Sunday, January 12, 2014

Starting Anew

Now that we're a week into the New Year, I feel it's time to share my views on 2014. There are a few things I'd like to bring into my daily life and some I'd prefer to let go. I'm not big on the word "resolution" because I think today people throw it around and it doesn't hold it's meaning any more, like a resolution is something to break or to not follow through. I prefer to use habits, or goals. Something that sounds inspiring and motivates me to accomplish what I set out to do.

Two things I'm really trying to let go of this upcoming year....

Checking my phone close to bed time.

I am a completely different person when it comes to worrying than I was four years ago. I'd just graduated with a BA in English from Kent State University and had dreams of working in the publishing industry. Six months later I was still unemployed, and to add to the worry, in the middle of planning my wedding. The student loan bills started to pile up. I lost it. One sunny day in June I had a complete breakdown at the kitchen table after I calculated how much a month I owed in student loan debt. My only debt. I was on my knees pouring out my fears to God before I even knew what I was doing. I gave it all to Him that day. I kept falling back on his promise for strength, "Be not, therefore, like them; for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8 KJV). This scripture also stayed with me, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?" (Matthew 6:26 KJV). These words became a rock for me. That day I decided I would do what I could and I would not worry one more minute over these finances. And I haven't. There will be times when a payment might go up or something new comes along, and I start to feel a slight panic. But I remember quickly that I gave this to God; I will not take it back from Him.

See, here is where I believe Christians make the biggest mistake. We say we "gave it to God," yet we continue to talk about it. As soon as it comes around again, we're worrying, stressing, panicking, and crying out. It's like an endless cycle. Doing this tells God we don't trust Him, and we take on this unnecessary worry when we don't need to. Trust Him. I did that day and have not looked back. On a note card I wrote down Matthew 7:7 (KJV): "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you," and taped it to my fridge. It's still there to this day, and I am at peace. Everything worked out: a month later I made the decision to get my master's in Library and Information Science, three months later I found work in a writing center, and almost four years later here I am, a Children's Librarian. It's beautiful, God's plan.

And, wow, I didn't mean to get off onto this tangent. What I really wanted to say with the whole worrying thing is lately I find myself worrying (not constantly, but sometimes something will creep up) about things that don't matter at all. Like how I'm so busy I can't fit in all of my fun hobbies any more (and when will I fit in "me" time when I have kids!), taking the smallest off comment and turning it into something it's not, creating some dramatic scenario in my head (that hasn't even happened) and running it into the ground. Worrying about future incidents before they even arise. This year I'm letting even the slightest worry go. No more rushing through something just to worry about when the next thing will get done.

And on a lighter note, my smartphone. Compared to some people I know, I don't even have an issue. But I do find myself checking up on things when I used to not care, or felt it could wait until tomorrow. I'd like to start putting my phone aside an hour before bed time with more focus on winding down from the day and less powering up. I feel my smartphone is an intrusion on my calming "me" time at night.

Lastly, a short list of a few things I'd like to add this year....

Finally get our puppy! (Picture source: Tumbler)
Attend more yoga classes (even though this can be sort of expensive, but it'll be my weekly treat). I'd also like to incorporate more meaningful yoga practices into my routine. For example, a co-worker and I have embarked on the 28-day Yogalosophy (yoga + knowledge) challenge. I'll be posting about this when we finish :)

More walks. Despite the chilly weather, I'm ready to bundle up and head to the park!

More date nights with my hubby. More exploring our [new] hometown, doing different things, enjoying our time together instead of rushing through it.

No more throwing away leftovers (or unused produce). I will become a leftover and freezer queen.

Develop a more disciplined many areas of my life, like eating habits, strength training, making a good night's sleep a priority. Creating a routine for my mornings and evenings so I don't feel obligated to get out my mat or finish the day's devotional, but enjoying it because it's naturally what I do.

And it's National Stick-To-Your-New-Year's-Resolution Day. Cheers!

With Love and God Bless,

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