I know there are lots of people who dislike New Year's resolutions and hypothesize (quite accurately may I add) that the gym will be empty come March and all those promises to "make it right" and "start new" will be long forgotten. But there's something about a fresh start and a time to reflect on the past and ponder the future that I really value. So last night I set down to come up with my own resolutions and in a seemingly divine moment it happened to be the last page of my journal. I realize that my life is about to get turned upside down in a few short weeks with Baby U2 making her arrival so maybe it's not the best time in life to be making "resolutions" but at least come March I can be like all the others who can say they tried. So in no particular order my New Year's Resolutions for 2014 are:
1. Be intentionally generous at least once a month. We've been trying to save more than we spend the past few months as we anticipate the newest addition to our family but I've noticed lately it's made me kind of stingy. I don't like that feeling at all and more importantly I know it's not what I'm called to. So it can be something small like buying coffee for the person behind me in Starbucks or donating money from my personal spending money to a charity, either way it must be some kind of a sacrifice. Last year I came across this exercise in the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun where you give away one of your most treasured items. Needless to say I haven't done that yet because that is SO HARD for me but I would like to at least attempt this before 2015.
2. Record one high & one low from each day. I've heard of people doing this in all kinds of ways. Some take a picture a day, others write down a mini-blurb of their day, or one specific activity. The idea is all the same: to give thanks & remember God's faithfulness. (I've actually done this every night before bed so far & I've really enjoyed ending my day with some reflection)
3. Write more/blog more. I know I say this every year and every time I blog but it's so true. Writing is so therapeutic and life giving for me when I take the time to do it. Our pastor actually gave a challenge to the congregation on Sunday that I'm now considering my main motivation behind this goal. He asked us to "Be verbal about what God is doing in your life and how you're changing." And since it seems I'm better at writing those things out then talking about them sometimes, I hope for this blog to be a place where I can share just that (though I'm also not excusing myself from talking to real, live people either :0.)
4. Have people over to my house more. It is simply not ok to talk about how lonely I am and how "I have no friends" and not take some initiative to invite people over. Plus, I absolutely love having people in my house, it makes everything seem so warm and full of life. This one is going to get really hard for me after U2's birth because I like to have my house clean and in order for visitors. But from experience I now know that's not always possible when you have a newborn. So to borrow the theme from MOPS this year I'm going to have people over and invite them into my "Beautiful Mess."
5. Keep track of the books I read. This one is a late addition and is largely in part to this blog by Steve Lutz. I also noticed as I was reading year end posts by many of my favorite bloggers they included a "Reading Summary for 2013" or something like that. I'm not setting an exact count or particular type of genre goal because I typically read at least one book per month anyways. But I am going to start writing them down and I would love to post at least one book review on here each month!
So there they are. Nothing life shattering, just a few hopes and dreams for 2014.