I’ve been thinking about my choices lately. Do they reflect what I say is important to me? What do they show as important to those around me? What examples are they setting for my kids?

My choices, good or bad, will guide my kids in the choices they make, too.

Choices Deal in Either Life or Death

I was struck by something Richard Dahlstrom wrote in his book, The Map Is Not The Journey. On pages 83-84 he wrote:

[While hiking the Alps] I learned . . . that nearly every choice I face deals in either life or death. Life-giving choices happen when I move toward the life for which I’m created, toward my deepest and truest identity. This principle goes all the way back to words spoken by Moses, who spoke on behalf of God one day on a mountain. After laying out for the future a set of values that will lead to life and offering warnings about the consequences that will come should we abandon those values, Moses speaks: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.” [Deuteronomy 30:19]

Choose, in other words, what leads to wholeness, fullness, joy. We’ll make a thousand choices every day . . .

Choosing life doesn’t usually mean choosing the path of least resistance . . . choosing life, though, means choosing that which will feed life, and those choices are often an act of faith, because we live in a world where choosing destructively is often our default. Faith believes, though, that there is a payoff in choosing generosity, hope, forgiveness, truth-telling, whole foods, contentment, movement, enough sleep, and, oh, so much more. We won’t choose perfectly, but our confidence in the long-term value of choosing life will give us the courage to follow the hard road more consistently. Therein we find adventure, transformation, and joy! 

Reflecting on My Choices

What am I really choosing through my choices? And what am I choosing for my family by my choices?

How can I encourage myself and my family to make better choices? Life-giving choices.

It starts with me. What choices am I making for myself?

Some choices I’m working on improving are daily:

  • Choosing to spend time with God first, before jumping into tasks on my list.
  • Choosing to put my phone down and focus on my kids.
  • Choosing to sing songs that praise God.
  • Choosing to not do everything I want to do.
  • Choosing to get more sleep.
  • Choosing to give myself grace.
  • Choosing God’s will over my own.

Your list might look different than mine. I recommend you spend some time asking God to show you where He wants you to focus. What life-giving habits will serve your family well? Which ones will show them that you mean what you say?

A Prayer for 2023

As we continue to settle into 2023, I pray you’ll see ways God is guiding you forward, and that He continues to prepare and equip you to be the person He designed you to be this year and in the years to come. 

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