Out with the old…

This time of year always brings new hopes, new ambitions, new decisions. It is a time of reflection, of purging, of wasting the things that have not mattered for a whole of 365 days and evaluating what has been meaningful and worthy. It is a time of finding value, of creating reason, of re-creating who it is we think we were and who it is we think we want to be. And often it is a time where great change is desired, but more often, the same is disguised in bundles of effort and words, without the heart poised behind it.

I’ve never been one for resolutions, for ideas that will change the course of my existence, simply because the clock strikes twelve and the calendar states a new year is born. I have never once had a resolution that I have followed through on, mostly because I am haphazard, and my ideas tend to be the same. I do believe that this reevaluation is good, it is meaningful when intentional, and it is beautifully useful when actually executed.

So in the midst of my lack of follow through, and the daunting task of thinking ahead during a crazy time of life, I am committing something. I do not pretend that I will be good at this, and I don’t really know how long the intentionality of this resolution will last, but I do know that this is my desire, and isn’t now a good of time as ever to try? To overcome myself with a little more of who I know I’m called to be?

So here it is. My new year desire.

Discipline.

You see, I’m good at creating to-do lists, at making ideas, envisioning possibilities. But actually executing what I want, gaining the motivation to do it, and not simply leaving all of the products required for the task in a bag in the basement, is a completely different story.

This might seem strange, but I want to be more intentional about finishing. About completing goals, about finishing tasks, whether they are tasks I enjoy or tasks I don’t.

So, here are some ways that I am committing to be more disciplined, more intentional.

1) Every day, tell my husband what a great man I think he is.

2) Every day, write down at least 5 things I am grateful for or 5 areas where I have seen God work.

3) Monday through Friday, something new will be posted on this blog. It might not be me writing, it might just be a link to another blog that is meaningful to me, but I will be putting out a schedule of what each day will look like (anticipate this for tomorrow) ;).

4) Write a monthly letter to our sponsor child, Seraphim, in Burkina Faso. Pray for him daily.

5) Read at least 1 book a month (probably the easiest goal, since I do it anyway, I just don’t keep track).

6) Pick one organization each month to pray over, advocate for, and possibly donate to.

7) Keep track of the recipes I cook.

8) Maintain consistency in prayer. Pray for specific, intentional topics daily.

9) Dig into God’s word. I’m not sure I’m going to set what this looks like, but I do recognize the need for this to be more intentional in my life and not simply something I do when it “feels” right.

10) Write an encouragement or thank you card each week and send it to someone I know or someone I don’t.

 

So there it is. Who knows how this will actually unfold, but I am excited to find parts of myself that I have not spent much time cultivating. I will let you know how it goes and please feel free to holding me accountable (gently, of course). 🙂

 

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Open

Today is a day where thegypsymama.com challenges fellow bloggers to write about a topic for 5 minutes, no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. Please join us in this experience.

Today’s topic: Open

In this place, right here, I am making a vow. It is not one that I know I will keep in all of the dailiness, in the everyday, but I will vow to remind myself of the vow I will make.

I stand here, and I commit to openness. The kind where I am willing to trust, to walk, to move in the sun. The kind where my home is love and joy, and my husband knows my heart and my soul, not just my to-do’s and my desires. The kind of openness that is undeniable, beautiful, approachable, is how I want to be. Open on my knees, to the wait, to the call, to the heart of Christ that is beckoning me. Open to lose myself, to die to this woman and find that it is better than any other decision I could make.

Open to love, open to friendship, open to ideas, to places, to hearts that are different from mine. There is something to learn and I am going to find it, seek it, search it.

Openness requires me to live in freedom, gratefulness, hope, and I will vow to remind myself of these things, even when being stubborn or difficult seems preferable.

I will be changing, and I will be glad, and I will be open to who I will become. And this river of openness will hopefully allow me to love, in all the best ways, and will sweep me away in a current of beauty that I just can’t get enough of.

The Music of Life

Music moves me. A beautiful song or well-written lyrics can have me processing for days. My whole being can ache when a song is meaningful, and I love hearing the way the sounds and the meaning all come together to make an intricate piece. If a good song is playing, I will stay wherever I am before I move on, just to hear it come to its completion, because I find beauty in that.

I love that songs are created and crafted, and can be revised and renewed and redone. I love that they can be so poignant and meaningful, a result of the situation they are meant for, yet carry such different meanings and notions and still be just as poignant for the listener. I love when a song is considered, not just heard. I love to learn an artist, by the way they make their music and delve into their craft.

I love how a song can be robust and full, with exquisite notes and harmonies, full instrumentation and lovely crescendos. And I love how a song can be simple, and still hit a chord of emotion and beauty that wouldn’t have come if the scores were filled to the brim.

And I’m trying to love this in life too. I have always loved the parts of life that are full and robust, filled with laughter and love and joy. Filled with conversation and people and children’s voices. Filled with notes and harmonies that feel so good and so pure, like you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

But I forget about the other songs. The simple ones. Those songs where messages are hidden, where contentment must be found in the littlest of sounds. Where the crescendo has yet to come. There is always a part of life meant for waiting, for the small notes, so the big ones have something to build upon. Adding instrument by instrument, the starting soft can be very hard when all I want to do is be the big notes. I want to play with all my heart, I want to feel the keys underneath my fingers and know that I am giving everything I have to it. And I so easily forget that its possible to be passionate, to love the song, even when its soft. Even when its simple. Because sometimes simple is good, and simple teaches things. And I need to learn from the simple before the bigger notes come, before the dissonant notes hit. My hands need to learn the chords and my heart needs to learn the rhythm before any music can be made, or the music won’t be good at all.

But like a child, I want to hit the keys without knowing a thing, and pray that the sound comes out profoundly, though I know it would sound like noise. And I don’t want to be noise.

So I will learn. I will learn the notes of my song, and not another, though I might love the way theirs is being written in comparison to mine. And I will choose to sing with passion the words that are laid out for me. And I hope that the song will become beautiful.