How grateful I am to have a few days this week to decompress! I get to read, rest, reflect—three of my favorite R-word activities! It seems that 2011 was in short supply of all these, although some changes throughout the year just may be culminating into a fresh New Year. Let me explain.
Last year, I was blessed with too much work. So blessed, in fact, that the first four months consisted of regular all-nighters. Something had to go . . . but what? After much prayer, I decided to remove my editing/proofreading contract with a communications agency. It was one of those sad but good decisions. But it still took me months to feel like I was digging myself out of the hole I had gotten into. The months of irregular sleep, household neglect, and responsibility shirking towered and took its toll.
Let me stress: God has been good to me. He held me steady through my emotional ups-and-downs and has taught me more about who He is and my need for His grace and love and mercy. My life with the Hubster is sweet, more than I could ever have imagined. I have dear friends who know me through and through, who pray for me, cry with me, laugh at me (in love, of course). I have work that is of the pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming nature.
Life is good and sweet. I am grateful. But some stretches are rougher than others, and 2011 was rough in the work-and-responsibility sense. But now that I’ve had some time for the three Rs, I feel mentally ready, able, and excited to meet my life in the days of 2012. I think they call this hope. And hope makes me dreamy! This is why I love the start of something new—a new day, new week, new month, new year. New makes me dream of what could be.
In all this hopes-and-dreams discourse, did any of you think of the Walt Disney Carousel of Progress theme song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”?!
(Well, that may be a bit too sunshiny. Let’s move on.) Here are my hopes and dreams for the big bright beautiful tomorrows of 2012.
1. For the Love of God
Fill & Empty is what I’ve been calling my morning check-in with the Lord. Basically, it’s getting more of who Jesus is (His Spirit, His power, His Truth—Him!) in me as I empty my soul in prayer and worship. Each month I plan to take a morning retreat to rest and rejoice in God’s grand rescue of me, a sinner. Both of these (the daily time and the monthly retreat) were spotty during 2011, and I’d like 2012 to be more consistent so that I do not let spiritual drift set in.
2. For the Love of Reading
Reading is a true joy for me, and it was in short supply in 2011. When I had time to sit still to read, I was often too tired to do so. For 2012, I have several reading challenges and goals set. These are, of course, in addition to the other books I am reading . . . :
The High Calling Book Club: We’ll be reading David Brooks’s The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. It kicks off Monday, January 9 with chapters 1–3 and will last a few months.
Bible Reading Challenge: This a challenge of my own making, so we’ll see how it goes! It’s a two-parter. Part 1 is the Daily Drink (reading some Scripture every day). Part 2 is the Sabbath Soak (taking a deeper look at a particular book or passage each Sunday for a month). I’ll write more on this is a separate post in an effort to encourage others to join me.
Classics Challenge: Years ago I started reading some classic literature and decided I would select books according to author’s last name. I’ve read books by Austen, Bronte, Carroll, and Dostoyevsky, crossing off the first five letters of the alphabet. I’ve read other classics covering letters I, L, O, and S. Needless to say, I have plenty more letters to cover. I’d like to read four more in 2012: The Great Gatsby, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Scarlet Letter, and The Fountainhead.
3. For the Love of Writing
A positive for 2011 is that my work shifted primarily to writing projects. Most of my time is spent writing, rewriting, and thinking about writing. [joy!] I started a weekly column called Mixed Signals for Christ and Pop Culture, which has stretched me in many good and painful ways. Which Word Wednesday is still going strong right here at The Patch. But generally speaking, my blog was neglected in 2011. In the year ahead, I would like to spend more writing time here and possibly give the site a facelift.
So that does it! Three resolution-like visions for 2012.
What sorts of resolutions are you making for the year ahead? I’d love to hear all about it! And watch for more information about my Bible Reading Challenge—I’d love to have your company.