I have some things to say NO to in 2017 in order to walk in the YES God has for me.
I’ve been thinking about what I want for 2017. Not just for this space, but also for my heart and my family. I’ve been contemplating where I’ve been and where I’d like to go in the coming months. And I’ve been thinking about what it will take to make all of those things happen. Not just what I need to do … but also what I need to stop doing. And I’ve realized in order to make 2017 the year I’d like to experience, there are some habits, thoughts, and attitudes I need to eliminate.
12 Things to Say NO to in 2017
Maybe you’ve got some big dreams and plans for the next twelve months too. And maybe you’ve been trying to figure out what it will take to make those dreams into reality. It’s possible (maybe even probable?) that some of those habits I have are also ones you have. And maybe you need to do some eliminating too?
Here are the 12 things I’ll be saying NO to in 2017:
Regret over the past
Y’all, this one is the hardest for me. I have so much in my past I wish I could change, so many choices I wish I hadn’t made. But God is continually speaking His truth over me and reminding me of these words penned by the apostle Paul:
… But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Anxiety about the future
I’m an Enneagram 3 which means I not only can get lost in regret about the past, I also can easily be consumed with anxiety about the future. Here’s the thing, when I get wrapped up in the past or the future, I lose sight of what God is doing in, through, and around me right now. So I’m leaning into another familiar passage in Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
2016 brought some big hurts into my life. People I had trusted and loved lied and used me … others who knew my heart manipulated my emotions to control me. And I’ve held tight to those wounds, using them as justification for not forgiving. But, here’s what I know — forgiveness is the only way to freedom. And when we don’t forgive, it’s our own hearts that suffer, our hearts that grow hard. So, here we are, at the beginning of 2017 and I’m saying no to the unforgiveness I’ve carried, which for me means taking steps toward people rather than steps away.
Oh y’all, this is one of my biggest issues! I expect way too much of myself. I think I have to be perfect. And I beat myself up for every way and time I fail. I know how crazy it is and I know there’s no way I can measure up to the ridiculous standard I have set for myself … but I keep striving for it and I keep ending up disappointed in myself. But this year, I’m kicking that ridiculousness to the curb! 2017 is the year I choose to give myself grace, to lower the expectations and accept my own good enough is good enough.
Closely linked to the item above, comparison has been a companion of mine for a long, long time. But this year, I’m giving comparison the boot! I don’t have to be as good as mom as she is or as fun a wife as someone else is or as effective a teacher as yet another is — God did’t call me to be her or her or her, He called me to be ME. And I can never be the me God intends when I am constantly comparing myself to the SHEs around me.
I can’t imagine I’m the only one who struggles with this, right? But here’s the thing: I’m not the best mom. I know that. I’m not the perfect mom. I know that too. But I am the mom God chose for my daughter. And even when I mess it all up, there is no one else on earth who loves her like I do. So, good-bye mom guilt! You’ve wrecked me for long enough!
I hate this about myself … I really do. I hate that I nag my husband and my daughter. It’s a terrible habit and it does absolutely nothing to build my relationship with either of them. So this year, I’m saying no to nagging.
What masks do you wear? Where do you wear them? Let’s make this the year we take off all our masks, the year we choose to be ourselves—warts and all. Let’s let go of pretense and hiding behind the carefully crafted personas. Let’s be real and let the people around us be real too. I’m pretty sure when we do, we’ll find our relationships will thrive and our own hearts will experience a freedom and peace we’ve been desperately lacking.
2016 was not my favorite year. So many hard things happened. And, I’ll be honest, there were a lot of times when all I felt was hopelessness and despair. And while there still situations and circumstances that seem overwhelming, I’m making the choice to look for hope even in the darkest places. I’m believing God is at work and He is in control. And I’m leaning into Him and His promises, certain He will never fail.
Y’all, we don’t serve a God of scarcity! And yet, we act as if we do. We live our lives as if there are limits to the joy, peace, hope, and love available. But that isn’t the truth!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
The truth is, we are promised abundance in Christ! Full, overflowing, over the top life. What if we make 2017 the year we really believe that and walk in it?
Do you ever look around and see only what is missing? I suppose there are times when we all do it. But sometimes we let ourselves get caught up in discontentment. We become consumed by what we don’t have and fail to see all we do have in Christ. Let’s kick that crazy stuff to the curb this year and let’s choose to be content in all we have and who we are in Him!
You know I’m not here to beat you up about being busy. Because I’m busy and you know I don’t think being busy is always bad. But (oh you knew this was coming, right?) there is a huge difference between being busy and being frenzied. So, let’s make 2017 the year we stop living frenzied lives. Let’s stop running in circles trying to do all the things and instead let’s focus on doing the things that matter most.
So, there you go — 12 things to say NO to in 2017!
What other things would you add to this list?