The house is fairly clean, the holiday things are mostly put away, my correspondence is somewhat caught up. Good enough. Time to make a plan! Resolutions have gone notoriously bad for me. Most years I have made a long and detailed list of the Me I Want To Be, and....nothing changes. I am still disorganized, I am still a slacker, I still couldn't be bothered to do fifty sit-ups if my life depended on it.
|Last year's list.|
Resolution Theme #1: Blog
The blog has been neglected. Life has gotten busy. Facebook has gotten so interesting! But mostly I'm just too lazy or undisciplined to be effective in my writing life. And yet it plays a part in so many of my dreams: to finish my Master's degree, to write a book, to gain wisdom. So, a modest goal: write at least one post a week. Who knows but that little seed of discipline will grow into something strong and tall someday!
Resolution Theme #2: Body
Time to get back on the wagon and start living a healthier lifestyle once again. There will be no calories counted, no check marks ticked, but the bigger theme of caring for my body will be my overarching goal. A friend shared a post from Michael Moore's Facebook page and I got sort of inspired:
But the truth is, exercise does not work, diets do not work, feeling crummy does not work. Nothing works. My advice: Quit trying to be something you're not, be happy with the life you've been given, and just go for a pleasant walk outside. With me. Wherever you are. Get off the treadmill, stop drinking diet Coke, throw out all the rules. It's all a scam and it conspires to keep you miserable. If it says "low-fat" or "sugar-free" or "just 100 calories!" throw it out...The path to happiness - and deep down, we all know this -- is created by love, and being kind to oneself, sharing a sense of community with others, becoming a participant instead of a spectator, and being in motion. Moving. Moving around all day. Lifting things, even if it's yourself. Going for a walk every day will change your thinking and have a ripple effect. You'll find yourself only eating when you're truly hungry. And if you're not hungry, go clean your room, or have sex, or call a friend on the phone...You do not feel better admonishing yourself or beating yourself up or setting up a bunch of unrealistic rules and goals with all the do's and dont's that are just begging to be broken. You wanna know something? I eat ice cream every friggin' day. I drink a regular Coke every single day. I put butter on things. But I also walk every day. Some days now, I walk twice. And now I've started to do some push-ups and lifting stuff. It's building muscle, and in doing so, has created an extra furnace to burn stuff and create energy. Weird! That, in turn, makes me sleep 7-8 hours a night which is another game-changer. And all the walking and lifting makes me thirsty, so that makes me drink more water -- another huge plus!
(Read the entire post here.)Walking, moving, being kind to myself and enjoying my life. It sounds good. I'll give it a whirl!
Resolution Theme #3: Babies
Have I mentioned before that my experience of motherhood has been rife with guilt? In the midst of my culture shock as a city girl in a rural locale over nine years ago, I was also coping with a whole new ballgame: being a Mom. I'm still trying to get a handle on the whole thing. I love my kids, I always dreamed of having them, but I just haven't managed to be the Supermom that I'd always imagined I would be. I know I'm a pretty good mom, I know my kids love me, and I'm confident they know I love them, but I'm just not as intentional as I thought I'd be - about imparting my faith, inspiring their imaginations, or doing cool crafts. Most days I'm overwhelmed just surviving!
Yesterday I read a blurb for a book called In the Midst of Chaos, by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore:
In the Midst of Chaos reveals what it takes to find the spiritual wisdom in the messy, familial ways of living. By rethinking parenting as an invitation to discover God in the middle of our busy and overstuffed lives, it relieves parents of the burden fo being the all-knowing authority figures who impart spiritual knowledge to children. Finding spirituality in family activities such as reading bedtime stories, dividing household chores, and playing games can empower parents to notice what they are doing as potentially valuable and to practice it more consciously as part of their own faith journey.Chaos, messy, busy, and overstuffed sounds right up my alley. I put in an order for it today. :-) I'll be looking, and making room, for ways to be more present with my children as we share life together - normal, everyday, chaotic life.
Resolution Theme #4: Bible
This one is always there. I never read it as much or as often as I like. I tend to read a lot of great books about the Bible, and that has been immensely helpful to me as I've wrestled with issues of hermeneutics, interpretation and worldview, but in the process I've become aware of some large gaps in my biblical literacy. I tend to focus on the trees and lose sight of the forest.
I've been thinking about the particular idea of wrestling with God's word ever since I read Rachel Held Evan's blog post, entitled I Love the Bible, in which she likens her own experience of wrestling with the Bible to Jacob's wrestling with God. We cannot encounter God and his word and walk away unchanged. I'm ready to jump into the ring for a fresh round of interaction with this Word-and-Flesh that informs my entire life. I need to immerse myself in The Story for awhile, to reframe my story within it. My goal is to read the entire Bible, from start to finish, by the end of June. I'm going to resist lingering too long at any one point so I can get that forest-view, and begin to see where the trails merge, and separate, and peter off. I might even find a surpise lookout or two.
And that's it! Pretty reasonable, I think. Say a prayer for me as I press ahead. And what about you? Any resolutions, or perhaps an anti-resolution or two?
*Kathleen Norris defines acedia as "spiritual sloth or laziness." She wrote a book about it (Acedia and Me), but...I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. ;-)