2013 Resolution: Pretend That I’ve Never Done Any of This Before… 2013 Resolution: Pretend That I’ve Never Done Any of This Before…

I’m not good at resolutions. I’m actually not very good at rules in general. Just ask my parents. I wasn’t a bad kid. But, when they asked me to “turn off the lights”, I didn’t really get the hang of it until they charged me .25 for each light left on. Then… I caught on pretty quick.

Sometimes rules feel like restrictions to me. Even self-imposed rules.

“I’m going to cut back on sugar!”  “Oh, yeah?! I’ll show you! Chocolate Chip cookie, here I come.”

It’s just the way I am. I hope my kids aren’t like me…

IMG_6541Resolutions have never stuck with me either. I’ve made long lists of ‘goals’. I’ve made solid, dedicated, single commitments. I’ve decided NOT to make resolutions, but to ‘be better at’ such and such. Still, by the end of March, they’re all history.

But, this year, on New Year’s Eve, one popped into my mind.

I think it was one of those rare times when I could actually hear God speaking to me.

See, He knows I’m in a rut. He knows that, at times, many things in my life seem either boring, inconsequential, annoying or cumbersome. I’ve been doing this mothering thing for over 13 years now.

That’s approximately:

  • 4500 dinners
  • 6500 sandwiches
  • 4300 baths
  • 2500 trips to/from school
  • 4100 dishwasher runs
  • 700 trips to the grocery store
  • Don’t even ask me to count loads of laundry. That’s just too depressing.

IMG_8114Anyway, needless to say, I’ve found myself in a rut. Blah. I’ve been quite content in my rut for a while now. In fact, my little rut has gotten so defined that I really don’t see much else. I just go through my routine, without even thinking about it anymore.  There’s so much to do, over and over, forever and ever and ever (can you hear the echo?).

Rather than focus on the rut, I just get stuff done and put my mind somewhere else. I think, I read, I write blog posts in my mind or imagine trips to Paris.

See, when you’re in a rut, you really don’t notice at first. It doesn’t feel all that bad. It doesn’t feel like much of anything. Eventually, you realize, wow, I’ve been doing this and that and the other thing for quite a while, without giving it a single thought. I’ve set this wheel spinning and then I’ve completely ignored it.

The thing is, it wasn’t always this way.

I remember when I was a new wife, I would spend time each week searching through my wedding-gift cookbooks finding interesting recipes to cook. I’d plan a weekly menu, with a date night included. I’d set the table and use different plates, or even cloth napkins to really impress my husband. I might EVEN make dessert in the middle of the week. That didn‘t come out of a box. When my babies were new to me, I’d get excited about being that ‘Mom in the grocery store with her baby’. I’d stroll around with my grocery cart, with my cute kid in the seat in front of me and think, “Look at me, I’m grocery shopping with my baby. I’m such a mommy!” I’d search for fun crafts to make with my children, plan play dates with someone I met at church and have an activity all ready to go for the new friends to share.

Nothing earth-shattering, but I made an effort.

IMG_6642Granted, it was easy to make an effort, because that’s all I could do. I’d never done anything like that before. It was all new to me, and exciting.

But now, more often than not, I just rummage around in the freezer and pantry to find something to cook for dinner. I pull out old coloring books and paint sets for my little girls and tell ‘em “have at it!” I drive around town, miles and miles each day, with my head in the clouds. I trudge through my weekly duties – shopping, laundry, piano lessons, carpool – with very little joy. Even my work… sometimes it’s just another website. One more out of hundreds….

I think my time has come.

I’m going to try and trick myself.

I have a very active imagination. I love to pretend with my children. I like to dream. And I feel like the Lord has given me a challenge.

I’m Going to Pretend That I’ve Never Done Any of This Before!

I’m not going to let myself get caught up in the drudgery and self-defeat of “I’ve done this SOOOOO many times, and it’s always just the same. My life is SO boring!”

WIMG_7182hat if this was my very first day? What if I had been sitting here for the past 13 years alone, and then, all of a sudden, out of the sky fell this fabulous husband and four amazingly cute and brilliant children. And they were for me!

What if today was the very first time to drive my daughter to middle school… the first time to make my preschooler her lunch… the first time to host a play date for my son… the first time to read a book alongside my 1st grader… the first time to work with a client on their dream website. What if this was the first time I welcomed my husband home from work…  What if…?

I don’t think it would take any LONGER to get things done. But I think they might be much more enjoyable and meaningful, both for me AND my family.

This rut of mine is normal. Most of us go through something like this, I bet. Are you with me?

But, that aside, I think it’s lazy of me to be stuck my little rut. My kids aren’t in a rut, but I’m dragging them into mine. They haven’t been doing this for 13 years. They’re all new and young and fresh and open. They deserve some passion. A little effort.

And it’s just a hopeless way to live. If I go about my days, shuffling through the motions, without putting in any heart, any extra love… how will I see God act? And what if He wants to act through me?! Yikes, I’ll probably miss it altogether. He’ll be calling my name and I’ll be staring out the window.

IMG_7184Because, I know, deep down that my life isn’tboring. My life has meaning. It might not look like much on the surface, or even to me at times, but I really am very important, at least to the 5 people who live under this roof with me. And to God. This all does matter. Very much.

So, there I am. A new year. A little experiment. With a little help from the Holy Spirit,  I’m going to make things new.

“Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5

What do you think? Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? Any thoughts on ruts? :) Join me!

and, for a little inspiration (ah, if only I were on the first row…)
U2: Beautiful Day
{we listen to this song every morning on the way to school}

Copyright 2013 Lauren Gulde