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Today is Epiphany, the remembrance of the magi delivering gifts to little, baby-Jesus. Although, to be more historically accurate, delivering gifts to probably a cranky, toddler-Jesus.
I did not make New Years Resolutions for 2015. Instead, I’ve created a few goals in order to find something getting lost in the shuffle lately: me.
Goal #1: Live out my 2015 Phrase of the Year
“Move forward and trust.” ~ Ken Wytsma
I cannot wait to let you in on how Ken Wytsma’s latest book, The Grand Paradox has changed my life since reading it a few short weeks ago. While a review blog post is coming a bit later this month, I encourage you to listen to my radio interview with Wytsma. (Click here for podcast from 12/17) I had many questions and his answers challenged thoughts I’ve had for decades. When you listen, you’ll understand why I picked “move forward and trust” as my motto for the year.
Goal #2: Read 52 Books
At the beginning of our family winter break, I made a cup of tea and snuggled on the couch to finally read Anne Lamott’s Small Victories. I found myself three paragraphs in before I started scanning to find something else – I’m not sure what – just, something. I forced my brain to remember these are pages, beautiful sentences created by an author I adore, not a computer screen. I didn’t even get to the end of the first chapter before I checked email, Facebook, and Twitter on my iPhone.
Once an avid reader who could power through 52 books in a week, I’m disheartened to find my attention span so lacking. I’m hoping my plan to read an average of 1 book per week will force my brain to slow down so I can reacquaint myself with literary characters. Maybe I’ll take the lead from my youngest daughter, who packs tightly in her bedroom corner with a novel, then drapes a blanket over herself so no one can find her.
Goal #3: Watch 104 TED Talks
With the advent of the TED website, we have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of short, video lessons available to us at any time. I have bookmarked a plethora to watch one day, “when I have time”. This year, I’m making time. 2 clips per week should help me knock out a chunk of the talks I have saved on my account. Here’s to mind expansion!
Goal #4: Watch 52 Movies
Before kids, Edd and I watched cinematic releases on opening weekends. Now, I’m lucky if I get to the theater at all! The last film I saw was Big Hero 6. The last “grown-up” movie we saw together was Veronica Mars. That about did it for me in 2014.
The bummer is – I. love. movies. Films have been known to change my life. (Children of a Lesser God and Singles, if you’re curious.) I don’t even mind streaming in my living room. However, with young teens in the house, blaring rated R films from our speakers doesn’t happen on my watch – especially when they stay awake longer than I do. Like most of my goals for 2015, I’m going to pencil in some film watching. Call it “art appreciation”.
Goal #5: Writing a Book
Ok, this isn’t really a new goal. I’ve been working off and on my laptop for 2 years now. I’ve pinpointed my lack of a finished product to: focus. I’ll tell you more in another post, but for now, just know I’m discovering these chapters need to be developed on my terms. The freedom in this revelation has developed a renewed excitement for sharing my experiences.
Goal #6: Limit Social Media to Scheduled Times
See Goals #2, 3, 4 & 5.
Goal #7: Bible Hermeneutics
More than a pre-written study or getting through the Bible in one year, I am making time to read, reflect and prayerfully come to my own interpretations of Scripture. If I hear a sentence beginning with “The Bible clearly says…” one more time, I think I will have another stroke.
Just because a pastor, or a priest, or a parent, or a blogger, or some guy on a street corner explains a passage one way, does not automatically mean I am coming to the same conclusion. A ton of conflicting commentary floats in our airspace. I want to buckle down and research context, history, original language, and culture to support what I believe to be true. This will take me longer than a year, I’m sure, but it is the one goal I’m most passionate to set.
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Resolutions have been significant in my life, mostly as a way of changing who I am. These 7 goals aren’t designed to make me thinner, wealthier, or fitter…rather they’re more a gift to myself in order to find Andee. She’s somewhere around here, I promise.