Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The happiest I've ever been.

This is coming a little late, but here are my resolutions for the year 2012.  I don't have any big ones this year.  Although I can see how a new year can be a fresh start, I don't like to wait for a brand new year to set goals for myself.

However, I've decided on a few, so here they are.
  1. I don't want to feel pressure to write on my blog.  I think part of my problem over the last few months was that I felt like I had to write something every single day... and the quality of my writing went way, way down.  Instead of focusing on quantity of writing in 2012, I want to focus on the qualityOn busy weeks, especially when I'm in college, I may not blog something every single day, but when I do, it'll come from my heart.
  2. More Bible-reading.  Last year, I slacked off on my Bible-reading.  I was busy, I didn't have a lot of alone time, and I will be entirely honest with you guys: I put it off a lot.  There is no excuse for that.  Nothing should be more important than spending time in the Word and with the Lord.  I'm going to set aside more time for my daily devotions this year.  I won't set a definite schedule.  I won't be forcing myself to read a certain number of chapters per day or anything like that.  I don't want my quiet time to become a dull routine.  But I do want to spend time in the Word every day.
  3. Relationships.  Even when my schedule is insanely packed, even when I'm stressed, even when my heart is filled with shadows and doubt, I need to focus on strengthening the relationships in my life.  When I go back to school on January 15, I want to spend more time with the friends I made over the last five months.  I want to spend more time with my family and high school friends while I'm home.  I also want to keep my heart open for anyone God sends my way this year. 
Different words and emotions enter my heart depending on the season of my life.  Recently, the word that has been entering my heart is thankful.  I've been seeing struggles of families who are undergoing tremendous difficulties with the start of the new year and I'm so thankful that the Lord has brought me into the year 2012 surrounded by joys and friendships and beautiful memories.

As I step into these days, I can't help but smile.  I'm so thankful for my life today.  I'm thankful for the friends that I have, for the family I've been given, for my home, for my college experiences, for the people who surround me.  I'm blessed with the opportunities I've had to travel.  I'm blessed with the food I eat, the bed I sleep in, the music I can make.  I'm blessed with the ability to write what I feel, even if I don't always get it right.

I'm so incredibly thankful.

I know life won't always be as joyful as it is today.  I know there will be valleys and shadows that will cause my heart to break... but I will always be thankful for days like these, and I know the Lord will always be there to hold me tight and keep me from sinking. 

A few minutes after the ball dropped, Rebekah, Ali, Luke, Amy, and I clasped hands and gathered together in my living room to pray over the new year.  I began 2012 thanking God and I want to end it the same way. 

He will do great things this year.

I will try my hardest to remember that even when I reach the darkest valleys of 2012 and cannot find a reason to smile, all I need to do is look to the Lord.  He is my joy.

What are your resolutions for this year, if you have any?

Also, be sure to click here to check out my contest that ends on January 14.  I'm giving away a copy of a phenomenal book called "Start Something That Matters" by Blake Mycoskie.

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