By Andrea Hoisl
Every year, as we wrap up our Christmas celebrations, our minds shift to thoughts of the New Year. We contemplate making a resolution we may or may not keep. The thought of a resolution sounds so positive and healthy that we cannot help but get drawn into the idea of changing and obtaining a new outlook on life in the New Year.
Resolutions fill us with hope for a better year on numerous levels. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that most people abandon their resolution within two weeks of making it! Our resolve is weakened by busyness, winter temperatures, laziness or any number of obstacles and/or excuses.
What if we all took a new approach to a New Year’s resolution this year? What if we all resolve to get to know God better this year through prayer, attending Mass regularly, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation to apologize to God for becoming a stranger or starting every meal with grace?
If we all do something, anything, that helps “re-acquaint” us with our God who loves us unconditionally, then perhaps we will find many new and surprising blessings in the New Year. The beauty of this resolution is it doesn’t matter how much or how little time you spend on it, it will change your life for the better either way!
Let’s face it,- in a world of chaos and uncertainty we all long for the hope and peace God gives us freely. Who doesn’t want to wake up feeling joyful and ready for a day full of blessings? Who doesn’t want someone with whom we can share our innermost fears and expectations without worrying about being judged? Who doesn’t need some inspiration to help us through the “not so great” days? We all want and need that and so much more.
Our God is there waiting with all of those gifts for all of us. Unlike other resolutions, this one takes little effort and provides a big payoff! If we focus our efforts on coming to know God personally, our families would truly be the domestic Church God designed them to be – the supportive, loving, and faithful foundation from which our children learn and flourish. Too often, our children look to the world for answers, comfort and happiness. If we include God in our families, there is no need for our children to look anywhere else for unconditional love and acceptance. That is the greatest gift we could ever give them.
As human beings we are imperfect and all of us make mistakes. We hurt one another by our choices, actions and attitudes. That is why role modeling a relationship with God is so important. The relationship we help our children build with God is one that will serve as the foundation on which all other relationships will be built. What a great way to start the year!
Apps to use in helping to make God a priority in your life:
• Scripture Typer: Scripture memorization isn’t just for Sunday school kids. Hiding passages of the Bible in your heart gives you a great well of truth to draw from when you are facing temptation or trial. Daily Bible reading is one way, but a dedicated plan for Scripture memorization is another way to saturate your mind with God’s Word. It can also provide the fuel for biblical meditation throughout your day.
• Productive-Habit Tracker: Allows you to set up habits and the frequency with which you would like to do them (e.g. daily, weekly, only on Sundays, etc.). It will remind you at certain times to do them and ask you to log whether you have or haven’t performed that habit. It gives you rewards for keeping up a streak and gives you a good historical picture of how well you’ve done.
• Prayer Mate: Allows you to store up all of the things you want to be praying about and have it give you a prayer list each day. This app helps you not to forget so that you continue to pray with perseverance until the Lord answers.
• Dynamic Catholic: Articles about everything from work, marriage, relationships, money, and more!