New Year Without Resolutions by Jennifer Janes

I hate New Year’s resolutions. I don’t even like them if I call them “goals.” For me, they feel like a sure indicator that I’m going to fail in those areas—the areas that are most important to me.

As 2011 ended, I found myself thinking about 2012 anyway. I prayed about what God wanted to do in and through me. And I finished reading The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. It is a wonderful book that left me feeling convicted and inspired, and it turned my ideas of interacting with my children upside down. I admit that there were times that I felt like a failure as I read it. But other sections left me feeling pretty good about my parenting.

When I started the book, I was hoping to learn how to be more intentional in discipling my children. It definitely helped with that, but as I was praying and thinking about how to implement what I learned into our daily life, I found out some things about my children that gave me even more insight.

The information about my younger daughter came from some specialists we saw in December. What they uncovered helped me to understand her better and gave me a lot of guidance and direction in how best to guide and instruct her.

I have been watching my older daughter for a long time, realizing that she has some “special” needs herself—ones that come from having a sibling with special needs and everything that entails. I have been praying about how best to help her for months, and then I ran across a statement on Twitter one day that made me say, “That’s it!”

A book, some specialists, a Tweet—combined with lots of prayer and seeking God’s face for how to disciple my children more intentionally, to raise them with hearts that burn with passion for Him—helped me realize that what my children need is me. What my children need is me! A mother who loves God with all her heart and seeks to walk in the Spirit, sharing the journey with her children, is what God intended from the beginning.

My plan for 2012 was there all along. I just needed for God to open my eyes to His path for us and to give me a clearer picture of my children. He did just that, without those dreaded resolutions or goals!

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (NIV1984)

What is your plan for 2012?

Jennifer is the wife of one wonderful husband and the mother of two amazing kids. Visit Jennifer at her blog to find out how her 2012 “plan” is going!

Photo credit: Jennifer A. Janes


  1. I don’t make resolutions either, I never seem to be able to keep them. I am trying to be more diligent in discipling my kids. I’ve always wanted them to have a relationship with Christ, so I guess if I have a resolution this year, it’s not to lose weight or keep my house cleaner, it’s to assure my kids know Christ better at the end of the year.

    • That’s a wonderful resolution, Lena! That’s something I hope to be able to say at the end of the year too. I also hope to be able to say it of myself!

  2. So true, Jennifer! We often get ourselves stressed and frazzled trying to figure out and implement all kinds of wonderful things that our children need, yet don’t make time to just be with them. We need to remind ourselves that children need us~ more than anything else. We often forget that God made us the perfect mothers for each of our children. We just complicate things when we don’t need to. Just be with them, talk to them, and teach along the way.

    • Exactly, Connie! But that can be hard for me to do. I like to follow a plan. I’m finally learning that taking those teachable moments has a great place in our lives as homeschoolers too. We often learn more in those times than when we’re following the plan!

  3. I have always thought that NYR’s were a jinx of failure. I am encouraged by your determination to seek out the best method of parenting for you and your children. I am on the same journey and feel that I am failing miserably, at times. Praying for you.

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