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New Year's Resolutions postcard“Have you made any new year’s resolutions?” my grown son asked me, turning the tables. When he was growing up, I’d ask him that question each time a new year rolled around.

Some of my resolutions/goals for the year are more spiritual/relational/subjective. Can’t put a ruler to them and measure success. Others are more concrete. I can look back at the end of the year, even along the way, and see progress.

As years come and go my new-year resolutions are becoming prayer lists. I’m learning there isn’t any real success without the working of God’s Spirit in the situation. I will need his grace every moment, every day of the coming year.

At the beginning of last year, one of my resolutions and prayers was for healing and renewal in some relationships that had become strained. This seems tricky because there are two sides involved. But when God is invited into the relationship there are three, and for his part he is working on all sides, giving new eyes to see, ears to hear the other person, desire for fellowship. The results may not be measurable with a calculator. They are felt, though, and I know God has worked his wonders in those relationships I both resolved and prayed about a year ago.

Measurable resolutions I’ve made: eat better, exercise more, be more faithful to pray daily for family members, write more, practice piano more, see more of the beautiful state we live in, identify 125 species of birds this year.

Have you made any new year’s resolutions? Can you look back and see how God has helped you realize any of last year’s resolutions? Are you thanking the Lord for his help the past year and praying over this year’s list?

New beginnings, such as a new year, give us the opportunity to reflect and return and be restored in what really matters to us and to our Creator.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

~ Catherine Lawton (first published this post Jan. 3, 2013)