Resolution Check-up

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Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Philippians 3:12

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming?

Are you sticking with the plan?

In January,  I assigned a writing paper to my fifth graders to make a goal and explain how they will achieve it. They had to explain why their goal was important to them. Their plan had to include clear, manageable steps they would need to take in order to be successful.

Many of them had lots of goals to choose from, but couldn’t figure out the right plan. One little girl said, “If I already knew the steps, I would have reached this goal already.” Sometimes we can’t reach our goals because we need guidance. We just don’t know how!

I am trying to train for a 10k. I have figured out through my failure in the last 5 weeks that running won’t be enough. I need weight training and some alterations to my diet. I needed more guidance in order to reach my goal.

Another student set her goal way too high. It will take years to achieve it. She was left frustrated.  Another set his too low. He reached it the second week of January.  Now he is bored and doesn’t feel very accomplished.

It is time to check those goals. How are you doing?


Allowing Grace

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“And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.'” (Mark 10:18)

I like to think that I am an understanding,  forgiving kind of a person. I bet you are, too. You probably don’t hold grudges, and you forgive your husband or wife when they burn dinner or track mud through the house. I bet you forgive your kids daily for their imperfections. In fact, I bet you embrace those imperfections and treasure the ones that give your family a good laugh. Do you extend the same grace to yourself?

I noticed not too long ago that Superhero Son inherited a hard trait from me. He was working on a craft and got frustrated. He couldn’t make his art work look the way it did in his head.  He began to pitch a fit and cry.

I, too, am lacking in the crafty, artsy talent. I remember attempting projects and getting really frustrated with myself when I couldn’t get it right when I was younger. I heard myself telling Superhero Son that he doesn’t have to be perfect,  and his art doesn’t have to be perfect either.

So yesterday was another icy day on the hill! Schools were 2 hours delayed. I needed 2 more! Our part of the county was slick! What did I do? Slid on ice while driving downhill. Into a ditch. Into a tree.

Yep. Into a tree.

I found myself, while thankful that no one was hurt, really mad at myself.  It took a while, but eventually I remembered that I am not perfect.  I can’t drive on ice. I can, however, fix my car.

I had to remember to extend grace to myself.

Do you allow grace to forgive you? Do you extend grace to yourself?


Middle Schoolers, the Life of Jesus, and Vaccines

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For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:14)

I love teaching middle school aged kids at church. I have written about these kids many times over the past year. They have a way of looking at the life of Christ and his commandments for our lives in such a funny way.

This week we looked at Matthew 7. I wanted the kids to really consider how Jesus’s teachings apply to them today. Too often we only consider what he wants for our future, as if we have not yet been prepared for a life of following him. Even though a couple of my students are only 10, I believe God has ways to use them right now!

As we discussed how difficult it may be to always do the right thing, one kid compared following Jesus to getting vaccines.  He decided that memorizing scripture and building a relationship with Jesus might hurt. We might get made fun of or ridiculed. However, it helps us combat sin and destruction in the future.

We all laughed at his analogy,  but he understood something many adults don’t.  We follow Jesus because we must! We NEED him in our lives.  It isn’t easy all the time, but we must!

How are you walking with Christ today?