Ahhhhh! A new year! We all can start fresh yet again, and that is always something for which to be grateful!

I know in my social media newsfeed, many friends and relatives are happy 2018 is behind them. They are almost always optimistic about the year ahead. All the resolutions are lined up again.

Reality check: Maybe we will get around to them and maybe we won’t, correct?

In my life, work/life balance is taking No. 1 priority. I have to get better about making checklists and holding myself to calendar events. I need to carve out time each day to make certain things happen – Bible study, call for doctor’s appointments, schedule vacations, keep up with employees and their personal and professional accomplishments, decide on where I am going to finally hang all those pictures in my living room …. Not to mention the non-personal balance of actual work, civic club responsibilities, etc. 

It seems a never-ending constant motion from day to day, but it just has to be juggled, right?

I feel like 2018 was a good run at it. In 2019, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. 

But then there is the issue of balance itself. Our preacher recently gave a sermon and made this comment, “Once we start talking about balance, we start talking about percentages.”

So true. 

Can you look at your spouse or your children and actually say, “I am giving you 50 percent or 100 percent of my efforts and attention,” or does that leave room for disappointment and failure?

As my preacher pointed out, “No one will be happy with that. If you tell your spouse the truth, that you’re only giving 50 percent, they will be offended. If you tell them 100 percent, they’ll know you’re lying.” … 

So now, it comes down to you/me. It’s priority not percentage. And that is hard. 

My preacher pointed out Luke 10: 38-42. 

“Martha, Martha,”the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The lesson is that sometimes (all the time for me), we plug worry into the non-essential when our focus should be on the priority. So, that’s my intention for 2019. 

I will choose God first, then family. The part that gets weird is where work, which is essential, takes priority over self care, downtime, scheduling time with friends, etc. I need to pray on that. 

I guess the message this month is just to buckle down. Give up the things plaguing your happiness. Make time for the things that matter. Decide what your mantra will be and go for it. 

Take the risk. Pour into your life what is missing. Pray over everything and, I cannot stress this enough, pray with others. 

Sometimes, when you hear another’s prayer, perspective brings that priority. 

The photo I am sharing this month is real. It’s my desk – all the time. It’s my living room on a Saturday. Usually, there are piles of clothes to fold. I am sharing to be honest. I don’t have it all together. I stress over this stuff. God forbid someone stop by! I shouldn’t worry, though. I should be glad I have work to do that helps me feed my family. I should be happy my children are healthy and able to make that kind of a mess. 

But here’s the thing: I have to make a plan to let them help clean it up. I have to distribute work responsibilities. I have to let go of the non-essentials to focus on the priority. That’s 2019.

I hope this glimpse of my crazy train helps you relax a little, too. Life is fun, if for nothing than the upheaval. Might as well enjoy it, right?

Have a very happy new year, and my hope for all of you is that 2019 will make a difference – that you will be that difference, simply because you chose it.