Is this just January talkin’?

Photo taken by my amazing 6 year old

I’m BAA-AACK. It’s been six weeks since I decided to take a break from blogging, and let me tell you, the clean cool air above the blogosphere is right-nice.

In fact, I wrote three different “comeback” posts, but they were all lame and just an inferior version of what I wrote last year about my STILL very awesome riding boots. I decided to do a rerun. :)

Thus, enjoy this post from last January for the second, or perhaps first time. ___________________________________

My mother in law (the best MIL on the planet) got me a pair of riding boots for Christmas. They are totally awesome.  They are the most kick- . . .awesome boots I have ever seen or worn.  When I put them on my feet, I suddenly become wildly powerful and amazing. I feel confident, cowgirlish, and fierce. I want to wear them everywhere. Secretly, I am looking for a place that has saloon doors that might need to be kicked in.  I wish I were still teaching high school students, so I could face down a cocky teen while my feet are swathed in the magical “boots of power”.  I dare, I just dare you to question my interpretation of Robert Frost.

In the boots, I feel invincible, unconquerable, unstoppable.  In the boots, I feel that there is very little that I cannot do.  When I wear the boots at the grocery store, I feel more able to make solid decisions. At church, the boots make me feel sturdy and well grounded.  At home, they help me feel ready to kick, should the need arise.

I love the boots.

But I have to tell you, by the end of today, a day in which I wore the boots for almost 12 straight hours, I began to feel a little weary of them. My feet were feeling a little sore. And I began to think, just maybe, that I was looking forward to taking the gall-darn things off.

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January always starts out with lots of confident proclamations about who we’ll be, what we’ll change, what we’ll eat, how we’ll shrink our waists, our debt, our carbon imprint.  We feel inspired, motivated, eager, and ready to kick down the doors of the old life and make new ourselves, our diets, our bank accounts, our friendships, our habits, our spiritual lives, our hobbies.

A few days into the New Year a girlfriend of mine and I were talking about getting an area of our lives “back on track.”  We both promised to “do better.” Then I jokingly remarked, “Is this just January talkin’?”

Ya see, when it comes right down to it, a lot of this January- talk is a lot like my boots.  It sounds good. It feels good. It IS good, awesome even.  But after a while, the burden of making ourselves different is really overwhelming.

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Actually, a lot of the efforts that we make in our lives to be better, do better, or change for the better are just us “bootstrappin’ it,” as in “just pull up your bootstraps and get after it!”  Americans, I think, are especially guilty of believing that if we just put our minds to it, work hard enough, put on our “big girl panties,” and pull up our “bootstraps,” we can do anything.  We’re just “bootstrappin’ it” and believing that if we can just do it right, this January, this year, this go around, things are really going to be different.

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Dear Katrina,

I just want to say, “Thanks for nothin’.  I was highly motivated to change my life until I read your blog post, “Bootstrappin’ It” and realized that all is for naught. Now that I see that nothing will ever change, I am going to abandon my real food goals. In fact, I think I will help Hostess get out of bankruptcy by buying tons of Twinkies. Moreover, I now despair of all my life changes. Are you really sure blogging is for you? You seem to have lost your touch on the whole inspiration-thing.

You stink,

Reader

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Ah, boot-free piggies! :)

Okay, so I am not trying to demoralize you, convince you that you will fail at your goals, or depress your efforts.   I have some goals myself, but I want to focus on where the real power is.

What it comes down to is this. My boots and January are just a false confidence on the same old me.  What I need to get is REAL transforming change from a real power. I don’t have the power to change myself. Only God, who has the power to raise the dead, can change me. No amount of trying, hoping, resolving, and bootstrappin’ it will work.  I know that after even one full day of bootstrappin’ in, I just want to take off my boots.

Therefore, this year, I’m swearing off “bootstrappin’ it.”  I’m just tired of it. If I really SAY that I believe in God’s power to change, then I need to be willing to let Him change me. Anyone with me?

Romans 12:1-3  The Message (MSG)

 1-2So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. 3I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
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Okay, back to 2013. What are you asking God to do in your life this year?

7 Responses to Is this just January talkin’?

  1. Lindsay January 9, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Thank you for posting this. So encouraging, exactly what I needed to hear.

  2. sarah January 9, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    ah I’ve missed you! thanks for this. this year instead of trying to read thru the Bible in a whole year like I make pretend that I am going to do, I decided to read it in “chunks” per my OT professor dad suggests. you can find it at gptsrabbi.blogspot.com

  3. Aunt Kathy January 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Glad to have you back, even if it is a re-post. I’ve missed your writing. PS – I read the other blog posts you linked us to on FB, but yours are always better. I may be biased…. :)

  4. Joye January 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    I’m with you! I had forgotten about this great post! Thanks for re-posting. This just reinforces my resolution to Rest in Him this year.

  5. Kim January 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I realize I’ve wasted a lot of time in the past few months “fitting into the culture around me”, without giving it much thought. Time to re-focus on Him. Thanks for the nudge!

  6. kimberlee January 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    That is so key–we do not have the power to transform ourselves! In our weakness HE is made strong! I have had it wrong for so long, always so frustrated with myself why I couldn’t be gentler, or whatever. I cannot change me, but I can make myself more willing to want to be changed by my Creator. And I can’t tell Him what I want changed, that is up to Him. 😉

    (Also wanted to share for those who are in love with your riding boots, I just saw a similar pair on nomorerack.com for $19!)

  7. Jan February 11, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    I am lad you are back! I missed you. Hope you had a good break.