I love the new year.

It’s a blank canvas of possibilities and I always feel like its approach signifies that something wonderful is about to happen.

And I love resolutions.

I love resolving to do something.  It’s so adventurous.

Oh, I don’t consider weight loss goals or financial planning or anything like that to be resolutions.  They are more like chore charts, and really should never be done at the beginning of the year because then they won’t work.

No, those types of goals and planning need to be done on a random Wednesday in March, or a non-descript Thursday in August, so as to fool the fates…

No, my resolutions must be thrilling.

They must be daring.

They must be visionary.

They must be bold.

Then, the new year becomes not just January and cold, grey weather, but instead the first step of a grand quest into The Unknown to face Dragons.

And that’s what keeps your blood warm and stirs the soul.

So, what are my resolutions?  Well, first, you must understand that to see rightly, one must look with the heart and understand what true daring is…what true vision might entail.  And to remember that

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

I am resolved that this year’s quest will be my greatest journey yet.  I can’t wait to get started.

So, this year, I am resolved to do things I’ve never done before:

Resolution the First:

comparison

I Learned This From Pinterest

Be it resolved that I will cease comparing myself to others, and seek to compare myself to Christ.

If comparison is the thief of joy (something I recently learned from Pinterest), then why do I do it so often?  I love to admire my friends and associates, but I must not compare myself to them.

As an addendum to the first resolution, it must be noted that I shall be resolved to realize that I will not let other people’s comparisons of me get to me.

For example, because we are going to have thirteen children, people sometimes assume that we all play musical instruments, or have built our own home, or that we live self-sufficiently on a farm where we grow our own food and have our own bees.

If I let that get to me, then I am done for, because we are not that family.

Which leads me to my next resolution:

Resolution the Second:

The-Von-Trapp-Family-the-sound-of-music-4484463-490-347

We Are Not That Family…And That’s Okay!

Be it resolved that I will be happy with our family’s mission and stay the course, even though it does not include performing in venues or having our own business.  Or having bees (although I love bees and I love honey, and I also love Winnie-the-Pooh).

Luckily, this year I had resolved to really figure out our family’s talent or mission or niche.  You know, like the VonTrapp’s had their singing, and the Duggar’s have their violins…I wanted something like that.

Could we be the family who is amazing at soccer?

The family of artists? Naturalists? Physicists?

Could we have our own symphony orchestra?

Or could we be the family who makes handmade candles and becomes an overnight success on the internet?

So, this last year, I studied what our talents were.

We can sing with vigor and enthusiasm, if not always on pitch.  Some of the children have shown an interest in music, but not performing for an audience outside our home.

We can do great snow angels.

I let the children decorate for Christmas this year and discovered that interior design is not in our future.

We can get dressed for church and arrive on time sometimes.

And, I will tell you, trying to get the kids to do artwork and science together was entertaining (as in surely the angels were highly amused at our antics), but not in the way that would be appreciated by the general populace.

It was a grand adventure that none of the children wish to repeat.

But, in the end, I discovered what we were good at–all of us–all together.

We were good at teaching and practicing The Doctrine of the Family.

We were good at being mothers and fathers.

My children are not just good at that–they are great at it.

I daresay, they are prodigies.

It was a thrilling discovery, though not as exciting as perhaps other family missions are. And certainly not destined for fame or great monetary wealth.

But, we are good at it, and I will stay the course continuing to teach them that doctrine until they can teach it and live it and breathe it and be accomplished at it.

And maybe some of them will also play the cello.

But if they don’t, it’s okay.

Resolution the Third:

She Will Find What Is Lost, Brian Kershisnik

Be it resolved that I will be happy and content with my own personal ministry, and practice at it until I minister well without even having to think about it!

Bonnie D. Parkin said:

“To minister” is defined as attending to the needs and wants of others. The Bible Dictionary adds, “The work of the ministry is to do the work of the Lord on the earth—to represent the Lord among the people.”

I believe these words of Elder Maxwell:

Our impact is less likely to emanate from the pulpit—more often it will occur in one-to-one relationships, or in small groups where we can have an impact on an individual.

Most ministering opportunities are spontaneous, not planned in advance. Much of the Savior’s ministering seemed almost incidental, happening while He was on His way to somewhere else—while He was doing something else…

I am excited to expand my personal ministry this year.  I have found over the past year as I was determined to never suppress a generous act or thought, that my personal ministry became more clear and focused, and that I am now better and more quick to respond to the promptings of the Spirit to speak and act to others as He directs, even if it seems inconvenient or crazy.

I guess what I have discovered for myself is that a great deal of my ministry involves finding what is lost–mostly people who feel lost–and helping them to feel that Heavenly Father loves them, and that they are never lost to Him.  I have found that angels help with this,  and that there are people in my own home who feel lost sometimes–and I have been practicing ministering to them, especially.

It is an adventure.  Practicing my personal ministry has enabled me to see the miraculous in the mundane, and I know the miraculous surrounds and envelopes all of us.

Especially when we are resolved to notice it.

Resolution the Fourth:

Thank Him for the ride…

Be it resolved that I will thank the Lord for letting me have the ride…

Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride. –Gordon B. Hinckley

And, my final resoultion:

Resolution the Fifth:

Be it resolved that I will remember to go barefoot more often:

Ms. Browning