Epiphany: Gift of 7 Goals

Epiphany mosaic
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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. 

While we Americans celebrate gift-giving on the 1st day of Christmas, many cultures wait until January 6, the holy-day commemorating original presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. While on December 25, we awoke earlier than any family should have to be awake to tear paper off of packaged goods, today I am having a celebration of my own. 

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. 

Resolutions and goals
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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.


  1. says

    I'm also doing the book challenge and I would really like to see more movies! My last movie in a theater was Happy Potter #1! So I'm heading off this weekend for my birthday to see the movie WILD if you haven't read that book by Cheryl Strayed it is amazing!

  2. SharonGreenthal says

    I find it harder to stay focused on a book than I used to, also. I have to be captivated very quickly! I am also hoping to be more patient with my reading.

  3. says

    Sigh. I'll let you know in a few months. 🙂 Today I watched a movie, though, and I didn't allow myself to go online while it was on. Who knew I'd be using movies to NOT be distracted?

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