Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Instead of New Year's Resolutions...

There have been years where I made resolutions meant to begin on January 1st. The root of a personal goal should be to transform part of one's self into something more positive. Sometimes the intent is to bring good change into the world or another's life. Sometimes a personal goal may only involve yourself, which can entail changing a habit, forming a habit, etc. Everyone who makes New Year's resolutions has the intent of following through. But how many of us mere mortals are able to stick with ALL our goals and stay on track the entire year? The more dedicated may doggedly cling to them for a few months, or with a feat of super-human strength, pursue one particular objective until finished. 

I am not one of those people.

The best way for me to accomplish a goal is to have it be long-term, not very specific, and have many different strategies of achieving it. I've had the goal of studying children's education for over four years, which led to taking college classes on related subjects, teaching children as my job, investing in young people's lives and listening to their thoughts, visiting schools, and writing in the blog "Life Is the Teacher". There is no exact end to this goal. It seems like educational methods will be a never-ending study for me, especially since my own child will be born next year, Lord willing. And that's the joy of it: I don't HAVE to have an end to this quest. It can go on for as long as I am interested, willing to learn, and wish to bring information to others. 

In that light, I won't be making any New Year's resolutions. My history has proved me too lazy, too forgetful, too hasty, and/or too impatient for them. It's a bit disappointing, really. There's something so invigorating about establishing new dreams, committing to new aspirations. 

What I will be doing instead is choosing a word for 2012.

Within the past few weeks, a theme has begun to emerge. In my conversations, the books I read, the thoughts I ponder, the motif of TRUST has shyly crept forth. It's become obvious to me that I am sadly lacking in this area. This is partially due to past events that made it difficult for me to trust others easily (which is fear), but it is also because pride stands in the way of putting my trust in anything except myself. This has been a big hindrance in my relationship with God. And there are other places in my life where I can see that lack of trust has had a negative impact. That is the ugly side; the opposite of trust is doubt. With doubt comes skepticism, disbelief, confusion, chaos.

The bright future is this: I want to bring TRUST into my life in whatever ways will positively change me. This is my long-term goal for 2012, which is perfect since there are endless ways that the message of trust can effect me. I will be searching for it...

... as I meditate on Bible passages. I talk with friends and family. I write in my blogs or journal. I walk through the world. I create art. I approach new experiences. I listen. I deal with old pain. I learn how to walk with God. I read books. I admire beauty. I let hindrances go. 

This theme of TRUST may speak loudly sometimes. Other times it may whisper. There is already some art forming in my mind that I'd like to bring into physical being, so that it can be a reminder around my home of the search for trust this year. I want to live with this word, hugging it so closely to myself that it becomes imprinted on my heart. 

Care to join? Is there a word that you want to explore?

Let me know!

If you want more ideas of what this is about, visit these articles:

Friday, December 2, 2011


Sometimes the upstairs neighbors sound like elephants, stomping around with trumpeting sounds of laughter and noise until three thirty in the morning, completely ruining any chance of sleeping for more than five minutes.

Sometimes you wake up hungry at four a.m. because pregnancy cravings for something to eat RIGHT NOW were too powerful for sleep.

Sometimes your partner has to wake up at five to be at work by six, even though you were both up with runny noses for most of the night.

Sometimes the mind runs at such a breakneck speed that it is impossible to turn off, like a t.v. endlessly running through channels with a broken remote, so you lie awake until dawn light begins seeping through the windows.

But then your shyest student breaks out of his shell to play an amazing new guitar composition he's been working on all week.

And then you come home after a long evening of teaching to the love of your life preparing a delicious cooked chicken and mashed potatoes for a cozy dinner.

And then you catch a much-needed nap with your love on a peaceful afternoon.

And then you get the Christmas tree, the tiny evergreen small enough to fit into an apartment, and it reminds you that the best part about December is Christ's coming.

Then you're not so tired.