Steadfast is my word for 2013, and I’m not exactly sure how I’ve been doing at it so far. I have noticed being tossed-to-and-fro less, chasing random ideas less, and focusing more on my main things – the things that truly matter and the things that fire me up, but I’m still a little slow on the uptake when it comes to self-discipline, logistics, and detail tasks.
I’ve been trying to collect little clues towards this. If my year’s aim is to better learn how to faithfully, steadfastly accept and serve where God has put me, then, if I know me, I’m going need to little tools and babysteps and tricks and reminders to keep moving towards that. If I want that 1 Corinthians 15:58 steadfastness in which I believe and walk in the truth that my labor is not in vain, then I need to keep learning, and I think the ways that I learn best are reading and doing and talking/writing it out.
“It’s possible to begin to believe that only the revolutionary pursuits require bravery.
But being brave also means waking up to your today responsibilities (no matter what they are) and then moving into them as the person you most fully are – with all of your unique desire, personality, and creativity.
Sometimes today will mean doing something risky or new. Most times it just means doing the same thing I did yesterday. Either way, the point is my life with Christ and his life in me.”
– Emily P. Freeman
Those words by Emily caught me off guard last week – waking up to your dailies and moving into them as you are, not as you think you ought to be. Still chewing on that.
And, these thoughts on strengths and weaknesses from Christine a few days ago have also stuck with me.
The trouble is we assign different values to various personality traits and abilities so, instead of simply being faithful with the strengths we’ve been given, we think we have to have every strength and no weaknesses or God can’t use us. And when we fall or a weakness comes through, we immediately say to ourselves, “I am a bad (fill-in-your-blank).”
What would happen, I wonder, if we embraced our strengths and our weaknesses? What if we didn’t try to push ourselves through our weaknesses but focused instead on being good stewards of our strengths?
… There’s freedom in that. And there’s freedom that because of the cross, because God sees Christ when He looks at us (if we are in Him), we are never a disappointment to the One who matters most.” – Christine Hoover
Freedom in Christ means freedom from the high expectations we burden ourselves with and freedom from the pressure to be good at ALL THE THINGS. Thank goodness.
I just recently finished reading Hard Optimism, and focusing on your strengths – walking in those well and really honing them, as well as getting help and systems for your weak areas in life, instead of trying in futility to turn them into strengths – was one of the twelve practices outlined in the book. Still chewing on that book as well. Lots of practical insights.
So, those are my rambling thoughts on how 2013 is looking so far. A lot of thinking, rambling talks with Garret, fun, planning, and babysteps. Here are some highlights from February and little babystep goals for March.
- Memorized 1 Corinthians 15:58.
- Was pretty steady in counting calories and going to the gym. Total weight lost since January 1: 14 lbs! Need to do a whole post on that soon – it’s been so fun seeing results.
- Finished 2 books – One Thousand Gifts and Hard Optimism.
- Started working through Lara Casey’s posts on goal setting and Making Things Happen.
- Successfully stayed in town every weekend except for one.
- Attended a sewing class taught by my friend Corrie and photographed it.
- Joined the Influence Network, took my first class, and learned a lot in the forums.
- Ran 2 miles straight for the first time in a long time.
- Organized our outdoor closet, hung all the garden and grilling tools on the wall.
- Started some small new family traditions with Garret that we’ve really enjoyed and that I’ve really appreciated his enthusiasm in.
- Lightly go through A Million Miles in a Thousand years again. When I read it a couple of years ago, that book really fired me up.
- Keep making travel plans with Garret for this summer and fall. Excited about this one!!
- Finish 4 books, and catch up on posting book reviews here.
- Keep pushing “publish” here more. Don’t save the good stuff for later, like some crazy writer-squirrel afraid of a creative winter.
- Dig up winter garden, add new dirt and nutrients, and plant spring garden: onions, lettuce, red lettuce, Swiss chard, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and new flowers out front. Excited about this! I’m still very much an amateur, but I really enjoy working in the garden.
- Stick to new budget goals.
- Memorize Psalm 112:6-8
- Keep memorizing Romans 12 and get v. 1-2 down pat.
- Keep counting calories and try to exercise for 60 min 4 x a week.
- Keep using my sewing machine more, even if it’s just for easy projects.
- Run 3 miles straight – get ready for the 5K in April.
- Cook some recipes from Bread and Wine for friends, before I review it here.
- Attend 2 Influence Net classes.
- Figure out how I want to celebrate my 26th birthday in April!
How’s your year going so far? Any recent accomplishments – big, small, or tiny? List a few in comments and let’s cheer each other on. If you need someone to give you permission to brag on yourself, toot your own horn, etc., etc. here it is.