On Goals & Grace

When you look back on 2010, do you have any regrets?

I doubt a person anywhere reading this post could honestly answer “no”.

As I closed the book on this past year, I let my mind meander back over what I’d hoped would happen over the past 12 months.

Here were some of my goals:

  1. Lose the last of the weight I regained to get back down to my goal weight.
  2. Get my address book  in order, transferring all the sticky notes, return address labels from off of Christmas cards and business cards into a book or onto my computer.
  3. Re-organize my office closet.
  4. Re-organize the basement storage.
  5. Memorize & recite the entire book of James on Christmas morning for an audience of only Jesus.
  6. Write a bit each week in the beautiful, brown leather journal my daughter Kenna gave me for my birthday.
  7. Send every Facebook friend a birthday greeting on their special day.
  8. Not be so controlling with my kids & hubby.
  9. Sell a bunch of homeschool books on Ebay.
  10. Write a blog post every  Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
  11. Slow down and savor the everyday moments with my boys since they too, like their sister, will someday move away.
  12. Pray more.
  13. Worry less.
  14. Learn how to really “speak the truth in love” instead of assuming the loving thing is to not speak at all (what I do with friends) or on the other extreme, bark out the truth in an unloving matter (what I do with my family.)
  15. Read my Bible everyday, not out of legalistic duty, but out of love.

Some of these goals were met (like 3,4, 9 & 10).

Others were partially completed (numbers 1, 5,7, 8, 14 & 15).

And some sat entirely untouched ( Number 6 and…Hello?— #2 has been my goal for the last 5 years!!)

And a the rest of these goals (11, 12 &13) were hard to measure, but I did see baby steps of progress.

When I entered the fitness center last week (where I was working on goal #1, as always!) I spied a new message scrawled up on the white board in the front of the gym.

Goals are funny things. They don’t work unless you do.

Ouch!

For many of my unreached goals, this statement screams the truth. We make goals and then close our eyes and wish real hard that they would be realized. I know this is certainly the case with me at times.

But the truth of this statement was tempered for me with during worship this week. My pastor, unpacking Romans 8, hammered home the difference between the concepts of conviction & condemnation.

Our regrets and sins and shortcomings, whether minuscule or grand, should result in conviction to change.

If we are followers of Christ, however, they should never result in condemnation. We don’t have to be condemned (a guilty sentence). Jesus already paid our penalty.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8:1

So my missed goals, besetting sins and reoccurring habits should drive me to Jesus for help.

Yes, I must work at them to the best of my ability.

But I must also rivet my mind on the fact that any positive results should be credited to God, not me.

And, most importantly, that goals must always be tempered with grace.

I cannot beat myself up over the fact that I still have 30 pounds to lose.

I should instead be grateful that I’ve kept off over 70 of the original 100 pounds I lost!

I should not feel like a complete failure that my memorization plan didn’t go off without a hitch.

I should sense Jesus smiling that, on Christmas morning, I made it into chapter 4 of a 5 chapter book.

I can keep plugging away. There’s always Valentines Day to give my gift to God!

What about you?

Do you have 2010 regrets too?

What are they?

Will you enter 2011 determined to work at your goals with even more vigor, even if you goal is over 5 years old & yet still unreached?

And yet, sweet sister, will you also give yourself grace with your regrets?

Here is a 2 1/2 minute video clip, shown in our worship service, that will help you gain a fresh perspective on your regrets. (Once you click the link, you’ll have to click “play a preview” to view it. Don’t forget to come back here! Here is the link.)

As we start 2011 together as cyber friends, let’s pinky promise that we’ll give ourselves, and each other, grace.

Oh, and about that losing weight goal that is ever so popular, stay tuned for a special guest later this week and an opportunity for you to do something about that seemingly evasive goal.

Oh, and there will be a Get Organized in 2011 giveaway too you won’t want to miss.

So, I’ll see you here this  (and every)  Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Unless of course you are off working on your goals or living your priorities.

Then you may be excused. :-)

Oh, I love our cyber circle of friends!

Goals & Grace Blessings,

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  • I have 40 goals this year :) It’s okay – they aren’t all huge – some are small, some serious, some fun… but all things I’d like to do before I turn 40. I’ve been goal-less for too long – I had to get pretty specific, otherwise I’d just glide through another year.