The complications of New Year’s resolutions


New years resolutions. Don’t they go together like paper and pen?

Don’t resolutions leave us with that fuzzy feeling, knowing you’ve made good choices that will take you exactly where you want to go?

I like knowing what I’m aiming for, so I also like resolutions. But then, with a sigh, I think of the last New Year’s resolution I made years ago. It was the lofty thought of giving every birthday card and gift on time; you guessed it, the idea came crashing as the birthday passed.

I’m now skeptical about making more resolutions, which could be a better feeling too.

Daniel, who is now in heaven, was a firm believer that if there is a chance of not keeping the commitment, don’t make it in the first place.

But the next step of his theory was this: if the responsibility brings the results you want to see, then do it. Do it, and stick with it. Make yourself accountable to another individual or whatever it takes to ensure that the resolution will not go by the wayside as the weeks and months roll by.

I am deeply humbled as I think back to that year when Daniel committed to giving me a card every week for an entire year. He was faithful to it, and when he came into a crunch when he did not have a card to give, Daniel made up for it when he had a chance. The year before that, it was flowers. He gave me a bouquet every month, and finally, in the last years, it was a time commitment. He’d do anything I wanted for 30 minutes each week. If you know me well enough, you guessed what my choice was. Week after week, I chose to be with him! We’d spend time chit-chatting or praying together, usually away from the distractions of six little ones.

Now, if he could come back and tell us whether or not it was worth keeping that promise, would there be a chance he’d regret a single bit of the sacrifices and self-discipline it took? Never. What has it done for me? I am awed. It was a gift I did not deserve.

And as he used to say, “If we don’t set our goals too high, they’ll be much more attainable, and in the end, it’ll be a success.” It’s not about doing great things but keeping on, bit by bit by bit.

What resolution could I make in committing for the good of another? And if I would, would I regret it?

You know how it is; there are various seasons for each of our lives. Not all seasons are the same. My calling this year to bid farewell to my husband leaves me recalculating my days, my future, and everything. Looking over the year ahead, I have no idea what I may face. Yet, somehow I feel a tugging that perhaps for this year, my commitment will have to do with looking in my Savior’s face, saying, “I trust you, thank you, Jesus,,” with the ebb and flow of each tide, knowing that He will make a way through dashing waves.

This is a couple of days later. At midnight when I discovered the water pipes back in the cabin were frozen solid, I thought of you all and also of my goal of saying, “I trust you, thank you, Jesus.” Sleep didn’t want to come, I was challenged for sure. When I finally let go of my worries, I slept before daybreak. By the way, if I forget throughout the year ahead, remind me of that little commitment!

Okay, we’ll be finishing up with New Year’s Sauerkraut. Enjoy, and welcome to 2023!


1 pound bulk sausage

1 large can or bag of sauerkraut

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 diced onion

1 cup ketchup

Mix all together in a large roaster.

Bake at 275 for four to five hours.

Stir occasionally.

May need to add water.

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