A habit is a New Year’s resolution that lasts

Ann asked the community of Walk with Him Wednesdays to write about a habit they wish to develop in the new year. A habit by definition is  “A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.” (Online Dictionary) So Ann wants us to consciously, intentionally name something that we will repeat so frequently that it will become a recurrent pattern, perhaps even an unconscious pattern by the end of 2012. What a novel strategy for making a resolution that will last! The time period of a year is my own addition. Ann didn’t say that, but if I keep with my own interpretation of a habit as the re-framing of a New Year’s resolution, I will use the year as my transformation period.

I’d like to develop the habit of placing relationships first in my life and tasks, time and trivia second. This is not natural for me. I am time- and task-oriented. I say I show my love by doing, but that is an excuse. I “do” because I like to do. Relating tires me. I need to learn to relate joyfully so that it becomes an unconscious pattern not a chore I feel forced to face kicking and screaming.

Some of you reading this may be nodding and saying, “Yes, I can relate to this.” (N0 pun intended.) I bet, however, the vast majority are saying, “I don’t get you at all, Dawn. I love to talk, entertain, chat on the phone and party.” I know because I am surrounded by people persons all the time and I wonder why the people gene didn’t get passed on to me. My sisters both love to be in crowds. My one sister is a bartender and my other is a receptionist. You can’t deal with people much more in a day than they do.  Those of you who know me are probably thinking, “You are a nurse. You are in a people profession, too.” Yes, I am, but I work mostly newborn nursery and intensive care nursery and I really don’t have to make conversation. I love it. Most of the nurses I work with hate to be assigned to the nursery because no one ever checks on them and they go “crazy” in there with no one to talk to. I NEVER have a low moment in the nursery. I love the peace and quiet when we are slow. I get to hum to the wee ones, walk a fussy one in a sling around my shoulder while caring for others and pray over each one. When we are in an emergency situation stabilizing a sick one, I know what to do and I like that, too.

So there you have it…I am a true phlegmatic if you know Tim Lahaye’s spirit-controlled temperament theory. Tim says, “The Spirit-filled Phlegmatic will become less stubborn, fearful, and indifferent, while becoming more open, self-controlled, and much more motivated, to make a great, personable leader for Christ.” My quest is for the Holy Spirit to so fill me with His power that I lose my fear and indifference so that I can be open, self-controlled and motivated to become a more people-oriented disciple for Christ.

The details of how I plan to effect this change will be the subject of next week’s Walk with Him Wednesdays’ post. Please come back and if you have any suggestions to help me with my plan of attack, comment here!



7 comments on “A habit is a New Year’s resolution that lasts

  1. Hm, what a challenge you’re setting for yourself! This may turn out a very broadening experience, deepening your personality and character. God did design us all differently, though, and how He made you, with your own temperament, is a gift, too. Just hope you don’t try to turn yourself into somebody else! Even though we haven’t met, I’ve been getting to know you, and I like you the way you are, (as I see it)! The reaching out more relationally, however — that should be a beautiful adventure! God bless it!

  2. Sylvia,

    Thanks for your reflection on this. I really value what you have to say because you are really steeped in the Scriptures. I do not want to be somebody else. I just want to be a better me by reaching out relationally more intentionally. I think it may be clearer (even to me) as the details are prayed out and I can articulate them next Wednesday.

    You say the reaching out should be a beautiful adventure. I pray so. I read a blog every day of someone who reached out and got burned really badly. That is a possibility that I can not dismiss. If unexpected things happen I want to be able to learn from them and go on. Yes, the possibilities for growth could be exponential! You are helping me see this part more clearly. Thanks for your comment, as always!


  3. you are definitely a “Spirit Filled” phlegmatic … I only know you as “ yielded, trusting, intuitive, open, self-controlled, motivated, and a great, personable leader for Christ.”

    you are beautiful, my friend! May you embrace 2012 as a marvelous gift from above already packed full of His blessing!
    love you so much!

  4. Dear Dawn . . . I get you! I am introverted in the sense that my energy is restored when I am alone and drains away the longer I am around a lot of people. The ones that don’t get you are the extroverts that are energized by being with/relating to people and find their energy waning when they are alone. I truly enjoy people and can “joyfully relate” to them as you put it, but I still need to honour the way God fashioned me. Jesus needed to get away alone regularly. I bless your adventures in establishing this new habit.

    • Thank you for your wise and thoughtful comment. I think this is exactly where I am. I just need to pull myself from “my things” once I’ve regained my energy and get out there before I wane again. Time management seems to be the overarching umbrella. Hmmm…and overcoming my will. That’s always in the mix!

      How’s the rehabilitation going?

      • The bending is still weak, but does appear to be increasing by the smallest degrees. I am convinced the big issue is the swelling that interferes with my ability to bend. I get the best results from my exercises first thing in the morning when there is minimal swelling. I find I need to elevate my leg many times throughout the day. I struggled with swelling in my legs for years before the surgery so it is not just the surgery, however the left leg is not nearly as bad. I am off the physio again this morning. Pressing onward, Andrea Dawn

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