Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Big 2 and the 12 for '12

Hey folks!

So Happy New Year!!  A VERY happy new year, actually.  I'm really excited about 2012.  I've got a list of "would love to do's" and "gosh darn it--WILL do's" for this year, hopefully making some good habits.  God blessed me tremendously in 2011.  I got a job that's been a blessing in so many ways, I've moved into a big girl apartment with my sweet kitty Baghera, I've made or reconnected with several people who I know will be lifelong friends... Also, I've got a charming boyfriend (sweet sweet Jared) who is just as big of a delightful, joyful blessing as he was a year ago when we started dating (ok, a year ago on SaturdaySundayMonday.  We have agreed on a general 3 day dating anniversary.) and I'm excited that he's stuck it out with me this long :)  You see, I'm not exactly EASY to date.  But hopefully I'm growing in that direction!

Speaking of, how about listing those resolutions so that you can be on board with me as I grow this year!  Kinda scary to throw it all out there for you to see.  It will make me commit to them more knowing that I have this kind of accountability (even if I only have 2 readers, that's 2 people who will know just how ambitious I am about this year).  But here goes!

Big 2:

-JOY.  God has been working in my heart tirelessly to teach me what joy is, and how I can find it through Him.  He's helping me to find full juicy satisfaction in Him, rather than seeking for it in this world.  Now, this process has been years-long, but He has recently made it clear that if I choose to commit to it, and to Him, this year can be the start of a lifelong JOYFEST.  And I'm all about that.  So let it begin!

-One hour a day in quiet time with the Lord and/or in the Word.  An hour.  A whole hour.  A not-looking-at-the-clock-worrying-about-all-that-I-could-be-doing-with-this hour.  It's so important.  I've tried "quickie" quiet times or short passage Bible reading plans, but that's cheating myself out of quality time with my Father.  That's not building a relationship.  And it's also not been teaching me the discipline of resting in Him and finding peace in those quiet moments with the Lord.  So this year that changes.  Already I have felt an awesome desire to read the Bible--sadly not a desire I've frequently felt.  But committing to being with the Lord for an hour sounds so much more amazing than an hour of Biblical history reading, ya know?  But if God is at work through that history reading, and I'm actively listening to what He's teaching me?  Oh yea.  Sign me up.

I have some hopes/dreams/fears/wishes for this year, but those are quietly tucked away in my LBJ (Leather Bound Journal.  Read about him here.).  This isn't the time or place for those.  This is the time and place for the 12 for '12!! Twelve mini (or not so mini) resolutions that I'm excited about doing/starting/finishing in 2012.

1.  Complete the black frame collage above my sofa.  It's time.
2.  Let this be the Year of the Mixer (I got a RED KitchenAid Mixer for Christmas, and I am PUMPED!).  I want to bake at least 1 thing a month--for someone else.  Wanna be the recipient??  Let me know.
3.  Strive for Intermediate Level of French.  Mhm.  No classes, just Rosetta Stone and me, getting REAL.
4.  Plant and nourish a garden.  My hope is to cook with things I've grown from my balcony garden.  Which I don't have yet, but I will.
5.  Grow my nails out long enough to "deserve" a manicure.  I have an awful habit of messing with my nails.  Makes em not cute.  I wanna break that habit.
6.  Grow (along with my nails and vegetables) a quiet, peaceful, joyful spirit.
7.  I'll tell you about this one in a month.  Just wait for it.
8.  Take more pictures, learn techniques, seek out some good snaps
9.  Deliberately open up myself for opportunities to share Christ.  Gotta listen to the Spirit here.  It will let me know when and with whom.  I'm not a street corner kinda gal, if ya know what I mean, but I've also missed opportunities when I'm sure God could have blessed us both with that conversation.
10.  Save $, but not to excess.  (not that I make enough to be considered "excess"--I just want to develop good habits of not saving it ALL, as could easily be my fearful planner-style mode of operations, but learning when to spend or give, such as...)
11.  Give $, to help missions.
12.  Invest more in PEOPLE and relationships.  That means overcoming this weird little fear uncomfortable social situations. 

I have an overactive empathy meter, which can be crippling when I'm talking with someone who I can tell is uncomfortable, because I take on their discomfort rather than trying to figure out how to remedy the situation to make it great for the other person, thus great for both of us.  Jared has helped tremendously with this because A) he's a social butterfly.  Easily 60% of our relationship has been out and about, loving on folks, double dates, group activities.  He's pulled me out of the safety of alone-ness.  B) he's a fabulous example to follow in terms of making great conversation.  He could befriend a coaster in 5 minutes, and after 30 minutes, the coaster wants Jared to be the best man at his wedding.  Just watching him connect with people has taught me a lot about how to talk to all kinds of people--not just the ones we find easiest to talk to, but ALL kinds of people.  I've also seen how he takes those folks that he does find easy to talk to, and he really invests in them as a dear friend.

I will never be as social butterfly-y as Jared, but that's really ok.  I just want to get better.  I want my crossing paths with another person to be a blessing to them.  That's really the point of most of the 12 for '12--to help me grow into a well-rounded person who is a blessing for others to come in contact with.

Except the nails thing.  That's for me.

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