Archive for December, 2012

A Mass of Hope and Longing (My New Year’s Post)

By all accounts, 2012 was a good year.  We settled into our life in Nashville, enjoying both our new church and all this city has to offer.  Greg loves his ministry job.  I taught my first college classes in years, and didn’t embarrass myself.  We made the decision to homeschool our children, and have loved it.  We grew closer to our church family and made some great memories with them.  We went to Washington D.C. for a week and also to the Chattanooga Aquarium and Rock City.  My best friend moved to the middle Tennessee area, and so did Greg’s grandmother.  Anna learned to read, and Luke learned to multiply.  We found a great gymnastics program for Anna, and Luke received his yellow belt in tae kwon do.

It was good.

On the resolution front, I met my running quota and read through the Bible (although, I admit I had to finish early, as I can only take so much of the esoteric carnage of the minor prophets and Revelation.  I know you should not rush through the Bible, but I struggle to understand that last bit).    I blogged about my desire to live a life of love, and while–shockingly–I don’t think I mastered that, God did teach me a lot about loving this year.  Particularly, He brought to light some selfishness and pettiness in my own heart that keeps me from loving others like I should.  This year, I long for freedom from such pettiness.  I know how to love deeply, but I long to love selflessly.

In fact, I have several longings as I start the new year.  I guess that’s weird because I’m not coming off a bad year, so shouldn’t I be more content?  I think that I am content in the important ways…but I still have hopes for the new year.  I hope, for example, that my new semester of teaching goes well, and that I’m able to successfully balance it with homeschooling.  It’s only one class, two days a week, so my hopes in this area are high.  I hope we are able to sell our house in South Carolina and do so without losing tons of money.  I hope that Luke and Anna find some real friendsthis year.  Not just people they get along with, not just people I set up playdates with, but friends who love them and actively want to spend time with them.  I hope to actually do some writing on that book that has been in my head for three years.  I hope to lose five pounds.  I hope that all the disparate parts of our church continue to congeal into a family–a family who is open and transparent with one another, a family who spends lots of time together, a family with one clear mission.   And most of all, I hope that God leads me deeper into Him and His will.  I hope that He teaches me more and more what it means to live every second of my life for Him.  I long for that.  I hunger for that.  But with all my longing and hunger, I still spend a lot of time confused and with a vague sense of failure.

So basically, I am a mass of hope and longing as I watch the last of this year ebb away.  To clear my mind, I am working on action steps, trying to noodle out my own role in resolving all this hope and longing.  Here’s what I have so far:

–Pursue God daily in tangible ways–and have someone hold me accountable in my relationship with Him (I am already working on this one).

–Pray daily for our church and for friends for our kids…and put into action several of my ideas for both.

–Run 175 days this year, and do some form of other exercise daily.  (We’ll see how that one holds up.  I’m okay with the running, but I have grown to loathe exercises.)

–Prepare thoroughly and in advance for all teaching endeavors.  (I have already started on this one, but it’s still too early to figure out exactly what that looks like.  At minimum, my goal is to have all classes and homeschool lessons prepared by the start of each week.  No “night before” stuff.)

–That leaves writing.  I may come back to update this, but right now my goal is to do something for my writing every weekday.  It could be as simple as jotting down an idea or looking up a verse.  Hopefully, it will usually involve more than that, but that’s the minimum.  It’s such a daunting task for me, and small steps give me strength.

I have also been really convicted lately about acting justly, especially in the realm of my role as a consumer.  Honestly, though, my fire died out in the holiday season, as I found myself doing things like running to Wal-mart at the last minute and buying M&M’s for my Christmas game at a kids’ party.  And also, I must admit, the seeming apathy on these issues from the Christian community often dampens my resolve and makes me wonder if I am crazy for thinking my purchases are something God cares about.  That’s why, for me, the issue of acting justly folds into my first resolution.  I must continue to purposefully seek God and ask Him what He wants from me, and I must have accountability both to help me interpret Him correctly and to make sure I obey the instructions I read in His word.

And I think that about wraps it up for my hopes, longings, and resolutions for 2013.  What about you?  Do you have any hopes or resolutions?

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