As ringing in the new year passes us by do you make resolutions?
Do you start the year with…
this year I will… (eat better, exercise more, follow a budget, be a better parent/friend/spouse, etc.)
There are so many commitments we make as we reflect on the past year and know that we could have ended the year differently if only…
The average length that most New Years Resolutions last varies depending on who’s statistics you believe but between 3-6 weeks seems to be the range. If 90% of us have dropped our good intentions by the middle of February it seems like we need more than good intentions to make changes in our life.
I have often listened to a child or young adult tell me what they are “planning” to do on the weekend, or for the summer, or even with their life. When I stop and ask what actions they are taking to see these things happen they stare at me blankly. I point out to them that with out any concrete actions taken toward these things they are just wishes. Most of their “plans” are actually just wishful thinking.
So how many of the “resolutions” we make are actually just a wishful thought that things would be different?
How easy it is to want something to be different and wish it would change! The hard reality is that real change takes a concentrated effort to think differently about the situations we want to change and take actions that are often foreign and uncomfortable. Then continue thinking and acting different for a stretch of time that often feels endless and difficult. For those of us who have seen some of those resolutions through and seen the results we wanted, we know it is possible and although it doesn’t always get easier (contrary to popular belief) it does start to feel possible to succeed.
For most people the tipping point is a companion in the journey or some immediate success that encourages them. People who have one or both of these present in their lives tend to be more likely to succeed at making significant changes! This is one of the reasons the Foster system exists! To provide a companion on the journey who can encourage success!
As we care for the other mothers children we are constantly making plans about what will happen for these kids in the next quarter. We discuss and set goals for their emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being. We talk about family contact, cultural experiences and behavioural progress. With great intentionality we choose to invest in moving these children toward health in all areas of their life. Some things come easily and other things will be a lifetime of struggle. But there is a plan with measurable actions in place!
Our Children’s Services workers and the plans that they follow are set up to see the most success possible! But who does this with the other mother? So much of what the future holds for these children could be shaped by the other mother making progress in moving toward health herself! But while our children are placed in a system that assists them without needing their consent, the other mother can make choices for herself. If she chooses to remove herself from help because she doesn’t see it as “helpful” or because she doesn’t feel she needs help… the entire system stalls.
This year we have resolved to continue to make a difference in the lives of the children who’s other mother is absent. We will make goals and plans and do the work towards seeing health and restoration. By God’s grace we will see our resolutions last past the middle of February and this time next year we will celebrate!
I hope you have plans for this year that include being a light in the world in which you live! And I hope there are actions behind your plans that move you to see it happen!
In the midst of the mess,