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Are you making resolutions for 2023? I used to make big resolutions up there with the rest of them and usually fail. The few I did meet and am proud of to this day are getting into grad school and running a half marathon, and this year I am just a few books shy of meeting my ambitious reading goal for the year, and with 11 days left as I am writing this and all Christmas gifts gloriously taken care of, I think I may just meet that one. My only resolution for 2023 is to grow our little family by one as we are expecting a baby girl in April! (Well, the secret resolution is to have Easter Sunday be my last Sunday before maternity leave, as she’s due 9 days after Easter, but I hear babies have their own timing on that one…) 

So often we think of changes and resolutions as these big, fast, radical steps. And yet, it has been proven that most changes take time and patience and require small steps. My elementary school teacher had a sign in her classroom that said, “A journey of a thou-sand miles begins with a single step,” and though it took me decades to follow, under-stand and appreciate that saying, I now try to live by it. Instead of expecting choir members to learn how to read music overnight, we have been doing weekly 10–15-minute sessions, and since September have learned a lot! Instead of thinking about changing the world in one session, our Justice and Peace team has been meeting faithfully every month and planning ahead, and the changes that are happening one by one have been one of my favorite things to watch happen in our church. Instead of reading a whole book of the Bible at once and expecting to understand it all, our Bible study members have been breaking it up into weekly chunks to discuss and study, and we have made it through the entire Gospel of Matthew in under two months! One of my personal goals as we were getting ready to move this fall was to donate as many clothes as I could, and instead of doing it all at once, I would just drop off whatever I had done that week in a clothes donation bin on the way to church, and as I look into my closet at my new house, I would estimate that at least four big bags have been donated to those who need the clothes more than I do. 

What are the smaller changes that you can make this coming year? What is a small step God is calling you to do? Maybe you want to say hello to two families you haven’t previously talked to, either in church or in your neighborhood. Perhaps you want to sing just a little louder when we’re singing hymns in the service! Maybe you want to make sure every birthday present you buy this year supports a local store. Perhaps you want to contribute one monthly meal to one of the pantry families or shelters LCOS supports. Maybe you want to join a new committee at church, even if it may not be a new leadership position. Maybe you want to do the $1 a day challenge that Pastor Wayne suggested for our giving. Whatever it is, I hope you will take that journey that begins with a single step, sing that first note of a new song, and see where God will lead you on your journey. Pauline