What do we mean when we say we’re “blessed”?

7 Apr

Here’s some mood music for while you read my post: King of Heaven by Hillsong. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard this song before (even though I apparently own it, as I found it on shuffle), but I’ve listened to it solid for about the last 45 minutes. All day today, I’ve been feeling the need to spend time with God. To pray. To read the Bible. To spend time with Him. I had a monumentally long day (probably being a little dramatic) with solid appointments/work, no breaks, from 8am – 5pm. Not complaining. It’s my job. And I love what I do. But having just returned from a mini-vacation for Easter, I needed rest. Not to mention that I am in the throws of this lady-hormone-roller-coaster. My babies better be worth it! (Like I’m the only one who’s ever thought this??? Don’t worry! I know my babies will be worth it!!!!)

[To be extra clear: this is in reference to potentially fictitious future babies who don’t exist except in the apple of my eye ;). In other words, I am not pregnant. Don’t need a ridiculous rumor starting. Lolz. But not funny!]

[Double-Extra Side Note: If you haven’t read this article about the lady hormones and why they’re natural and the moods shouldn’t be medicated away, check it now: “Medicating Women’s Feelings.” I’m not entirely sure what I think about it, but I think it’s great conversation starter. So maybe consider bringing up “cycles” and “menstruation” and the dreaded “PMS”–OR EVEN WORSE “PMDD”–at your next party or work social when conversations gets a little dry. Oh, yeah, then let me know how hilarious the response is. Don’t expect to be popular, though.]

So, anyway: I went to work. Then I hung out with my wonderful boyfriend. Did I mention he’s wonderful? He is. But he’s not God (shocker) and what I still needed was some time with God. [Super-Weird Side Note: I wonder if any imbalanced person has ever thought he/she was legit dating “God.” That would be extra ridiculous, right???????????] ANYWAY! So I drove home, and I ran into Wal-Greens to grab a toothbrush (I use the spinny one, for anyone who’s wondering), and then I got in my car, and this song came on. And I listened to the lyrics, and I immediately felt a peace. So check them out in full here: King of Heaven Lyrics.

To break this down Elishia-style, here’s what the song says: We (humanity) were definitely in total darkness. But then Christ came down. He was a light in our darkness. He is EMMANUEL! God with US!!!! Furthermore, He came into MY life, and He is TRUSTWORTHY. He can be trusted.

What a beautiful message, a beautiful song. And what a calming, healing reminder to my soul. No, I don’t have to trust in people or technologies or my own ability to logic stuff out (good thing!) or my own wisdom or any of that. I have God. That’s it. A couple years ago, I was very much struggling with a decision, and I went to a pastor of mine for advice, and I remember clearly one line of advice he gave me: “Elishia, instead of focusing on this situation and seeking for an answer here, just pray and seek truth.” And I will never forget that. If I seek God, and I seek truth (yeah, way easier said than done–although there really isn’t some magic code), then I’m good. I might not know all the answers right away (or ever?), but I don’t really need to. God says that if any of us lack wisdom, we can pray and ask God, and He WILL give wisdom to us generously. Also, if we seek Him, we will find Him. If we seek truth, we will find it. God does not delight on being distant to His people or keeping us “in the dark,” so to speak. What is more comforting than these TRUTHS?

This also reminded me of a cruise I went on (a delightful graduation gift from my parents) a few weeks ago. It was my first time out of the country. We went to Belize, Honduras, and Mexico. I have never been wealthy. I definitely felt like I was “suffering” as a kid when I didn’t have JNCO jeans. Haha. I did my fair share of work, it’s not like I was a spoiled brat. But as I traveled from the ritzy Americanized ports of these countries to the places I would visit, I saw nothing but shambles. Of course, I knew these countries had unwealthy areas. I know that I am “rich” compared to rest of the world. But I had never seen people actually living in lean-twos with incomplete walls and piles of trash laying all over the yards. I couldn’t help but to think: “I am in need of nothing.” Because I’m not. I have everything I could ever want. I have a nice apartment. I have a nice car. I have nice clothes. I have access to healthcare. I have a church family. I have extra supportive and caring friends. I have a loving family. I have a beyond wonderful boyfriend (though, at the time, I didn’t, so I didn’t think that one exactly…)… I NEED nothing on this Earth at all. And I found myself thinking, much to my chagrin, “I am blessed.”

If you know me, you know that I despise cliche, overused phrases. Especially Christian lingo that is used so often that it either becomes extremely misused or loses meaning altogether. I generally hear people use the word “blessed” in response to good circumstances that rise or financial/material prosperity. In general, I think people use this word when they’re talking about getting their way, basically. Which really just gets to me. BECAUSE does that mean that when things don’t go my way that I am NOT blessed? Nonetheless, I felt myself thinking, “I am blessed.” Because I do feel blessed.

A quick google search will bring up the meanings of this term: definition of “blessed.”

It really doesn’t necessarily mean, “Hey, look, I got everything I ever wanted, Yay!!!! GO ME!!!!!” Though I think we get that usage from where it talks about asking for God’s “favor”–which I suppose could mean monetary prosperity. But the word (as an adjective) also means: sanctified, holy, or worthy to be praised.

I am having a hard time piecing my thoughts together here, except to say, that I think my ideas really come down to this overall idea (can’t quite get the verse): we should praise God in the good and bad. Will we accept the good from God and not the bad? (Got it! It’s Job 2:10, roughly… also consider Ecclesiastes 7:14).

Some Thoughts for Myself (and maybe for you, too?):

1) What in my life am I refusing to see as a “blessing” from God? (Meaning something that He can use to make me more like Him/draw me closer to Him/keeping me from something more harmful, etc. even thought it doesn’t feel fun.)

2) How am I using the blessings I do have? I am educated. I have a relationship with him. In comparison to much of the world, I have wealth beyond measure. Am I being a good steward?

3) Am I satisfied in what the Lord has given me? If not, why?

This post didn’t really go where I thought it would. (But do they ever?)

I have much more to say, but this is for now, good friends.

I love you all!

Elishia

 

Perfect Day/Loneliness/Skinny Love

6 Jan

I am in a contemplative mood. I almost want to describe my mood as “sullen,” but I think that “serious” might more accurately depict my feelings. I have had a wonderful day, so I am not in a bad mood. But I came home after getting together with some friends and took a bubble bath–my nightly ritual–read, and listened to “Skinny Love” by Birdy, a remake of one of my consistently favorite songs over the past few years, “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver. Somehow the song transported me to this mood I am now in–my writing mood. Though I don’t want to write my serious writing right now. So I am here. My blog with about 3 followers, which is completely fine with me. I am playing the song on repeat for now. Here’s a link to it, if you want to listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNzCDt2eidg

Maybe I feel what I feel is the mood of the song. I initially began thinking about what my favorite day would be. Don’t people always ask that question on first dates, or in ice breakers, or on long road trips? And I never have a good answer. Which, to me, would be a true answer, a very thought out, actual itinerary that would make a perfect day. And I think that’s because I wouldn’t always want the same day. Some days, a perfect day would include an entire day by myself doing nothing but hiking and listening to music and sitting by a large body of water and praying. Other days, I would like to be with my friends all day, moving between deep conversations and inside jokes and fits of laughter. Most deeply, a perfect day would include a husband who would quietly listen to the same music I like and actually enjoy it, then would join me on the hike, etc. But that is imaginary and could not happen right now. So. I must stay in the present. Other days, I would want jet skiing and a spur-of-the-moment road trip. I hate these questions that make a person choose ONE answer.

Just as I am caught in the same battle again: blonde or brown? I hate that I have to choose. I wish I could join the Jetsons and change my hair everyday from blonde to brunette and back and forth. But, as it stands, I have another hair appointment coming up on Wednesday, and I feel I should go brunette because it’s “natural” and would be less expensive in the end… but I feel more like myself when I am blonde. Again: why these choices?

But where this sullen-feeling song actually led me are to thoughts of loneliness. Not of loneliness within me, but of loneliness in general. I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, as I am writing an actual essay on the subject (nothing that would appear in a blog post that, I suppose, Facebook officially now owns? Eh.).

I was thinking about how beauty queens often want world peace (or at least that’s a joke most of us believe, anyway). And I was thinking that, even in peace (which I assume means the absence of war, which would be wonderful), people could still be lonely, a thought that deeply affects me. The thought of a lonely person, especially one who is ostracized for some sort of disability or perceived “inferiority,” makes me feel deeper than almost anything else. For many years, I could not see a person in public with a disability without later crying about it, because I so intensely felt the person must be lonely and ostracized and made fun of. I know that’s dramatic. And now I know that is, somewhat, me labeling the person. For all I know, that person happens to have many friends and doesn’t feel lonely at all. But the thought of the possibility of the loneliness… of not “fitting in” stabs me to the core. I would’t want someone to feel that pain.

It’s not as though I lived an ostracized childhood–I don’t know why that affects me so much. But I cannot think of anything more painful. But I have also realized, and these are things I am still thinking through, that this type of seemingly overly compassionate view of loneliness really labels the “lonely” as victims. I am not sure where I am going with this even as I write… but… I am collecting my thoughts as I type… I believe that loneliness is thought of as being “alone,” which generally leads me to think of a sad teenager sitting at home on a Friday night, staring at the wall, while everyone else is out having fun. Or it makes me think of the paralyzed woman with no one to take care of her who isn’t invited to the social outings for whatever reason. And this makes me think of the human readiness to blame others for our loneliness. Perhaps this is what I mean by “victim.” Certainly, I believe that we should visit the lonely and those who with limited mobility or resources–not as a project–but out of genuine love and concern: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit the orphan and widow in their distress and keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1: 27).

But, in many cases–let’s say outside of these instances when a person has NO option but to stay inside, etc.–some people rely on others to pull them out of their loneliness. It’s tough to make friends in a new place. Ideally, friends would flock to you and fitting in would be easy. But this is not a perfect world we live in. Sometimes, people, rather than blaming others for not asking them to do something, should not give up and find new hobbies and try to initiate social contact.

I do recognize that sometimes even the most diligent of inviters still may be consistently turned down. And that breaks my heart.

And then think of how God should be our comfort. And, yes, the is true… but we were also made for relationship. I have, before, heard well-meaning people reprimand a lonely person and say, “You should just go to God at this time.” While that is true.. is that not like seeing cold or hungry people and wishing them well without giving them food to eat or a coat? I think this is a Keith Green song. Ah, yes, thanks to google, I know this lyric can be found in Keith Green’s “Asleep in the Light” which you can listen to here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik-XOVZcwow

I obviously need to think through my thoughts much more before I will complete my actual essay.

Then there’s the matter of pervasive loneliness despite many friends and family members–the loneliness not comforted by the mere presence of another person. Is this due to the need to be “known”?

For those who read this: can you think of a feeling worse than loneliness? What are your thoughts on this subject?

2014: Year-in-Review

25 Dec

Welp, I did it: I survived another year. My hunch is that you’re alive, too–since you are reading this–so great job! Let’s both thank God for this miracle, because if even the slightest imbalance in our bodies occurred, we might not be sitting here today. That sounds like sarcasm maybe. But it’s not. No matter what happened this past year, good or bad, let’s remember that we’re here!

The future awaits for each of us with endless possibility. 

For me, 2014 was as smooth as:

1) a brand new, unused, super-gritty piece of sandpaper

2) my facial skin in ninth grade

3) a tiny toy boat caught in a hurricane in the middle of the ocean

4) me that one time I tried coming up with an original dance at the senior formal and my date walked off for awhile (unfortunate, true story–haha)

I think you might get the picture. I am exaggerating a bit. Though the year not have felt wonderful, it certainly did teach me much. So now I bring you to:

Life Lessons of 2014: The Uncut Version 

(meaning, no editing here–don’t judge, please)

1) I can trust God. Let’s be real: I was pretty ticked off/disgruntled/hurt there for a bit between, let’s say…. July through October. It’s not as though I had rejected God or lost faith in Him… it was more like, because of very painful life circumstances (but a huge blessing not even in a disguise), I kicked my feet against the goads for a bit. I prayed a lot. I vented to my friends (and random strangers who would listen) a lot. I was mad at myself for the feelings I had–for being upset, because my head knew the truth that God is trustworthy. I prayed He would help adjust my feelings, and He did. But, really, I had spent the beginning of the year in much turmoil, and I beggggeeeeddd God for His wisdom and guidance and truth. And, legit, He answered. There has never, ever, never, ever, as cliche as it sounds, been a time in my life when I earnestly sought God that He did not clearly answer me. And this is a good reminder–perhaps, the most important reminder that I could’ve learned (or could’ve been reminded of)… even though I had no fun getting there. So there’s that.

2) I have THE best friends any person could ask for. When I broke up with my serious boyfriend–for extremely good reason–I called one of my dearest friends, Shannon, and what did she do? She cancelled her weekend plans, voluntarily got in her car, drove 5 hours, and sat with me in my apartment while I napped off and on the whole weekend, and comforted me. She laughed with me. Advised me. Encouraged me. Listened to me. And she reminded me of God’s truth. Not to mention my zillions of friends who did all of those things from a distance, or some nearby: Shannon D., Mimi, Lauren, Angela, Janet, April, Stephanie & Jason, Katie, the other Katie, the other Lauren, Missy & Mason, Kelly… I could go on. But I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful friends God has given me even if most of them live far away right now. If I consider you my friend, that means I value you greatly, and I couldn’t imagine my life without you. Thank you for being such a good friend to me.

3) I can trust myself. Now, before you go preaching about how the heart is deceitful, and we can’t trust ourselves, blah, blah, hear me out. (Yes, I believe that, too). BUT… I have lots of experience to back up what I am trying to say, but, yeah, I have learned that I can trust myself. I can listen to that internal voice (Holy Spirit? spiritual gift? intuition?) that tells me when something doesn’t seem right or gives me direction… I don’t know what else to say, other than I learned that. I have also gotten much more confidence this year. I’ll go ahead and say it (in the least arrogant way possible): I am a catch. Yeah, I might be 31 and single… but this circumstance speaks–in no way–of my value and desirability or… whatever words you want to give it. At a wedding once, a friend’s dad asked my dad if I was married yet, my dad said, “no.” THEN the dad (who is ALSO the same dad who informed me I was taller than the average man when I was in JH……) asked: “Well, why not? What’s wrong?” Now, tip for dad’s out there: you probably shouldn’t relay this information to your unmarried daughter. BUT alas. This made me feel a little bit like the chubby last kid picked in gym class. But I know that’s not true. The facts are: I am not a perfect person, but I have a lot to offer. If I don’t ever get married, it’s God’s plan. Not saying it wouldn’t be hard from time to time throughout the decades. But, yeah. I don’t think I have the gift of singleness? At all.

Sidenote: I have also learned more what I DO want in a man, and what I DO find attractive to the max, and I think that’s good. To solidify that. It mostly involves good character, a heart for God, a good work ethic, and kindness and respect for others… and then also some sort of physical resemblance to this finnnnneeeeeeeeeee man. Somehow I can’t help myself:

Greg Laurie

I mean, his character is suppperrrrrr smart. And, really, what gets me more than a man who’s interested in smart things and thinks deeply and also has an impeccable vocabulary AND musical talent and literary interest? Yes, I KNOW he’s not real. Hahaha. Plus, his character is a huge jerk and completely lacks humility and respect for authority… but that hair! That fine sense of distinguished salt in pepper. Maybe this is what happens when you’re 31. You want a man. Not a boy.

Well, I went on about that for entirely too long……………………

4) It’s okay if I gain a little weight. If you’re my fb friend or know me in person, you know this anyway: Elishia gained some weight this year. It was extra depressing to me. I now have two wardrobes. To be fair: I had a 40-hour desk job for the first time, I was working my first non-student job, I was in a stressful relationship, I was getting adjusted to a new environment, I wrote my dissertation and graduated with a Ph.D. I mean, really, this is exactly what happened: I moved to Arkansas for my new job, and I was finishing my dissertation. So I would leave the house at 7:15am then get home at 5:50pm, then I would work on my dissertation from like 6:00pm – 10:00pm, then I would go to bed. Other days, I was at church in Little Rock or in pre-engagement Bible study (which turns out not to work so well when the other person lies the whole time/shares half-truths)… but I suppose it did serve its purpose. So, then, of course, I didn’t plan my food well, and I gained weight AND I lost muscle. So here we are.

I went from running races and personal training and all sorts of things to… well, sitting down and stressing out and eating junk food. This is real life, people. This is how it happens. ALL THE WHILE feeling a little bit crappy, because all my married friends were having babies, and someone might have said to me, “If you lose 50 pounds, you’ll definitely have all the men.” As an encouragement? To which I said, “I don’t think I need to lose weight to find a man, and that’s not my sole focus on life.” It took me awhile to get over that. I do think health is important. And I do think self-care is important and DOES matter–but do I want a man who would only date me if I were skinny. Hint: no. What kind of life pressure is that??

Don’t worry: things are turning around. I am working out, etc etc etc. I have a race lined up. I plan to try out martial arts and get back into swimming. I plan to enjoy myself through fitness again. And I am excited about it.

But I think this is what I mean: my weight does not define me, and this is a very important realization.

Well, I could say A LOT more than this. For instance: life is pretty boring after 11 years of college. Free time is legit hard to adjust to, but now I have time to do volunteer things and ministries. I also know what it feels like to be rested on Monday mornings. So that’s odd.

As far as goals… nope: I didn’t achieve them all from last year. I did some: I got my passport, I graduated, my job went well, I mailed out 50+ postcards and cards… I didn’t finish them all, though. (The rest of them are listed in the previous one or two blog posts or something, if you’re so inclined.)

I did hear on a podcast recently that it’s best to limit your goals anyway (apparently 25 or 30 goals is way too much… lol…)

So I only have 3 goals for this year: 

1) fit into these black pants I have–this isn’t about my size determining my value. This is about me learning about myself and feeling healthy and choosing to be active.

2) I want to be able to do a yoga headstand thing. Such as this: yoga

3) I follow Dave Ramsey, so I have plans to pay off my credit cards.

I have some others that aren’t so self-involved, but these are my main three.

If you’ve made it this far… thank you. But, also, consider checking out the The Village Church sermon series starting September 21 (maybe?) called “In the Beginning.” You won’t be disappointed.

A Rambling Woman

19 May

It’s a Sunday. In the evening. My friend, Shannon, spent the weekend with me–because she’s basically the best friend in the entire world–and now I am watching a movie on Netflix, waiting for a pizza I ordered (stupidly), and trying to convince myself to finish the last two loads of laundry. I’ve said it once, and I don’t mind saying it again: laundry has TOO many steps.

I mean, for a successful load of laundry, I first have to round up the clothes. Empty pockets, find any stains, put like colors with like colors. Throw it in the wash. Remember it’s in the wash. Transfer the laundry to the dryer. Clean out the lint. Hang up any clothes that can’t be dried. Start the dyer. Remember the clothes are in there. Get them out before they wrinkle. Fold them. Put them away. Then try to get the wrinkles out of the laundry that air dried. Then fold and put those away.

The problem is: all of life seems to be a multi-step process. Is there a way to make it more simple?

Maybe clothes should be disposable. Maybe I’ll write a story about a planet with disposable clothes. Probably not.

Isn’t there already a sci-fi something-the-other about that?

I don’t really like to write anymore. BUT give me some more weeks to recover from my dissertation, and I’ll like to read and write again. I hope. I recognize I am writing right now… but I am referencing serious writing. This is like thinking through my fingers. It’s not structured or serious.

I wish I had something really profound to say, you know… like… something… I don’t know… profound? Or funny? I wish I could be funny right now.

I have really good friends. And for that I am thankful. At the end of a seriously terrible week, it’s nice to know my friends are here for me. They go out of their way to be here for me.

Questions: What is a single, 30-year-old, freshly minted Ph.D. with student debt supposed to be doing with life?

Answer: I have some thoughts. What are YOUR thoughts?

2014 Goals–a little less lofty than last year?

10 Jan

Earlier this week, I read a Dave Ramsey article about types of goal setters. I believe I felt into three distinct categories.
1) THE DREAMER: these type of goal-setters make unrealistic goals… this would be for, perhaps, me to say I was going to design and build a car by next month. Based on my current abilities, means, and interests… that is NOT going to happen.
2) THE OVERACHIEVER: These are people who have already accomplished certain levels in some areas but want to improve… in way too many areas… in a way that’s totally unnecessary.
3) THE TACITAN: This is a person who is pretty rigid about his/her ridiculous goals and very schedule-oriented when it comes to checking progress, etc. I am like that… but then I never actually can follow through with the stuff.

Therefore, I have tried to scale back my goals to things that I actually think I can accomplish but also would be helpful in some way. So… here they are listed with their reasoning.

2014 Goals

1) graduate with Ph.D.–the reason is… I want to be done with school? I’ve been in school since I was 5. Enough is enough.
2) weigh 170 and/or wear size 10 or smaller–well, this is party because I want to be healthy and partly because I feel like I sabotage myself in this area sometime. This is been a life goal/sometimes terrible focus of mine… but I finally want to do it! And I want finally want a good attitude about myself–no matter my size.
3) run a 5k without walking–yes, I did two marathons and a marathon last year… but I walked part of them. I’ve never actually run an entire race.
4) sew a wearable dress that looks cute–I have patterns. I just need to get to it.
5) get passport–to travel!
6) mail at least 50 cards/postcards–I did this last year. I miss the art of letter writing, and I also think people like getting something in the mail.
7) pay off credit cards–to have a better financial standing?
8) have emergency fund–to have a better financial standing?
9) get at least 3 more starbucks mugs–just to add to my very small collection!
10) get 2 new publications–my career? my life? why not?
11) send novel manuscript to publisher–just because… if I took the dang time to write this thing, I might as well try to do something with it.
12) decrease endometriosis symptoms–so as not to be in significant pain at least half the time… and to maybe have kids someday.
13) learn to stop sleeping on my stomach–it hurts my neck.
14) figure out what’s wrong with my back–because my neck hurts all the time… for the past four years…
15) heal leaky gut syndrome (make leaps & bounds)–well, for the same reason as #12.
16) do 3 community service events/missions–because helping people is good.
17) learn to sleep without hulu/netflix/music playing–because this doesn’t let me brain relax.
18) get at least 50 followers on my health blog–not this blog… a different blog. Because I think this will help me heal my body/lessen my symptoms.
19) get article published in a magazine–because it sounds like a good goal.
20) Know God more–for obvious reasons. Hmmm.

21) Complete Dave Ramsey, FPU (at least listen/read the material)

Wow: a lot of my goals will take a lot of work. Is this the case of me being THE DREAMER?

Future Goals:

1) become certified in some fitness thing
2) get novel published
3) travel out off the continent
4) develop online health network

Did I Meet My 2013 Goals?

31 Dec

Well, I didn’t exactly complete all of my goals… and I didn’t exactly write in my blog everyday. But I’m not gonna be down about that. Because 2013 was plenty of awesome. So let’s take a look at the goals I DID accomplish:

1) Get ear piercing like I want–I did that! It’s just a piercing in my ear like 800 million other people have. But I wanted one for years and, for reasons I won’t discuss, I never got one. BUT then I got it. And I love it. I don’t even wear it everyday, but I am glad I have it.

2) Visit Seattle! I did do that. I stay with my wonderful friends, Katie & Brian, and I met up with my lifelong friend, Caitlin, and met her little boy Frederick–who is more adorable in person than in pictures (which seems impossible). I also did a half-marathon with Katie & Brian, and I also met up with my grad. school friend, Kris.

3) Go to a REAL concert. DONE! I went to see the Gentlemen of the Road (Mumford & Sons and company) with my boyfran, Chris, in his hometown. And I also saw Fione Apple with April.

4) Send 50 cards… you know, I didn’t actually count. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I did send 50 cards. I have about 12 or 15 stamped and ready to dump in the mailbox right now… so, yeah, I’m gonna give myself this one. I travelled a lot, and I sent postcards everywhere I visited. And I also send thank you notes, because somehow many people were kind and wonderful and supportive this year.

5) Actively raise self-esteem. Yeah, okay… I think I did this. I am not sure how. And I don’t even like the way that sounds. But I feel like I did compete in races–I mean, I did a MARATHON. And that helped. I also got a new job. I got a boyfriend who is wonderful. I stopped dwelling on the past (as much). I stopped caring what people think about me (in the way that I did). I did personal training for a lot of the year. And, maybe most importantly, I worked on boundary issues, and I went through a study with my friend, Kelly, who is a fantastic part of my life. So, yeah, I hate that term… but I think whatever I meant by this goal, I am at least definitely working on getting there and believing moreso who I am in Christ. So that’s something.

6) Finish Draft of Novel–NOT totally there. But SOOOOOOOOOOOOO close. I didn’t totally achieve this, but I made leaps and bounds, so I am going to count it. Actually, after I write this, I am going to work solely on my novel, and I very well might finish the draft today. That’s how close (yet how far away) I actually am.

Things I Came Close to Achieving:

1) 75 hours of strength training… I don’t know the exact number, but I did do a lot of personal training (for me). So I at least gave this an effort.

2) Sew 10 articles of clothing… I did sew, for sure. And I did sew some articles of clothing, as well as some other items, which probably add up to about 10 of something. But I didn’t really finish this one.

3) Compete in 5 races… I was SO close. To be fair, I did injure my shin… or the part right under my knee cap, and I had to rest it for MONTHS. But I did do a half-marathon and a 5k… so, yeah, fail on this, I guess.

4) Visit my family in Florida. I had this vacation set up, then my aunt had to go into a temporary nursing home set up, because she got in a bad car wreck. So my friends and I went to New Orleans instead. But, had these set of unfortunate circumstances had not occurred, I would have been in Florida with my family in October. I will try again this year.

Things I Totally Didn’t Come Close to Achieving:

1) 200 hours of cardio: Okay, I did injure my shin… but I could’ve ridden the bike or something. So there’s no excuse for my failure here.

3) 75 hours of yoga/stretching: Yeah, I mean, I did some of this? But no where close. No excuse but laziness.

7) spend week in wilderness: Still need to figure this out.

8) submit 100 works for publication: I did get two publications… but I did not do my part to send stuff out. At all.

13) 75 hours of guitar: I did try to get guitar lessons, but I was foibled by time, money, and laziness.

14) Get Passport: Disappointing Fail.

16) put all tutoring money in savings: Didn’t happen, and now I don’t tutor anymore. BUT I have been working through Dave Ramsey’s stuff, so I hope this year shows immense growth in the finance responsibility area.

Awesome Things That Aren’t on the List, but are AWESOME:

1) I met a wonderful guy, Christopher, in February, and we started dating on April 15 (tax day! woot!), and we’re still dating.
2) I have shown immense growth in the anxiety area, thanks you to GOD for providing wonderful insight and supportive friends/family.
3) I got to go to Boston, with a wonderful friend, Courtney, who rummaged up a place for my stay. I think Boston is definitely one of my new favorite places in the world. It was so beautiful and wonderful. That also meant I got to attend AWP for the first time.
4) There are so many other things I could mention–this has been a wonderful year, not always EASY, but I saw tons of growth. And I am thankful for God’s faithfulness. Yay! Oh, some others:
5) My dad had heart surgery and is feeling MUCH better.
6) My mom broke both her ankles and lost her job… but she healed wonderfully!
7) My brother got an awesome job!
8) Two of my best friends got married, and I got to be in their weddings!

I am now 30. So I considered making a new blog altogether… but I liked this year of achieving goals. I think it helped me grow and be purposeful. I am currently working on refining my list for this year. And I’ll post it later. Keep your eyes peeled.

Time’s a’Changin’

21 Aug

I think I am going to change my daily “writing” goals. I am not changing my goals for the year, but I feel like my topics I picked aren’t really that feesible. I mean, it’s hard to write about “thanksgiving” and “serving” without sounding, well, you know… So here is my new plan:

MondayThe Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum (my progress)

Tuesday: Goals Update!

Wednesday: Writing (lyrics, essays, stories… anything I feel like)

Thursday: Anything fun/happy!

Friday: Spotlight on Charity!