Fun evening. But the thing I like best about New Year's is thinking about the past year and how we did on Resolutions and what the highlights of the year have been.
Our resolutions from last year were these:
I went without soda during 2014. There were 2 or 3 times that I cheated a tiny bit and had a sip or two, but overall, I did pretty well. On New Year's Eve, I decided to share a can of orange soda with Alfredo. I love orange soda...I had missed orange soda. But drinking even 1/2 a can made me feel yucky. So while I may have a sip now and then or drink punch that has soda in it or enjoy a root beer float in the summer, I am going to still avoid soda.
Personally, and as a family, we studied the Holy Ghost and learned about his roles. We memorized a couple of scriptures about the Holy Ghost (could have done better on that aspect!) We also tried to notice when we felt the Holy Ghost. Did we do perfectly? No. We still quarrel sometimes and do other things that drive the spirit from our home. I am sure I missed opportunities to point out the influence of the Holy Ghost. But some things did make an impact. I, personally, had a number of times when I specifically felt like I should call or visit or do someting for someone. I didn't always act, but I did better at acting than I have done in the past. It blessed my life immensely. A few things I noticed about my children...all of them bore testimony in sacrament meeting 1 or more times. For some children, that isn't a big deal, but for my shy girls it is. Michelle has really tried hard to fast. It isn't easy for her, but she is trying. At Christmastime, we tried to do some small act of service nearly every day. One day while they were at piano lessons, I made cookies. When I picked them up, I asked them who we should deliver them to and they picked someone in the ward. That person texted me later and thanked me and said she'd had a very hard day and needed that. I made sure to share with my girls that we had been guided by the spirit to deliver the cookies to that friend. Another day, we were driving on the freeway and at least 3 cars were involved in an accident right behind us. The car behind me should have hit me, but stopped just inches from my car. I felt strongly that it was a tender mercy from the Lord...a blessing of protection because we were trying to live as we should and I was trying to serve to the best of my ability. I made sure to talk about this with my children. This isn't a resolution that is over and done. I am certain that learning about the Holy Ghost is a lifelong process. But I am happy to see some evidence that we have made progress. Recently, Gabby has started regularly counting down the days until Sunday and tells me that Sunday is her favorite day. She loves church. So while we still have much room for improvement, there are some steps in the right direction.
For this upcoming year, my resolutions are:
1. Study scriptures/gospel faithfully...I have some plans for what I want to do regarding study.
2. Exercise at least 3 x/week
3. Be a little kinder. Make a conscientious effort to be kind to others. My stepdad posted this as his resolution on Facebook, and it struck me as perhaps the best goal of all. What would be the impact if every person tried to be a little kinder? How different would this world be if when we have the urge to speak or act unkindly, we would stop and reconsider and try to be kind instead? So that is my primary goal...be a little kinder to my family, to those in my neighborhood, to my students and those I work with, to strangers I meet on the street.
My children's resolutions are:
Michelle: Fast more often and with greater purpose
Ella: Try to control emotions better (not get so upset) and be kinder and study the gospel more
Gabby: To be nice to everyone
We created a poster to remember highlights of 2014 and get us off on the right track for 2015: