Friday, January 8, 2010

Resolution sounds too cliche... goals, perhaps?

I hate saying, "New Years Resolution"... nobody keeps those. I think it's important to set goals though... to have some direction in what you're aiming to accomplish over a year's time. So I've made some semester goals for myself.

1. Less stress, more laughter. Hakuna matata! I let life get me too stressed out last year... this year I'm not going to "take on the world's problems" quite as much. I'm going to enjoy myself, my life, and the wonderful people who are a part of it.
2. Start working out again. I quit soccer and took a 6 month break from regular physical activity... it's time to get back to it. I can feel my metabolism slowing--we can't be having that.
3. Ministry... to pray earnestly for the development of Young Life in Jonesboro, and to be patient but diligent in hearing God's voice and following where He leads this semester.
4. Be intentional about really pouring into the people that mean the most to me. Less small talk, more real talk. Invest in people in a deeper, richer way.
5. Memorize scripture. This is a new one as of yesterday when a friend of mine challenged me to do so. I'm excited to see how it changes my relationship with Jesus.

So there we have it... my 5 points of personal improvement this semester. I think they're pretty attainable goals. I'm excited about the 6 months ahead of me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 in retrospect

I've been meaning to do this for a few days now... a reflection on 2009. Looking back, it may have been one of the hardest years of my life, but I think it was also one of the best. To recap it in the shortest way possible, I'm just going to try to hit the highlights. In January '09 I decided I was over soccer... so I started looking into transferring. As God would have it, I was in a strange period of transition where I was no longer considered a resident of Tennessee and not yet considered a resident of Texas. So I stayed at ASU, thinking maybe I should just keep playing soccer. As the spring '09 semester went on, I found community and a sort of family at First Baptist Jonesboro. It was then that I knew I was where the Lord wanted me to be. Fast forward to summer... I spent a month at YL Camp in North Carolina. It was then that I realized Jonesboro is where I'm supposed to be, but that God has something so much bigger there for me than soccer. So, long story short--I quit soccer and am focusing on ministry. Besides learning a lot about myself at camp, I made some of the best friends ever! Two girls I'm still very close with--they have become some of my very best friends, even though we never really see each other. My summer at camp was a blessing on so many levels. The rest of my summer at home was a struggle--my little sister has gone through some tough stuff this year that's been really hard on my whole family. Her pain sort of plagued all of us the whole second half of this year. On top of that I was dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety with a friend in Jonesboro. Then Christmas happened, and it was just a really sweet blessing. For the first time in a long time I purely enjoyed the company of my family, with so much laughter and absolutely no drama, and it was incredible. It was almost as if God just said, "I know it's been a tough year--but I haven't forgotten about you." Just as He promises so many times in his word, He brought me and my family out of captivity. I have been so overwhelmed with thanksgiving for that. I spent New Years in Nashville, having a summer staff reunion, which was just awesome. It was the perfect way to ring in the new year--with so many people that I love so very much, who changed my life in 2009, and who's friendships I can't wait to continue to invest in during 2010.

Praising Jesus for a year of trials and blessings. I hope your 2009 was just as wonderful!