I've gone back and forth on whether or not to post some New Years' Resolutions here on my blog. I have, indeed, made some. But I tend to be a pretty private person and would much prefer to keep them to myself. However, it is often said that one is more likely to achieve goals when they are shared or expressed to someone else. Also, since I know you all so well, I figure I can trust you guys, right?! ;)
After doing some blog surfing of my own, I found that one of my favorites, Dr. Eyeguy himself, has returned w/his own list of resolutions, or, as he puts it, "anti-resolutions"...things that he is NOT going to do this year. That seems to me to be a little bit easier list to make; so here you have it...my list of 8 things that I am NOT going to do in 2008 (in no particular order):
1. I am not going to worry as much about the things of this world. Rather, I am going to focus on prayer. This is something that, if you take the time to read these ramblings, you might have noticed has been on my mind for quite some time. My prayer life is just not what it used to be; not what it should be; not as focused as it should be. Fortunately an acquaintance of mine (who is quickly becoming a good friend of mine!) drew my name for our single girls' Christmas gift exchange, and she gave me a new journal. She said she noticed that I'm always taking notes and writing stuff down and thought I might like a new one. So I plan to use this new journal from this new friend of mine as a type of prayer journal. Perhaps that will help.
2. I am not going to be afraid of needles. Rather, I am going to attempt to donate blood as often as I am eligible to this coming year. This is a new one for me; it was a mere three weeks ago, when my church hosted a blood drive for a young man in our singles group, that I donated blood for the first time...ever. And I was (sort of, still am) terrified of needles. Seriously. They. Freak. Me. Out. But that Sunday morning, as I listened to the sermon, my minister's words stuck with me, "We give because God gave." (He was speaking in generalites, not necessarily about giving blood, but still...) Then before we took communion, before I participated in the body and blood that was given for me, we sang, "I Am Mine No More." After such a reminder, it seemed that to not give of my blood for no reason (except my own fear), for me, would be hypocrisy at its worst. (And as a side note, it was the above-mentioned acquaintance in #1 that helped me make it through that first donating experience. You could almost say that sort-of jump-started our friendship. So, not only did I give to another, I was blessed by the experience as well!)
3. I am not going to cut my hair (save the occasional trim, that is!) until after summertime, probably sometime in September. I've been growing my hair for awhile, inadvertently at first. But now that I've started, I figured, why stop? I should grow it until it's long enough to donate, as well! I've never done that before, either, and was thinking about it, but before I ever mentioned it, a couple of the girls from church suggested it! So we'll see if my hair is long enough to donate by September. This one really shouldn't be that much of a challenge until mid-July and early-August, when it's 110 degrees and about 96% humidity. Then it'll get interesting.
4. I am not going to be afraid to really worship. This one, on the other hand, will be incredibly challenging for me. I LOVE to sing; but I HATE to do so in front of other people. I've been working on this one for awhile, and will continue to work on having the right frame of mind when I enter our worship times together, so that I just don't worry about it. Also, there are some songs we sing that mention lifting our hands (in fact, we sang two this past Sunday!) but again, I would be very self conscious about actually doing so with others. Sometimes it's just really difficult for me to enter the Father's presence without worrying what my surrounding siblings think. I've really gotta work on this one.
5. I am not going to eat for one whole day of each week this year. If you read this post, you know that I feel like fasting is very much a neglected discipline, at least in my own life. It's just something I've never studied or practiced until very recently. I would like to do so with even more focused intent (this goes hand-in-hand with #1 above) and I will try to work on these simultaneously.
6. I am not going to step on a scale, because I just hate the roller coaster as weight fluctuates up and down. That's right, while most people make New Year's Resolutions to "lose weight," I am going to try to focus, instead, on making healthy decisions to take better care of myself. I hope that I will shed some pounds in the process, but that is no longer my primary goal. Rather, I feel like it should be honoring God with this body by taking care of this temple for His Spirit.
7. I am not going to be a packrat, hoarding possessions that I don't need now and can't take with me. The fact that I am a packrat, with alot of stuff, came to my attention earlier this year after hearing a sermon on the rich young ruler. I gave it some thought at the time and made a half-hearted effort to get rid of some stuff. But then I tried to forget about it and ignore the fact that I still have too many things that I don't need. However, right before Thanksgiving, we single girls got together one evening for a dinner and just some time to spend together. We began talking about this subject, and we even all contributed to a group blog over on our singles website (which I reposted here!) It's still true...I have ALOT of STUFF. So this year, I am not going to be a pack rat. I will try even harder to thin out my belongings, and if I don't need it, I will find someone who does.
8. I am not going to forget how fragile and precious life is and the fact that I should not take a moment for granted. Everything can change in literally an instant. I've been reminded of this over and over again recently. I was reminded of this just over a year ago, with the death of one of my cousins. I was reminded of this just a month ago, with a dirt bike accident that has left a member of our singles group in ICU, in very bad health and paralyzed from the waist down. Even a few short days ago, I was reminded of this yet again, when my dad called to tell me about an accident my sister was in. Her car was completely destroyed, but she walked away essentially unharmed. All of those things happened in the blink of an eye. This past year, 2007, has definitely been a year of refocusing for me, and I pray that I can maintain that focus into the new year, not taking anything or anyone for granted.
I pray the same blessing of focus on your lives as well. Much love to you all.