Sometimes God talks to me.

I’m not saying He calls my cell phone or writes big puffy letters across the sky (or on my Facebook wall). But every once in a while, He whispers into my heart. More often than I’d like to admit, though, I simply ignore those whispers, those nudges, those words of instruction, correction, encouragement and truth, made just for me.

What am I talking about? Well, to start with, let’s talk about mornings.

For years I’ve complained about not being a morning person. I’ve whined about it to my husband, my friends, my readers and to God. Strangely enough (or not), most mornings that follow me griping, “God, I know I need to get up in the morning. I want to, I really do. It’s just that . . . but . . .” arrive abruptly and early. For no reason other than what I’m pretty sure is a divine alarm, I wake up early.

And you know what I do? I roll over and go back to sleep.

My morning routine – or lack of – is not the only area that gets this Godly boost on a fairly regular basis. Every time I tell myself, “Who cares? Just eat it. I’ll start over in the morning,” another, wiser voice says, “Don’t. Just . . . don’t.”

That’s the one that’s happened most often (and the loudest, if that makes any sense at all), but it’s not the only time I’ve heard from God.

It never fails that in the middle of hollering at my husband or my daughter, something tickles the back of my brain and tugs on the corners of my heart, saying, “Calm down. This isn’t how you want to speak. This isn’t working. This isn’t love.”

Then there’s my writing. As in book writing. I’ve felt pulled, called to write a book for quite a while now. While it used to be a vague dream, it’s become a driving desire over the past few years. And now, not a month goes by without a hit-me-in-the-face, sock-me-in-the-gut, wake-me-up-and-shake-me reminder that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

But . . . it’s just so scary. So I haven’t done it.

As I’ve been thinking about resolutions and goals the past couple of weeks, I’ve realized what has probably been glaringly obvious to anyone looking into my life: I’ve got an obedience problem.

This year, like every other year, I’ve written down goals for the next 12 months. I want to improve several areas of my life and I’ve come up with concrete strategies to do so. But no matter how many bullet points I type or plans I make, these goals aren’t likely to be met without some major heart work.

Let’s face it: resolutions aren’t working. Sure, I’ve worked out this week, eaten every meal at home and even cleaned out my underwear drawer. But how long will this new year motivation last? No longer than it did last year . . . or the year before . . . or the ten years before that.

I wrote about resolutions at (in)courage on Tuesday, and one of the comments echoed what I’ve been thinking all month [yes, all less than two weeks of this month]. Sarah said, “Oftentimes success comes through surrender.”

Yes. YES. That is exactly it. Until I surrender my will to His, I’m not going to dig up enough gumption or motivation or determination or anything to meet a list of goals that I’ve decided are important. So this year, I’m going to try something different.

I still have my list of goals, bullet points and all. But I’m surrendering this year, this life to God. I’m going to obey.

To be honest, saying that is a little scary. I’m pretty sure, though, that by obeying, by saying yes to God, I might just be in for my best, most exciting year ever. As my pastor has been saying, This could be the year. Which, you know, is still scary. But in the most awesome way. This year, I’m going to obey.

Do you have one word that you’re focusing on this year?

Notes: You can find encouragement and community about One Word goals at One Word 365. And the graphic up above is from my friend Sara.

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