Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I know it's August, but it feels like a new year to me! Today/tomorrow is my one year anniversary of moving to Connecticut/starting at Walnut Hill. What faithfulness God has shown me this past year!

As the year mark has been approaching, I've been taking inventory of my life. I'm realizing that in my zeal to connect at Walnut Hill and to thrive in the ministry God's given me there, I have become one of those one-dimensional people; I'm not honing many interests outside of my life at work. I've sort of subsisted this past year on a pattern of ::work at Walnut Hill, eat with people from Walnut Hill, invest in people at Walnut Hill, socialize with people from Walnut Hill, sleep, repeat.:: When did I become that girl?! I'm realizing that I need to--have to!--take better care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. No buts about it. I love my job, but I need some balance in my life.

On my way home from Illinois two weeks ago, I made a list of things I want to prioritize this year. Like I said, I had been thinking of them as New Year's resolutions of sorts. So when I haphazardly flipped to a New Year's prayer in Valley of Vision (a collection of Puritan prayers I've been reading through) the following day, I took it as a kind of confirmation from the Lord that this is a new year and a new season. I just love the words:

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me,

except the days are passed in thy presence

in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,

sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,

that I may not be one moment apart from thee,

but may rely on thy Spirit to supply every thought,

speak in every word,

direct every step,

prosper every work,

build up every mote of faith,

and give me a desire to show forth thy praise;

` testify thy love,

advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,

with thee, O Father, as my harbour,

thee, O Son, at my helm

thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,

my lamp burning,

my ear open to thy calls,

my heart full of love,

my soul free.

Give me thy grace to sanctify me,

thy comforts to cheer,

thy wisdom to teach,

thy right hand to guide,

thy counsel to instruct,

thy law to judge,

thy presence to stabilize.

May thy fear be my awe,

thy triumphs my joy.

So as I "launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year," I desire extra measures of grace and a deepening to take place in my heart as this prayer suggests. And seeking to be a whole person with diverse interests, here are the other things I've committed to pursue as God directs and allows:

Taking care of myself...

-I will make more time for Sabbath rest, committing to pray seriously (and listen) about how to cut back hours at Williams-Sonoma or quit altogether.
-I will manage my hours at Walnut Hill.
-I will seek "the solitary place," as a part of my daily routine, not just rushing through my Bible reading, but relishing time alone with the Lord.

-I will go to doctors' appointments NO MATTER WHAT.
-I will not allow lack of time to keep me from the gym. Lifting for a few minutes or doing a little cardio is better than not going at all.
-I will eat healthier; I will not let busyness be an excuse for noshing on junk!

-Recognizing that God has blessed me tremendously with amazing friends at church, I will also seek relationships outside of Walnut Hill.
-I will find a hobby! I will move forward on getting Aiden to Connecticut, unless God should close the door. I will look for a barn where I can enjoy my horse and also build fun friendships.
-I will connect with my local Tri Delta alumni chapter :)
-I will make time each week to maintain old friendships across the miles.
-I will intentionally seek a mentor.

-I will seek a way to get back in school to work on my M.Div. I will finish my Gordon-Conwell application.
-I will explore areas of theological interest and will read more (and watch the Bachelorette less!).

So there you go. If you consider yourself part of my community, feel free to hold me accountable when I'm letting passion for my job and my church overtake everything else in my life.

Here's to the start of Year Two in Connecticut!

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