Wow is it already 2008? A brand new year is upon us, which brings us all to a place of thinking what we want to see accomplished these next 12 months and how we'll approach this year differently from the last. Oh yes, I'm speaking of resolutions. I'm not real comfortable setting resolutions or goals for myself, they make me a bit nervous because I'm afraid of setting myself up for failure and not making good on those goals and disappointing myself. But nonetheless, Jason's really encouraged me to set a few attainable goals for this next year, so I've been doing a lot of thinking and I believe I've come up with a good list.
1. Journaling. I've journaled on and off since I was 7 years old, and when I look back on some of the things I wrote, I embarrass myself! I was so foolish at times, so naive and I'm beginning to realize that's all part of growing up and that the choices and mistakes we make, only shape us into the person we are today. I really shouldn't regret the mistakes I've made, but be grateful that I've learned valuable lessons through those times. So I plan on journaling regularly once again.
2. Exercise. How original right? I do have a goal to get my body in great shape before we plan on starting a family. Because we've talked about having four kids, I want to be able to bounce back easier by having some good muscle tone before we start down the family path. I still have a few years before we head that direction, but I think it would be good now to start making it a habit of getting in shape. Jason & I saw this infomerical for Turbo Jam, this cardio workout that actually looked like a lot of fun. So we're going to give it a shot and hopefully it will work for me. Being on beta blockers for my heart arhythmia really makes working out difficult since they purposefully keep my heart rate down. But no harm in giving it a shot!
3. Be more honest. I've really shied away from saying what I really think about certain situations because I have learned an automated response of avoiding conflict so there would be no repercussions from questioning something or speaking truth. Let me be more specific, if I ever believed something contrary to what my "authority" has taught me and verbalized it, there was sure to be consequences and repercussions - so therefore I quit seeking truth for my life and started believing whatever was spoon-fed to me so that I would be agreeable and not be "divisive". Now I realize that to find truth, you HAVE to ask questions and sometimes you have to wrestle with God, and you know what - He loves it! When you wrestle with God or those He's placed in your life - it says that your not willing to settle for what's being handed down to you, it means you want it directly from Him and your willing to fight for it, no matter what it may cost you to get it. I love that. I love that Jacob wrestled with God. I love that all the heroes of the Bible did things contrary to what was expected of them and they made waves. I love that they received their truth directly from the mouth of God and stood firm on it no matter what others said about them. I resolve this year to be more honest, stand up for what is truth, even if it ruffles some feathers or creates some waves :-)
4. Read the New Testament. I've read the Bible twice through now. Once when I was elementary school with my dad. The second time while I was in Masters Commission. Both times I was in very different places in my life. Since those times, I've grown even more and realize that with my clarified perspective of who God is, I need to re-read the New Testament once again so I can see some things that I more than likely missed before.
5. Pray Out Loud. I've taken a sabbatical the last couple years from verbalizing my prayers out loud very often. I've always had a deep inner-conversational relationship with the Lord since I was a little girl, but the last couple years I've realized that when I pray out loud a lot of times, it comes out very rehearsed and impersonal. I believe people can learn a programed way of praying that isn't intimate and real, but practiced and rehearsed. And I realized that I've been doing this - and it would drive me nuts to listen to myself, saying things I didn't even know what they really meant. I've been going through a scrubbing of my mind the last couple years, where I've needed to ask why I believe what I believe. Jason has been so great in asking me - "Ok, now show me, where does that belief come from in the Bible? Show me." Usually my response is, "I don't know, I heard it somewhere or a pastor taught me that." I admire Jason for always referring back to the Bible when it comes to an answer for how we should respond in a situation - not a person or belief-system. I've had enough of defining my relationship with Christ through what others teach, but now I need to define who I am and my relationship with Christ through what His Word says. Christ's Word is without error, so why would we so heavily lean on an individual to define who we are over His Word, when we as humans are not perfect and can miss the mark so easily and in turn teach others to do the same. So to help me begin to pray out loud, I'll start with praying the scriptures and then go from there to praying in front of others, making it my goal to keeping it genuine and from the heart.
6. Read 20 books - 2 of them marriage books. Its easy to get wrapped up in television, especially when I don't want to have to think anymore when I get home from work. But reading is definitely a hobby of mine and a good habit to have, so I want to read 20 books this year, with two of them being books on marriage.
7. Get the house in order. There is so many things we want to accomplish on the house this year. It's really nowhere I want it to be and I really want to work on taking the time this year to get it to a place where we can fully enjoy it. We're literally doing a complete overhaul on almost every room and on the outside too. In the spring, we want to completely repaint the outside, level out the yard, put in a new walkway and picket fence around the front. And in the back, a new fence, a larger porch and a stone patio. Lots and lots of projects. I'm learning that I'm really not a very patient person and I need to work on this. We really have gotten a lot done already, which I'm very grateful for. It's definitely been a learning process for the both of us!!
8. Finish Rapunzel. Ahhh yes, the cross stitch project I've been working on since FOREVER! Something I learned from dad is to finish something you've started. I hate not finishing a book and I hate not finishing a project. I've been working on this darn Rapunzel for the last, I don't know - 10 years!?! It's time to get'er done!
9. Get a website up for Invitation Business. I would love to get to the point where I can work from home by the time we start a family. And I've had a number of years experience now, making wedding invitations and other various invitations over the last several years. Ideally I would love to do this full time and get a website up and running that advertises my new venture so I can do invitations locally and nationwide.
Well that about covers it. I know 10 is a more rounded number, but I just can't think of one more.