Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7th

31 Days of Jesus - Day 7 - New Years' Resolutions!

I am a dreamer. When I was a kid, I spent hours playing out loud - imagining myself as a glamorous adult, winning awards in the white hot light of a pretend stage [fame has always been my Achilles heel]. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that during times of boredom or restlessness [like when I'm stuck in traffic or while cleaning] I am not above revisiting my childhood fantasies. I would like to think they've become a bit more sophisticated, but that is probably not the case. ;)

Much of the work of my life as a Christian has been to let go of my perpetual dreaming and live - gratefully and vividly - in the present. But sometimes . . . sometimes I think my dreams can be useful. I think they've helped me to focus on the outlandish [like a single mom returning to school full time or moving 400 miles away from her amazing parents and friends]. I also think my ability to dream has graced me with the guts, in some capacity anyhow, to work on turning those crazy schemes into realities.

I love New Year's Resolutions. I never get tired of the ones I continue to make year after year - although I tend to feel a more concrete resolve to "really do it this year". I know it's a bit early - I guess most people don't begin to conjure up their hopes and dreams for the next year until the week after Christmas. But I would like to propose that, in the spirit of the 31 Days of Jesus, we may be able to use our resolutions this year to conceptualize and further explore our God-given purposes. Maybe I'm just especially excited about 2010, because first of all, I'm graduating from college(!), and second [for me and my family], 2009 has been a very difficult year.

I got the idea for resolutions last week, but it didn't seem to fit until today. I've got a huge paper due tomorrow and [as you probably know] a lot on my plate in general. I thought this exercise might be particularly helpful today in assisting me to see past this wretched semester and onto the big[ger] picture.

So [drum roll, please], here are a few of mine:

  • I plan to finish my Bible blog. I had to take a break from it because I inadvertently took on too many classes - but I am hoping that I can dive back into it during winter break and at the very least finish within a year.
  • I want to make a real attempt at getting published - and beyond that, begin to build a freelance writing career. I've always fancied myself a writer. When I returned to college, though, I discovered that I wasn't a very good one. I was afraid that the years spent partying had damaged valuable brain cells that were supposed be set aside for writing well. I decided the best way to become better at my craft [and to see if there was still hope for me] was to read. And read. And read some more [in fact, my writing tends to be very swayed by what I have most recently read [in today's case, it was scholarly sociological journals [which explains my choice of big words in this blog]]]. It was, if I do say so myself, a brilliant idea. I can actually see the improvement each semester. I will, of course, continue to read [and read and read and read], but I now feel like I possess the confidence and the ability to actually become published. I can only hope my future editors agree.
  • A couple blogs ago, I wrote about this idea I had - a grassroots organization helping people who have survived human trafficking. I still most definitely want to pursue that. But I have decided to bring the dream down to scale a bit in 2010. I want to craft recycled journals and sell them on Most of the profits will either go toward my imagined future organization or to help an already dreamed up organization like Free the Slaves or the Polaris Project. And I will hopefully use the extra time I'm giving myself to research the project further.
I have other more practical resolutions, but these are the ones where I most feel God's prodding [not to say that God doesn't prod in the practical!]. I pray this exercise rejuvenates you as much as it has me.

Now, back to my research paper . . .

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