Thursday, December 6, 2012

Themes and Goals: 2013 Edition

It’s time for another year.  Where did 2012 go?  It was a busy, dream-accomplishing year.

 Highlights? Gained a nephew, graduated with my Master’s, went to Ethiopia and Uganda, full-time employee at a job I love, and saw Ingrid Michaelson in concert.  I also kept my New Year’s Resolution of not drinking soda.  Which if you knew me in college, Diet Coke was a major part of my diet so it was a big deal and I probably won’t go back to drinking soda.

So without any further adieu, the 2013 themes and goals are:

Discipline: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
Stewardship: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care

  • Put at least $350 into savings each month (which will actually be really hard considering student loans will pick up)
  • Read 24 previously unread books that have been recommended to me by friends or bloggers that I feel like are my friends or have been on my book list for the last 15 years (and no judgment I haven’t read a few of the classics on my list, I’ve been busy with higher education for 6 years).  Each month there is a spiritual book and then a book that is either fiction or a fun read.   See list below.
  • Transition into using completely natural cleaning products. I currently make some of my own products and the only reason I am not 100% natural is the couple I rent from left some cleaning products and I want to use those first #stewardship
  • Only buy Starbucks twice a month (I basically do this now but I made a punch card to keep track)
  •  Inductively study: Deuteronomy, 2 Timothy, Haggai, Covenants
  • Continue working out with my trainer and eat according to Paleo plan 99% of the time (exceptions: wedding cake, corn dip when shared with Kristen (Knoth) Loney, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in the fall)
  • Visit Silver Dollar City at least 8 times to make my season pass worth it :)
  • Outline a book of the Bible each month to add on to my Bible Overview Project from the Institute
  • Run at least 2 organized races
  • Write a book?

The Month by Month List:
January: Fully Alive by Ken Davis, I was Told There’d be Cake by Sloan Crosley, outline Genesis
February: What Women Fear by Angie Smith, Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, outline Exodus
March: 10,000 Reasons by Ann Voskamp, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, outline Leviticus
April: ‘Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, My Life in France by Julia Child, outline Numbers
May: Hole in My Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, outline Deuteronomy
June: Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, outline Joshua
July: The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris, Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, outline Judges
August: Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Outline Ruth
September: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, Out of Africa by Karen Blixen, outline 1 Samuel
October: Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde, outline 2 Samuel
November: Desiring God by John Piper, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, outline 1 Kings
December: The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, outline 2 Kings

What am I looking forward to in 2013?  Attending Passion with Kanakuk, seeing live theatrical events (Mary Poppins and Disney on Ice, and I’m sure more to come), going on a long-talked about Seattle vacation with one of my best friends, and seeing Christine Caine at the 2013 Women of Faith conference.
It’s going to be a good year.

What are your goals?

Monday, December 3, 2012

to become whole.

Excuse my blog hiatus for the past few months.
Sometimes life happens and you forget to do things that you were so disciplined with once upon a time.

Plus I had some major life events and major life decisions demanding my attention. 
And being an adult is exhausting. 
And let’s be honest, it is football season (Go Wildcats).

But in the midst of the joy, the Lord’s constant faithfulness, and my daily living, my heart still aches for a country that requires 24 hours of travel to step foot on the red dirt.

It has been five months since I stepped foot back on American soil. 
Five months since I have held a child who was fighting malaria. 
It has been five months since I have seen the joy in the chocolate colored eyes of the children. 
Five months. 
It has been five months since my heart has been shattered into a million pieces. 
And yet it takes longer than five months for this heart of mine to heal.

I think the ache in my heart is a permanent ache.  I don’t think I will ever feel whole again.

Isn’t that the point?  To have an ache that nothing can satisfy but the Lord?  To so deeply long for wholeness that you sacrifice every comfort and convenience to follow a God who promises wholeness? A wholeness that only He can provide?  

Nothing in this life is worth it.  Nothing is worth the wholeness that comes with pursuing and knowing the Lord.  Nothing is better than allowing the Lord to take your hurts, your sin, your sheer brokenness and making you a new creation.  We rise because Christ has been raised to life.  We are saved by faith
The ground is level at the foot of the cross and we are no longer in bondage.  We are made whole.

Sitting on this the truth, I am comforted by the words in Revelation 21:4-7
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “[It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”

And piece by piece my broken heart is being glued back together again.