My husband is currently pointing a rifle across my living room. Not to worry though, it’s a BB rifle and there’s nothing in it. It looks very ‘real’ though, and has a scope and everything. Maybe it’s a midlife thing or something. He has never, in all our 17 years of marriage, been interested in things that shoot. When I asked why he decided to make this purchase he said it was to shoot those nasty squirrels that keep trying to make their home in our deck. Ok then.
That’s what’s going on this morning (um, almost afternoon) at our house. Happy New Year! Last night we got to ring in the new year with our long time friends who we spend nearly every new year’s eve with. There’s a lot of tradition involved, and it’s always a good time. Last night was especially sweet since their sister and her family have just recently moved back home from being missionaries all over the globe. To have them there with us was awesome!
The kids had the Xbox or the Wii going most of the night, and we played many, many hands of a card game called, Big Boss/Little Boss. I made it to Big Boss once, but was quickly taken down by my very competitive daughter. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. It was loud! There were 8 adults, 14 kids, and 1 rowdy dog. So the miracle is always getting this crew to settle down for the traditions of the evening.
The journals came out around 10:30. We started off with a very talented young man from Colorado Springs playing “How He Loves” on his guitar. It was a sweet time of worship (with a lovely interpretive dance by the youngest member present 🙂 Someone from each of the families represented prayed for our year ahead, and then the journaling began in earnest. There are always 4 questions put to each person, and their answers are recorded for posterity’s sake. We did take some time to look back at the journal from 1998. To see how we’ve all changed and grown since that time is amazing! The questions were, #1- What was your greatest accomplishment in 2010? #2- What was the greatest tragedy for you personally in 2010? #3- What do you most want to see happen in 2011? and #4- What do you resolve to change or do better in 2011?
Now, as I said, there were 22 people present ranging in age from 5 to 56. To get through everyone thinking of their answers and for Josh (the Big Boss of the journal) to record them all, took a good long time. The kids answers are always the best. There were accomplishments like getting baptized, learning to swim (not at the same time ;), getting good grades, learning an instrument, and taking dance class. The tragedies were the hardest to hear, but really give us time to pause and see how we’ve come through those things with God’s grace and love. They ranged from D’s in math to losing a house due to finances and another family lost their home to fire. Everyone has high hopes for 2011, and almost all the kids answered they want to see themselves grow closer to God this next year. If that doesn’t make a parent cry tears of joy and gratitude, I don’t know what will! The main resolution of the family we were with is to get in better physical shape this next year. They are doing a “Biggest Loser” challenge with each other, and all the participants weighed in (after we all ate a considerable amount of chips and queso) to be recorded in the journals as well. I played along, even though I don’t intend to participate in their challenge. For the record…184 (after queso.)
I thought I’d share my answers to those 4 questions to start off this new year:
#1- My greatest accomplishment of 2010 was learning to relax and live in the moment. The benefits of that have been huge for me, and I feel like I’ve had the greater ability to see things through God’s eyes. I see Him more and more in the little (and big) moments of life when I’ve stopped stressing and just learned to “be”.
#2- The greatest tragedy of 2010 for me was that I didn’t invest in friendships like I could have. We left our church of 18 years at the end of last year, and spent this past year trying to find a new church home. We’ve found the place we’re pretty sure God wants us at, but it doesn’t feel like home yet. In all that, I feel like I’ve let the friendships I had at our last church go by the wayside. Not on purpose, not because we can’t be friends anymore, just because we don’t see each other on a regular basis. It’s hard to be purposeful about relationships.
#3- What I most want to see happen in 2011 is the fingerprints of God more clearly. I want to have the kind of vision that lets me be even more aware of HIM in every moment and every breath of my day.
#4- I hate resolutions because I always feel like a failure when I don’t actually fulfill them. Which in reality, how many of us actually DO? But, it’s always good to challenge ourselves, so I determined that this year I’m going to attempt to read a non-fiction book every month. I’m a reader. This shouldn’t be hard, right? Confession time…I feel stupid. When my 14 year old wants to read Homer’s “Odyssey” FOR FUN, come on! I can read some biographies or something. I most enjoy reading fiction novels. If it’s a well-written story, I can get through one in a day. Non-fiction books, well…it’s tough for me to get into them. The only one I read through pretty easily was Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love”. I’m looking forward to getting some of his other books to help me with this resolution. I’m not sure where the idea that I’m stupid if I only read novels came from, but yet it’s there in my head. It tells me to be at all intelligent I need to read smart books by Watchman Nee. I’ve tried. I couldn’t get through it. I’ll keep trying, or just decide it’s ok not to be smart.
Welcome to 2011! How would you answer those 4 questions?? Really, I want to know!