Why I’d Given Up On New Years Resolutions… Until Now

| January 2, 2017

I can remember a New Year’s Eve many years ago, sprawled out across my friend Katie’s living room floor, furiously writing my list of New Year’s resolutions. I was going to eat healthy (after I finished the bowl of ice cream that melted as I wrote), I would talk back less to my parents, and definitely read my Bible more. Definitely.

I don’t know how old I was that year, probably in the early ‘tween years, but what I do remember about that particular year was that it was the end of an era. I remember a nagging thought buzzing around in my mind as I composed my list. It occurred to me that while I had sat down every year for as long as I could remember on New Year’s Eve, making a list of resolutions for the upcoming year, I had never followed through with a single one. I really think that was the last year I took New Year’s resolutions seriously. If I was destined to fail, why even try? Even at that tender age, I had begun to feel like a failure for setting out to do something year after year, only to give up when it became difficult, or was forgotten altogether.

Although I let go of the idea of making resolutions each year, the same struggle has continually resurfaced. I have gotten really good at pinpointing areas of my life that need improvement, but not so good at following through with a plan of action. The result can be frustrating, even paralyzing at times. Can you relate? I think part of my problem is that I expect perfection, and when I don’t attain the highest standard, or when I stumble once or twice, I decide that I’ve failed altogether and give up. But recently, the Lord gave me a beautiful picture that has forever changed the way I see my efforts.

Scribbled Drawings

I was sitting in church, and feeling like a fraud. I had just finished drafting my first book, which is about feeding your children God’s Word. That morning I had thrown a grown-up temper tantrum when my children wouldn’t obey that would rival anything my three-year-old could dish out.

God can turn our scribbled drawings into masterpiecesI was painfully aware of my imperfection, and could almost audibly hear a voice telling me that I had no business writing any kind of book, particularly when I was doing a poor job of shepherding my own children. I felt ashamed even to come to God in worship. As the music played, I cried out to the Lord with my spirit, “What could I possibly have to offer You that is of any value at all?”

I closed my eyes, and instantly a vivid image came to my mind of a small child running to his parent with a scribble drawing in hand. He was welcomed with tremendous joy, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I understood what God was trying to tell me: That’s how I see you.

That’s how God sees us! Our meager offerings of praise and thanksgiving, our efforts to feed our families God’s Word. They are flawed, as we are flawed. But when we bring our imperfect, scribble-marked drawings to our loving Father, He receives them with immeasurable joy and approval, because He loves us with an everlasting love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
– Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

But that isn’t the end of the story; the end result of our sincere efforts to serve God with all that we have isn’t just the scribble drawing. God takes it and transforms it into a masterpiece, just as He took the five loaves and two fish and multiplied them to feed thousands:

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.’ He replied, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They answered, ‘We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.’ (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, ‘Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.’  The disciples did so, and everyone sat down.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” – Luke 9:12-17 (NIV)

You Do It

The disciples were overwhelmed with the numbers of hungry people; it seemed impossible to even begin to feed the large crowd with their limited resources. But I love what Jesus says here:

“You give them something to eat.”

He could have said, “Give me the fish; I’ll give them something to eat.” But He didn’t. He wants us to come to Him with whatever we have to offer, and lay it at his feet. To commit those plans to Him, for God’s glory. When we do that, not only will He receive our loaves and fish (or our scribble-marked drawings) with joy and approval, but He will multiply them and give them back to us to distribute, allowing us to be part of accomplishing far more than we could ever ask or imagine.

40 Days of Feeding Your Family

So this year, I have decided that I’m not going to be afraid to make a New Year’s resolution for fear of failing. I am going to commit my plans to the Lord, lay them at His feet, and watch as He multiplies them and uses them for His glory! My resolution is to go through a challenge called “40 Days of Feeding Your Family.” It is actually from my own book (the one I felt unworthy to write!), called Malnourished: Equipping Parents to Battle Spiritual Poverty on the Home Front. It outlines steps for parents to assess, equip, and disciple their children, and then offers a basic format for daily family prayer and Bible reading. The 40 day challenge is to gather your family for this time of prayer and Bible study for 40 days in a row, hopefully establishing the importance of God’s Word in your home, as well as implementing a good habit that could have a lasting impact in your family.

I wrote the book because God gave me some scripture and insights about discipling children that I wanted to share – not because I have my act together, or am an expert in family discipleship. I need this book as much as anyone else, maybe more! If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make family discipleship a priority, I would absolutely love for you to join me in this 40 day challenge. I am offering my e-book completely free today and tomorrow only, and offering the paperback at half-price – just $6.48, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to use it in their families in the new year. If you want to share your journey with me and others, join my e-mail list to be notified about a private Facebook group, where we will read through the book together, ending with the 40 day challenge. You will be able to share encouragement, frustrations, success stories and prayers in a safe online space. I can’t wait to see some of you there!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

We’d love to hear! But whatever they are, just remember how much God loves scribble drawings. Please don’t let fear or feelings of unworthiness get in the way of putting whatever you have out there, and watching the Lord multiply it beyond anything you imagined possible!

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans
~ Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

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32 Comments

  • Reply Heather Hart January 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Great post, Jaime! I love your resolution. I shared my resolution last week – to not be controlled by my calendar, but to live for God alone. I look forward to reading what everyone else is doing this year.
    Heather Hart recently posted…After ChristmasMy Profile

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks, Heather! I love this CC community because I think it is a place where we can encourage each other to follow through with the things that are important to us. Thank you for making Candidly Christian happen!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply Andrea January 2, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Mine? To draw closer to God – that’s the biggest one 🙂
    Andrea recently posted…His Mercies Are New Every Morning – For You Too!My Profile

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Such a great resolution-when we draw closer to God in general, all of the rest of what’s important will fall into place. Blessings on your new year, Andrea!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply Missy January 2, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    I’ve not had time to think much on resolutions, but I love this post! Gives me much to ponder.

  • Reply Terri January 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    My word of the year is Faith- I need to have more faith in God, faith for the unknown things in my life.
    Terri recently posted…2016 RecapMy Profile

  • Reply Kay January 2, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    What an encouraging post! So thankful that He can use us, even me despite my messes.
    Kay recently posted…The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth.My Profile

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 2, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you, Kay! God is absolutely using you; your “Whole Truth” post was very powerfully written. Thank you for being so bold and fearless. Have a blessed 2017!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply Tara January 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I am very excited about your challenge. I just got the free book. This goes along with the vision of Minivan Ministries perfectly!

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 3, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Tara – I hope to get to know you in the discussion group! I just checked out your website and love Minivan Ministries, when I get a chance I want to spend some more time there. God bless you and your ministry in 2017!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply Susan Evans January 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    “I closed my eyes, and instantly a vivid image came to my mind of a small child running to his parent with a scribble drawing in hand. He was welcomed with tremendous joy, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I understood what God was trying to tell me: That’s how I see you.” Absolutely beautiful and just what I needed to hear today!
    Susan Evans recently posted…17 Organization TipsMy Profile

  • Reply Leah Smith January 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I found it very encouraging. I am just starting to write and blog and have found it to be much more vulnerable than I ever imagined. I am going for it out of obedience to Christ, but it is a little scary to put your heart ❤️ out there for the world to see. Also, your book sounds intriguing. I love the idea of connecting the idea of discipleship to feeding—what better nourishment could we offer our kids!

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 4, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Leah, I’m a new author and blogger too, and putting words out for others to see can be terrifying! That is why I love this online space at Candidly Christian; there are no pretenses and we can express our struggles and victories knowing we will be encouraged. I will pray that 2017 brings open doors for your writing, and that God will give you confidence and boldness to speak the truth in love. Also praying the truth of 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply Calvonia Radford January 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

    You are on point with this post. Interestingly God calls us his children. He accepts all our scribbling. I know, I’ve given him some pretty raw products. I love your twist that he turns them into masterpieces. Is that a Romans 8:28 reference? I think so. I love the analogy. Your writing is a blessing.

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Calvonia, your words are a blessing to me! Yes Romans 8:28 is a big part of the picture I have of God at work in all things we do when we are called “according to his purpose”. Thank you for the encouragement, and know I am praying God’s blessing on your 2017!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply KellyRBaker January 4, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I love what you brought out that Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” If God tells us to do something, then we do it. The devil sees and likes to bring condemnation, and tries to stop what we are doing for God’s glory. I think your book could help a lot of people. We are called to make disciples, and what better people to start with than our own children?

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      I think writing this blog post was the first time I noticed the “You give them something to eat” part, and I love that picture of Jesus using us to be part of his ministry & work. So glad you stopped by, Kelly – Happy New Year!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply Michele Morin January 6, 2017 at 10:02 am

    We tell our boys that God will use anything that they place in His hand. I love this message today!
    Michele Morin recently posted…Till We Have Faces: Welcome to the DiscussionMy Profile

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      I love that, Michele! Your boys will find such freedom with that message planted firmly in their hearts. Thanks so much for stopping by, Happy New Year!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply angie church January 6, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    great post one that we should think about more often one that I am taking a stand on as well
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com
    angie church recently posted…Blondie BrowniesMy Profile

  • Reply Ifeoma Samuel January 7, 2017 at 5:39 am

    I like to draw sketches sometimes and I totally relate when you say God can turn out Scribblings into a master piece! Amen.
    Blessings to you Jamie and it is good to connect with you here.
    God bless
    Ifeoma Samuel recently posted…Unlocking the Year With The Power of The Word.My Profile

    • Reply Jaime Hampton January 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      One of the things I love most about blogging is meeting up with amazing people I might never otherwise come in contact with. Blessings right back to you, Ifeoma, and thank you so much for stopping by!
      Jaime Hampton recently posted…The Pitfall of ProsperityMy Profile

  • Reply Tracey January 7, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Love the scribbled drawings reference! How blessed we are to serve a God who is gracious and longsuffering. While I haven’t stated one particular New Year’s resolution, I think I could boil it down to making this a year where I seek to trust God in ordering my steps every day, and truly taking every thing to Him in prayer.

  • Reply Heather M January 7, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Gosh, this spoke volumes… what God can do with our meager offerings is so amazing when we give it all to him. Thanks for what you do Heather! So glad i found my way to your online home for a visit! Happy 2017 and God Bless!

    • Reply Heather Hart January 7, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks, Heather! While I am the founder of this ministry, this post was actually written by Jaime. I love her honesty and heart for Jesus. Happy 2017, we are glad you found us too. Thanks for stopping in, come back anytime. Blessings.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Introducing Candid ConversationsMy Profile

  • Reply Marisa Boonstra January 10, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I loved the visual of the child with the scribble drawing! So often, God uses my own children to speak to me and to show how He sees me. I have a passion for family discipleship also, so I am excited to have found this post and blog through Grace & Truth!
    Marisa Boonstra recently posted…5 Ways to create a Christ-Centered HomeMy Profile

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