Wednesday, December 29, 2010

new year, blank slate, fresh start

I went to the office supply store the other day. I needed to get some new monthly calenders for my planner. With January fast approaching and seeing that I already have events to plan for and remember, I was excited to "get organized" by doing this task. It really is a fun ritual for me.

I can't believe how fast 2010 came and went. It seems like time is going at such a quicker and quicker pace with each passing year of my life. Thinking back, I can truthfully and honestly say that it was a very hard year. The most difficult year, I think, but one filled with needed lessons I needed to learn and which I hope to continue to learn. A year of "tender mercies" and unexpected blessings. A year of soul searching. In the next few days, I'll devote a post to some of what this year taught me and gave me.

Now we have a brand new slate ahead of us. With it, comes lots of questions.

What will this new year bring? What will I learn? What will I do? How will I change? What do I really want in this phase of my life?

It's exciting to think of all the possibilities. I like these times of renewal. To start fresh. It seems that every new season of the year, especially at the beginning of summer and "back to school" time, and now in January, are all the times for me to think of goals and planning.

I've never liked the idea of resolutions. I often start out gung-ho with my grandiose goals and then get discouraged by the end of the January when there are set-backs and when I realize my expectations and plans were just too high. I like the idea of possibilities for growth, instead. Rejuvenation, not guilt. Things to shoot for, think about, and then make a plan to realistically achieve. To use this time to formulate dreams, hopes, and ways for a more happy, fulfilling life. To find a way for a more abundant life. To think about my interests. To use this time and ritual as an opportunity to change things that need to change. To lead myself along, gently.

Here are some of my thoughts. I think it's important to not only think of things, but I really believe that the act of writing them down somehow helps them become more concrete, instead of vague "notions". Some of these ideas are carry-overs from other seasons of goal setting. Some things never change.

~make my relationship with God the highest joy and priority. To deepen my relationship and friendship with Him. To truly know Him. To trust and believe Him. To love and serve Him. To find out what He wants for me and then learn how I can become His instrument.

~study the concept and practice being and having calm and peace in my life. I'm seeing that this is a huge weakness of mine. To act instead of react. To be calm, centered, peaceful, and exhibit more self control in the way I react when in a stressful situation or in family relationships. I'm going to do this by being more conscious of my tone of voice, my facial expressions, my body language, my responses.

~look for the good. Smile more.

~listen. Be present. With my heart. Things said and unsaid. Without trying to offer suggestions, help, or having my say. Just listen.

~live more in the "now". Try not to always be thinking of the next thing I need to get done. To not rush. To not be so preoccupied or busy. To be happy just in that moment . To live more consciously.

~to learn to say no to things that aren't that important in the long run. To distinguish between good, better, and best. To cut out activities that infringe on our time together as a family or add to the feeling of stress in our home.

~to stop "running" so much. To allow for "slow". To know that it's what I need now. That's it's okay.

~to take care of myself. To do those foundational things that make me whole and healthy spiritually, physically, emotionally. Things like daily, meaningful prayer and quiet meditation, scripture and inspirational reading, daily movement, feeding my body with nourishing, whole foods, allowing for rest, quiet, alone time, to know that I must have intellectual stimulation.

~to spend individual time with Keith and each of our children. To be a true friend to each of them. This can be done by reading with them, going out on special, planned, meaningful "dates", heart-to-heart talks, back rubs, playing with them, taking walks together.

~to reach out, serve, bless, and help others. Friends, extended family, neighbors, and strangers.

~to get more control over our money. To watch and record my spending. To budget.

~to become a better writer.

~to see and capture my world with my camera.

~to see a new, fresh place in the world. Maybe travel, but more in seeing with new eyes.

~to learn something new every day.


  1. excellent list. If I was to make one - it would be very similar.

  2. What I love about this list is that there are some things you already strive for! I believe you want to refine them and focus on them! That beautiful and powerful! You start from a point of strenghts, your strenghts and that is wise.
    I wish to refine myself too, make room for holy things, tuck away fears of this world!

  3. Dear Emily,

    What is required in order to have Jesus ABIDE in us and we in Him?

    Can we do it:

    1. By accepting Him as our our own personal Lord and Savior ?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    2. By the grace of GOD only? Sola Gracias?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    3. By faith in GOD alone? Sola Fides?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    It is simple common sense that since He commanded that we must do something, then doesn't it stand to reason that He would also tell us how to do it?

    Jesus was very clear in what we must do in order to have Him ABIDE in us and we in Him.

    Jesus left this command for us in John 6:53-57:

    53 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

    54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.


    57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

  4. A thoughtful list. I wish you a much improved and better year after your hard year.