“And no one puts new wine into old wine skins. For the wine would burst the wine skins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wine skins.” ~Mark 2:22 (NLT)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he/she is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
I am ready for some new things, new habits, new ways of thinking, new life, new energy, new relationships that are totally real…newness. Some old things are okay, don’t get me wrong… but many of my old patterns, thoughts, habits, ways of thinking and being, need to go and be replaced with new. I’m not saying all old habits, friends, etc, are bad or need to go. Not at all. But I will pray more about how I live daily and who I trust and “do life” with.
I am so very glad that I am NOT the Sharon I was one, two, five, ten, twenty+ years ago. I look back on this past year or five, and I was very unhealthy in so many ways. I was not dealing with my “stuff” and I was escaping reality constantly with many things: movies, romance books (or any good book), wine, friendships/relationships that weren’t good for me, shopping addictions, addictions to people and to being liked, being a people-pleaser (more than a God-pleaser), perfectionism, my kids’ activtities, busy-ness, my own activity, avoiding chores and responsibilites… I could truly go on and on with the bad things… the things of my old self… the old wine… the ways I avoided reality and tried to be happy. Ways I tried to control my life (and others).
But I am ready for NEW. I have put aside SO many negatives this past year or so. It has been a somewhat lonely year of reflection and pain/growth. I am nowhere NEAR where I want to be, that’s for darn sure, but I am so much better off than I was, in so many ways. I am not perfect, nor will I EVER be… and that’s okay.
I want to be healthy (spiritually, physically, mentally) for myself, my husband, my kids. They (and I) deserve that. I want to keep growing in my relationship with Jesus first and foremost. I am NOTHING without HIM. I am a wretched capital- M.E.S.S. most of the time, if not FOR HIM. I struggle with hating myself for things I have done in my past, or for not liking my temper, or my issues. I struggle with many things. I am an introvert, and I have a hard time trusting people and opening up. I prefer to have a few CLOSE, REAL friends to having 100+ friends and being invited to every party, every girls’ trip or outing, every social event… (although it does hurt sometimes to see the pics posted all over social media of things I was left out of (or my kids were left out of)… but then I step back and think… “Do you really want to be friends with so&so or that group?” or “Do you really want to be busy every night of the week, away from your family, or every day for lunch, or every weekend?” NO! I am becoming more and more of a home-body as I get older and learn to know myself better. I want to be alone often. I want to be with my kids and hubby. I want to be with a few friends having real discussions. And I am OPEN to new things. New friendships (not tons, mind you – ha – but a few REAL ones… I don’t care what people look like, what circles they run with, if they are young or older, etc). Just REAL. Trustworthy. Loyal. And it’s important to me personally that my closest 3-4 friendships be with “like-minded” women who love Jesus and are sold out to Him… ones who don’t gossip or talk about others constantly behind backs (because then I know they will also talk about ME behind my back).
My eyes are open. My heart is opening. I’m open to myself being more REAL. Not trying to avoid or escape reality with my “vices” (i.e. shopping addiction, which I am currently struggling with). I want to be one of those minimalists who believe “less is more!” I want to bring in a new year of “fewer material things” and less clutter. (Note to self: start donating and throwing away anything that I haven’t used lately! I can buy it again later if it’s that important.)
I love this quote: “The less we own, the less that owns us!”
I think that will be my new year’s resolution, and the NEW wine going into my new wine skin! Own less, BE owned less… be content with what I have (huge goal), be real, don’t try to be perfect and don’t try to please everyone else. And most importantly, which I believe will cause ALL other things in my life to fall more into place… LOVE CHRIST MORE EVERY SINGLE DAY… grow closer to HIM, rely more on HIM, depend on HIM for my worth and happiness/peace/joy… and more things will start falling into place, hopefully. Show more LOVE to others. Try not to judge. Listen more. And stop putting the OLD patterns of thoughts/behaviors into my NEW life. (Oh yeh, and try to stay off social media so much!)
Sure, I will mess up daily… but I will keep pressing on, forward, into a hopefully better year than each of the last. But I also know that the bad things/habits, etc, in my life are the things that propelled me TO God. So I am thankful for the good and the bad. It all serves a purpose. God is in control and nothing flows through His hands that He did not allow… He’s allowed a LOT in my life, but it is finally working its main purpose… to cause me to depend on HIM and to love HIM, to let go of the “bad old” and press into Him.
Happy New Year! Here’s to the NEW! xoxo