms of grace, not to any standard of perfection.
* Engage Silence — not screens: This is The Year to engage silences regularly & retreat to the “back side of the wilderness.” Because when you do not need to be seen or heard — you can see and hear in desperately needed ways.
You find your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls — and not the glare of screens.
* Be still: Be small. Be Loved. Beloved.
Let yourself be loved anyway He wants to love you. God is always, always good & you are always, always, always. loved.
Be still …. & know.
* Believe in Him for impossABLE things.
Believe in Him who makes the ridiculously impossible into the miraculously possible, the unbelievable into the you-better-believe-it, the never into the now. Be the brave people who pray it bold in the space between the end of one year & the beginning of a New Year: BUT GOD.
“Ours is the God who whispers: “With Me nothing, Nothing, NOTHING is impossible.”
Believe in Him for impossABLE things — because as long Emmanuel, God is with us & we are with God: nothing is impossible. Believe in Him for improbable, implausible, impractical, impossABLE things.
* Break idols — or they will break you. Break free, break out of ruts, break idols — or they will break you.
* Daily 3 for 10: These 3 for 10 everyday: Word In. Work Out. Work Plan. It’s not what you do every now and then, but what you do everyday, that changes everything.
Word in: Get into God’s Word for 10 minutes and let it get into you.
Work out: Work out. Even 10 minutes of moving is better than nothing.
Work plan: Write out the Work Plan — even just 3 things. And then just start: 10 minutes working the plan.
* Do Less. Pray More: More than your doing hands, God wants your bended knees.
* Let Go of the Outcome: Come completely committed to the process — and completely let go of the outcome. In the middle of things seemingly not working out for us —- God is working out something in us.
* Learn Endurance: Do Hard & Holy Things. Break the idols of ease — or they will break you.
* Live Given.
Because God so loved He gave.
Because Living is Giving.
* Give It Forward Today — 3 times a day. Give It Forward Today & be the GIFT — give an act of grace forward, 3 times a day. Be a GIFTivst. It’s the Giftivists are the activists who believe that radical acts of generosity counter radical acts of inhumanity. GIFTivst
* Grow Brave. Grow in Grace: Which is basically the same thing.
I scratched the whole thing down — then slipped the SOULutions into a frame. Figuring that unless you can daily see your Life SOULutions…. the year will end up to be more of a dissolution of your life. Maybe that’s one of the keys I’d never turned: Framable SOULutions — to frame up a new year, a new you.
Snow’s melting on the farm here, on the last days of the year, the pines and the eaves out at the end of the barn dripping one sliver drop at a time, old things melting away.
I never told Marion Schefter what she handed me that day in the country chapel’s door.
But I was told that the tulips are coming up here on the cusp of a new hoping year — and I’ve seen it with my own eyes, possibility like that.
Wife, Mom, Author, and Speaker
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