Saturday, January 3, 2009

reflections and "resolutions"

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I started 2008 at a super fun party in Austin, surrounded by most of my favorite people. I had a good job with amazing benefits that I was having a paid holiday from and had just been given a raise at. I had a fantastic husband at home in Dallas who called me like 10 times on New Year's Day because he wanted me to come home and snuggle with him. 2008 looked like it was going to be a really wonderful year, even though I didn't eat any black eyed peas.

I was so wrong.

"We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose." Romans 8:28

I started 2009 living with my parents, no job, no more amazing husband (I mean, I still have not been served with divorce papers, but he has taken a stance of callous silence towards me, and refuses to even acknowledge my holiday well wishes.), and no friends in sight. I mean, I have them, but I wasn't with them. 2009 doesn't look like its off to an amazing start, does it? Good thing I already know that your NYE absolutely does NOT determine your new year. I did eat some black eyed peas, just in case. ;-)

My first devotional for 2009 was perfect. Here's an excerpt:

Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness. Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I am so not the girl I was a year ago. I mean, you can just tell that from reading my blog; you don't even have to actually participate in my life. God took me off of the path I was on (forcibly, I admit) and has set me on a new one. I have this feeling sometimes like the airline lost my luggage, though. There are things from that path that really do need to be lost and gone forever, and I'm good with that. But then there are things from that path that I'm wishing I could've tucked safely in my carry on. BY FAITH I believe God will provide me with the essentials from that lost luggage. He's good like that.

So here's my "resolutions". Remember, I view them more as plans, so that's why the word resolutions is getting quotes. Some of them are small. Some of them are Herculean. But all of them are things that will continue to improve me and make me more like the compliments I receive from my nearest and dearest and less like the girl who lost her luggage.

1. Drink more water. I got really good at this for a while (like, drinking at least 2 liters a day!), then I ran out of drinking water (the tap water tastes funny here), didn't bother to buy more, and so I fell back into my love affair with diet coke. Yea yea, soda isn't good for you, but Diet Coke tastes yummy, and is thereby good for my mood. A can or so a day will suffice, though, not the copious amounts I love to consume. When I'm drinking more water, my skin looks better, and I know my body is happier, even though I pee more often... So bring on the H2O! There's some other stuff I'd like to do for my body, but I don't wanna get over ambitious, so I'll just keep it to myself for now, and then add it on once I get the other things in motion.

2. READ MORE. I read more books in 2008 than I had in YEARS. Literally. YEARS. And I liked it! Some of them were for pure entertainment (such as all the Ya Ya Sisterhood books) and others were for my personal enrichment (A Woman After God's Own Heart was so great. Seriously, thank you a million times for that, Eryn!) But the point is, turning off the tv and spending time in a book is good for your soul, and I'm all about that. I have 2 books set up for growth and development, and then 4 or 5 for entertainment. I intend to get all that read by June at the latest. I'm not a slow reader, and I have the free time, so why not?

3. Read the entire Bible in 1 year. My wonderful church provided us with a plan to read through the Bible in 1 year. I can so do this!! God has so much to tell me, and the easiest way for Him to do that is through His word. Its a commitment to Him and to deepening my relationship with Him. Total win-win.

4. Get more involved at church, in a non-service way. I love love love love love volunteering in KIDS Place. I don't have a heart for (or the gift of) missions, so that's a great place for me to be serving. I've gotten to know more people in the church (since it is kind of a mega-church with several thousand members) but that's service, not fellowship. I joined a small group over the summer but it no longer feels like the correct fit for me. So I'm going to start looking at the "small group menu" and find the group for me. I love the friendships my brother and SIL have formed with the members of their small group, and I know that would be a huge blessing in my life, too. I didn't really get that with the group I joined this summer, plus I don't exactly fit the criteria of the membership anymore. So new small group here I come!

5. Regain my independence. I was applying for lots of jobs and went on several interviews this fall, but then I got sick and was just getting back up to 100% when the holidays hit... well, the hunt slowed. I applied for a few jobs here and there, but not hardcore like I had been early in the fall. I'm getting back on the wagon. I don't like not having a job. I love doing the wine tastings, and I'll keep that once I find a full time job, but its not what I need to be doing. I mean, it provided me with enough money for Christmas presents and my dress for Bunny's wedding (thankfully my toast is free!), but its not enough. Once I find a job, its all about being financially responsible. I'm not a numbers person and I have never been very good with money, so this is HUGE. I made a budget and charts of how much I'll need to be making each month to be able to pay all my bills (including rent on a place all my own, not at my parents' house anymore!!), make a payment towards my debt each month, put money into savings, TITHE, and have a little left over for fun stuff and eventually a trip to Virginia to see my darling Cobbs! That trip would also include some time with my long lost friend Noochie! My ideal is to be working by the end of January and then have enough money set aside to move out the first week of April (the week after Bunny and Dave's wedding!!) I miss having my own home. I miss my things and the feeling of comfort they bring me. I miss the feelings of adultness it all brings.

This blog has been so great for me. It's therapeutic in a way to get it all out and not hide my feelings, my hurts and my joys. But it's also been amazing to see how it's renewed my relationships with some people and become something of a ministry for me. God is HUGE, y'all. He has been all over my life in the past year, in the hurts and the joys. I know that for the first time in my life (because in high school, it was always missing something) that I am actually seeking God's will. I love the Lord, and I truly desire His will for my life. That makes all the difference in the world, and that's where my lost airline luggage comes from - His abundance.

So here's to 2009 - whatever it may bring.


The Cobbs said...

Suz...I am so proud of you.
Your resolutions are great, but the best part about it is that you are relying on God to help you accomplish them. That is awesome!!! He does have plans for you, plans to give you a future and a hope. Clearly, He has already given you that hope, and I am so glad to see you clinging to it!!!!!

Oh by the way...I highly recommend reading The Shack, if you haven't read it yet! :)


Melodie Ann said...

Oh sweet pea... I haven't even gotten to my New Years/2009 post. Hopefully today, since I go back to work tomorrow! (boo)

2008 was absolutely spectacular for us. 2009 will be even better. Dexter marathon it is! :o)

christina said...

YAY SUZY! i love your "resolutions" and look forward to what this year will bring :)

Suz said...

Y'all are the best.

And appropriately, the word verification is "chillys" because it seriously is outside!!

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