Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's A New Year...Finally!

Happy 2012!  My prayer this year is that it is way better, less painful, more joyful, less loss, more laughter than 2011.  But my verse I'm trying to focus on this year is Job 1:21.  Whether the Lord gives or takes away, blessed be His name.  Trusting that His plans far outweigh my own.  And I've decided I'm done making New Year's resolutions or trying to "fix" myself...because I'm me and I will always be me.  At 38 I'm finally accepting that and embracing the person God created me to be.

So, with that being said, I've made a "Things I Want To Do" list for this year.  Along with not making resolutions, I also don't want to make a bucket list.  I'm one of those people who has to work in small increments...lose 10 pounds at a time, complete one assignment at a time, make a list and focus on taking care of each thing one at a time.  If not, I get overwhelmed and sit spinning my wheels.  And if I make a bucket list, I'll keep putting off doing the things on it.  So, my new goal is to make a list of things I want to do for the year.

This post is probably a little less "spiritual" than my usual blog posts.  At least in the sense that I am not focusing on a specific verse or song or whatever.  But I believe God is God even of the mundane, simple, everyday things of life, too.  And once you see this will realize I'm going to need a miracle to accomplish some of these... :)  So here goes...  (This is in no particular order.)

1.  Trust God more.  Stop doubting that He has my best interests at heart.  He WILL give me the desires of my HIS time.  Knowing that He has not forgotten me, and He knows the number of the hairs on my head.  Even when I don't believe it...even when I doubt it...even when worry sets in.  This is going to require a LOT of prayer and seeking Him...especially in those times when life doesn't make sense.

2.  Go Ziplining.  Now if you know me, you are probably shaking your head and saying, "What??"  Yes, I am afraid of heights.  But I also know this looks exhilarating and fun.  And part of that goal of trusting God more includes not being afraid anymore.  So I want to go ziplining.  Anyone want to go with me?

3.  Take a trip to Seattle.  I've always wanted to go...amazing music and art scene.  And I have a friend who lives there and has invited me numerous times to come visit.  But I always find an excuse to put it off.  Not this year.  If I can afford it, I'm going.  So Sang...get ready, cause here I come!

4.  Buy a bicycle and start riding.  I've been wanting to buy a good bike for awhile now.  I was always afraid to ride down my road back home because we lived in the country and people drove like crazy people down our road.  However, now that I've moved, I know there is a biking trail close to where I live.  I would love to find someone to ride with...because it's always more fun and safer with a friend.  But even if I don't...I'm going to push myself to do it anyway.  Which is another part of that first goal of trusting God more...not being afraid to do things by myself...or maybe that needs to be a goal all of it's

5.  Not being afraid to get out and do things on my own.  I'm a shy person by nature.  I just do better when I have someone to do something with.  But life has turned out that I am on my own often.  So I would like to push myself to get out there.  Whether it's going shopping, riding my bike, trying a new church, going to a movie or concert or show, going to eat at Olive Garden if I get a craving for it...whatever it not be afraid to do things by myself from time to time.

6.  To be more active, lose weight and get healthier.  This is often a goal, but this year I'm trying to change my mindset so it sticks this time.  I'm starting Nutri System to help jumpstart this and plan on making activity part of each day...not necessarily formal exercise.  Because I hate to exercise.  But if I can make it walking with a friend or riding a bike or whatever...I'm more apt to do it.  I'm not getting any younger and I've got to take care of myself.  I'm also approaching it from the standpoint that my body is the temple of the Lord...and filling it with crappy food and not being active is a sin.  I've got to do better with this.  And I feel better when I'm healthy.

7.  Go abseiling.  Again, if you know me, this has you scratching your head.  But it looks very cool!  If you don't know what this's basically rappelling down the side of a cliff. I don't know if I can do it, but it looks so empowering to try.  So again, any takers who want to go with me?  I know I need to take care of #6 before I can try this one...

8.  Declutter and organize.  I am the queen of clutter.  I mean, I keep my apartment clean and try to put everything in its place.  But I'm also a stacker.  I keep stuff in stacks...and I know exactly what stack something is in.  But I'm trying to work on this.  A fellow music therapist introduced me to the 2012 Declutter and Organize Calendar.  And she started a group on Facebook where we can talk about it!  This helps you do one thing each day so that hopefully by the end of the year you are organized and the clutter is gone.  This has always been a losing battle...but not this year.  As my life gets busier, I need more order to function.  And if you know me, you know how OCD, ADD and Type A I am.  :)  So this will be a wonderful thing!

9.  Complete my guest room.  I have a spare room that right now houses the boxes I have yet to unpack (see #8).  This year I want to take some time to clean it, decorate it and set it up.  It will kind of double as an office, too.  That way when my dad or Bryce and Noah or whoever comes to visit (and you better come visit) they have an actual room with a bed to stay in.

10.  Find a creative outlet for singing, playing and sharing music.  I would love to find a group of people to hang out with and just jam with.  I learn so much when I just play with other musicians.  I'm not that great on guitar, but I'm improving.  And I love to sing.  So I want to find some folks who share my passion for music and who just like hanging out and jamming.  And maybe even do a performance or two...

11.  Get back to writing songs.  When I was younger, I used to write songs all the time.  Granted, they weren't always good.  But I loved it and it helped to get stuff out rather than stuff it.  So this year, I want to get back to writing.  Now that I'm a much better guitar player...well the fact that I actually play now...I want to make writing songs a priority.  Even if no one else hears them, I'll know I wrote them.  And maybe one day God will bless me with the opportunity to share them.

12.  Begin some type of volunteer/community work.  My dream is to one day open my own music therapy/counseling practice and provide services for people living in poverty, struggling with addiction and who are affected by HIV/AIDS.  I did some music groups with children at Hope House in Memphis, TN for about a year.  These kids touched my life so deeply, and God used this opportunity to show me His heart for people struggling with these things.  I'd love to also have some type of community center for children affected by these things, as well.  So, if I'm going to do this one day, I need to get out there and learn and meet people and start doing my part to make a difference.  I still want to work with people with intellectual disabilities, too...and  I know that those with disabilities who are also affected by poverty don't have the resources they need.  So this year, I want to find somewhere to volunteer some time and music therapy services and give back.

13.  Start looking into adoption.  This is a biggie!  My life is nowhere near where I thought it would be at 38 years old.  The plan was to be married and have at least 4 kids by now.  But I make plans, and God laughs.  Because He has something so much better.  But here I sit desperately wanting to be a wife and a mother...and I don't see either one in the near future.  The wife part?  I can't really do anything about that...well, I could...but I don't believe in getting married just to get married, and I'm picky and refuse to settle for less than God's best for me.  So I guess I'll just have to trust He'll give me that desire of my heart at some point...hopefully sooner than later...but I'll just have to wait and see.  As for the mother part?  That, I can do something about.  I really do believe that a child should have two parents if at all possible.  However, I also know there are children out there who need a good home, and I know I would be a good mom.  So, I'm praying about this and weighing my options.  I've wanted to adopt a little girl from China for years now...and even started the process awhile back.  But due to finances and life circumstances it just didn't happen.  So I'm going to look into that again.  I also would love to adopt a child with Down's syndrome or special needs.  Yes, I know it is a life long commitment...but I know I can do it.  Especially if God calls me to do it.  Who knows?  Maybe God will bring me someone wonderful along the way and we can do this together (and maybe have one of our own)...but if not, I'm not going to let that stop me.  God knows His plans...and I will trust Him.

14.  To do better at applying myself in grad school.  It still sounds weird that I'm even in grad school.  And I haven't done badly.  I just want to do better and apply myself more and stop procrastinating assignments.  Of course, I also accept the fact that being a procrastinator is just part of who I am, and I always do better work under pressure.  But that also brings a lot of unneeded stress.  So I'm going to work on that.

15.  Go parasailing.  Again.  I have been once, and it was amazing!  My fear of heights totally disappeared.  It was the most peaceful and beautiful experience...kind of like what I imagine it would be like if you could fly.  Again, I'll be glad to have someone go with me!

16.  To update my blog on a more regular basis.  The reason I started this blog in the first place was because I love to write, or rather NEED to write.  And I felt God leading me to share with others what He has shown to me.  My hope is that the reader will find at least one sentence that helps them in some way.  I know there have been times I've gone through something and just being able to know someone else has been there too has been what got me through it.  We are not alone in this journey of life.  The Bible tells us we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that cheers us on.  And I believe we are to help each other along this journey.  So if even one person has their spirits lifted, finds an answer, feels less alone...I've accomplished my goal in writing.  So I want to make a commitment to update more.

Well, that is the list!  As I've written, it's grown.  And it is a lot to accomplish in a year.  But with God's help, I know I can do it.  See, it's more about what His plans are for me anyway.  This past year has shown me that.  The last few years have been tough...full of pain and loss and hurt.  But there have also been good moments...times of laughter and joy and new things.  God makes beauty out of the ashes of this life.

I hope that 2012 will be a year full of the beauty God is making out of my ashes and out of your ashes.  Happy New Year!