Thursday, December 12, 2013

Soft Voice


I absolutely positively love the months of "ber" as I often refer to them. And my favorite is definitely the grand finale, December. I love Christmas. So much so that, as a child, I used to get unbelievably sad when it was over (I think maybe even cried on occasion...). It wasn't the presents per say, it was the excitement, wonder, joy, etc.

I still love Christmas but now, it's intertwined with rawness and hurt from unfulfilled expectations and dreams. Now, there's a rawness that exists from the magnification of something that is hard year-round, but more so in this most wonderful month.

There are so many dreams and desires surrounding Christmas. Events I long to share with a husband, ideas and fun that my heart aches to create and give to children. Those exist regardless, but then during this season there's a magnifying glass on it even more. Sometimes it's a comment by another, sometimes it's seeing fun of other families and longing to join-in, sometimes it's movies, books, music, etc. None of these things are bad, but collectively they hit that raw spot and place a tinge on my heart.

I was driving the other day, heading to the gym, and something (I don't remember what, but likely a song) hit this rawness and I found my heart and mind slipping into sadness. In that moment, I decided to change the song I was listening to, and turned on Waiting Here for You by Christy Nockels. As I've mentioned before, music has a way of helping me express emotions/thoughts that are sometimes difficult to get out.

I was singing along, feeling the weight of these unmet expectations, these unfulfilled dreams. As I did, deep inside, in the most complicated recess of my heart, I felt very clearly this voice say "it's about me."

I promise I'm not crazy.

I know it was the Holy Spirit.

I know it was Jesus reminding me that this season I love so much is not about the parties, the gifts, the "Christmas spirit", the food, the expectations, or the dreams. It is solely about him.

Regardless of what you may be feeling, if you're having the best Christmas ever, if you're grieving the loss of a loved one, if you're in financial straights, battling loneliness, hurt, longing. Whatever. The Truth of what this time is about does not change.

It's about Jesus.

It's about God loving us SO much that He sent His one and only perfect Son to this earth. To be born in a nasty cave and laid in a cold, gross, nasty manger. The most humblest of entrances for the King of Kings.

Only He can fill the space and be a balm for the rawness. For me and for you.

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:4-7

Friday, December 6, 2013

Take Captive Every Thought



Lately I’ve been battling fear in an area I typically don’t in a big way. I walked through a very challenging situation recently that has unfortunately thrown me for a loop and led to this fear.

As I’ve been processing this, I keep coming back to the realization that this fear is NOT of the Lord. It is the devil scheming to plant a seed of doubt and distrust in who God says He is and my life purpose. The evil one trying to steal my joy and render me ineffective. I hate him.

I know these types of experiences and situations are opportunities to trust God and re-center my heart. If He is for me, which He is, than no one can defeat me. Nothing can pluck me from His hand, nothing can steal my salvation, diminish my value, or destroy the essence of who I am. For that assurance, I am thankful for these experiences as I know they ultimately make my faith stronger. But they are still hard.

Today, being alone as I work from home with the snowpocalypse day, my mind keeps drifting to this place of fear. I keep feeling a temptation to control it or fall under the weight of it. I also keep mentally swinging back to a notion that the last two Januarys have been quite painful, so maybe this year will also be bad and perhaps it’s tied to this current fear.

And then I felt a pressing on my heart saying “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

I so love God’s word and instances like this remind me of the value and importance of writing it on my heart. This is a verse I memorized in college (well, this part of the verse) and, even though I wasn’t even spending time with the Lord, He sweetly pressed this Truth into the depths of my being, reminding me that this fear is not of Him and, dwelling on it, is not being obedient.

I then decided to look this verse up in-context. I haven’t spent time in Corinthians in a while, so couldn’t really remember why Paul said it. So amazing:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

God does not promise an easy life, but He does promise He’ll never leave or forsake me. If something hard happens, it’s ultimately for my good and His glory. But how it impacts my faith and trust in His promises is up to me. It’s dependent upon how I choose to respond.

I am fighting a war with a most powerful weapon – the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Words have power, but this Word has the Ultimate power. What a gift.

I am thankful for this weapon and ask the Lord to help me battle this fear and this war against the evil one by taking every thought captive and focusing instead on the personhood and Truth of Christ, so I may better serve and glorify Him.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Soalin'


While I'm not listening exclusively as I do post Thanksgiving, I've fully embraced Christmas music and don't skip them when they come on while I'm listening to music. I have a handful of favorite songs which, incidentally, are all a little off-the-beaten path. Probably not surprising to those who know I like obscure or random music.

In any case, this is one of my favorites. There's something haunting about it, and then also it's about the poor.

Enjoy.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Demopublican?


Since turning 18, I have had a vague awareness of politics. I mean, of course I know it exists, but I’ve avoided engaging in conversations that were remotely politically related. Every so often I’d make a comment about something I thought, but for the most part, I remained tight-lipped and even shut my brain off to it. Kind of like an ostrich that puts its head in the sand.

Why? The anger and meanness! The rash “you’re an idiot!” or worse comments that people will say if someone doesn’t agree with them. The inability of so many people to see that ultimately you’re both working toward the same goal (well, for the most part as I’m sure there are some who aren’t) of a better America and just don’t go about it in the same way. As opposed to sharing opinions and thoughts in a rationale, caring manner, people often end up wound tighter than a spring and lash out horrendous things! It’s so not appealing. So I chose to stick my head in the sand and hide behind an urging of our first President, Washington:

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty." — George Washington, September 19, 1796

Don’t get me wrong, I have opinions and beliefs, I’ve just avoided doing any amount of due diligence in determining what these meant and how they should influence my voting. Why? Fear. Fear that I’d engage and end up falling into what I so desperately wanted to avoid. So instead, I’d vote purely based on what I thought I should, based on what other people who follow Christ do, but not spending any time considering what I thought Christ wanted me to do and instead considering what I thought man wanted me to do.

But something has changed. In a funny, very random way.

I’ve become addicted to a good television show called Scandal (if you haven't seen it, watch it. It's awesomely addicting). I wasn’t familiar with the main actress, so was doing a little research on her to see if I’d seen any other films she was in, a common practice of mine. In doing so, I watched an interview she did with some news program (I don’t remember which). I’ve learned that she’s a big political advocate, and in this particular interview she made a comment that has really stuck with me, “you may not think about politics, but politics is thinking about you.” She also said that when she turned 18, her parents made a special celebration that she was of age to vote, celebrating the Americans who fought for our rights to vote. I thought that was so powerful.

This interview sparked something in me to get informed and get involved. In doing so, though, I’ve come to some realizations that I kind of love and that excite me!

1.      People have fought hard for my right to vote – as a free person and as a woman. As I saw in Girl Rising, women in other nations are often stripped of their voices, as they were in this nation once before, and I have a commitment to support those women in being active and engaged

2.      I have a heart for the “least of these” and I have an opportunity to give them a voice or support them further in my voting as well

3.      No political party is perfect and there are some contradictions between them; therefore, I will remain detached from a particular party, but I will say, I do have leanings that may surprise some folks

4.      Along with that, politics is messy! Everything rolls together and nothing is fast. Quick fixes will not work for long-term results and the issues are complicated with layers of history and experiences folded in. And some things I can’t possibly understand based on my upbringing, socio-economic status, and race/ethnicity so it’s not wise to assume I have all the answers (and vice versa), but I can do my due diligence to investigate and form beliefs and opinions

5.      As I vote, I have a responsibility to live-out what I say, to care for the people I aim to support, to love those who’s opinions may differ from mine, and to continually challenge myself to think and see things differently. And, it's super fun to challenge my own thinking by reading opinions that differ from mine so I have a different perspective and empathy for different thoughts

6.      Ultimately, like everything, this is one more proof point in why it is crucial for me to continually seek the throne of Christ in how I should vote with each election (and in how I should respond outside of that in conversation). This is crucial for me to remain grounded, not get angry, and to remind myself that God is sovereign! It’s also a reminder to pray continually for our elected officials, knowing God is not surprised by who is in-power, the issues that come-up, or the political leanings of the country

My friend, Jen, has a prayer calendar of sorts in which she dedicates specific days to praying for specific things. I’ve thought about that since she mentioned it a while back, and so wrote-out my own little calendar. Saturday will be devoted to praying for our government officials and my own heart as it relates to this subject. I’m quite excited!

So, I am jumping-in to thinking about politics. And doing so detached from a party so I can continually check my heart.

And, kind of related, I saw a screening of the movie The Butler last night. So, so good. See it. It's a beautifully powerful story of a horrendous time in our nation's history, but ends on a ray of hope.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Un-Pause

I took a break from writing for a while. Partially because life got a little nutso and partially because I was writing for a response. It bugged me if no one commented, and I’d self-criticize that I wrote dumb stuff. This break has been good for me. It’s allowed me to reset and not pressure myself – both in how often I write and in why I write. Am I doing it for others or for myself?

Sometimes being a creative minded person is tricky. For your sanity and lifeblood, you have to create. And yet there’s this weird approval thing that goes along with it at times. Going to Paris sparked my inner creativeness further. People there are somewhat crazy, but I LOVED it! Constantly, in all nooks and crannies of the city, you’ll find people creating. Musicians, mimes, artists, actors, and downright bizarre folks. You see a tiny glimpse of that in New York, but nothing like Paris. I’m sure some of it is exacerbated in the high tourist areas, but it was still fun.

Last week my creativity was spurred in a different way. I had the pleasure of attending a screening for a documentary film called Girl Rising. First, go watch the trailer as it’s awesome and will explain the premise better than I can. In the film, they celebrate the arts and its power in changing lives. It’s so true! I think through my own life and some of the most powerful moments have been expressed through some form of the arts. A song that sets a mood, a photograph that captures a moment, a drawing that expresses what I can’t say, etc.

Anyway, as I’ve reflected on this film and my time in Paris, I’ve realized I cannot be held back by man’s opinions. I create for me. If it impacts another, great. If it doesn’t and yet it helps me either process a moment or exercise the way God wired me, then GREAT! So, I decided to disable comments on the blog so there isn’t a temptation to judge and decided I’m going to write for myself when and if I feel the need; whether it’s frequent or infrequent. I also want to challenge myself to share some of my creative writings, something I don’t do. Actually, I rarely ever even write them; they are ideas or pieces of ideas that swim in my mind. It may take me a while on this one (partially, again, because they live in my mind currently), but maybe it’ll be good to bust them out.

Interestingly, since deciding this yesterday (and not having a moment to share it publicly), I was stirred to respond to something I read in Judges 20 visually. It’s not a good drawing, and definitely would never impress others, but it was cathartic and a sweet break from the “normal” way to respond after reading God’s word. He created me to create, so I think He’s glorified even if He’s the only one who sees it.

So, I’ll be back here and there. And for me, not anyone else.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fill Me Up

I learned of this song over the weekend and quickly downloaded it. The lyrics are few and seemingly simple, and yet there is a depth to it that stirs something deep. There is something about this song that makes you not want it to end. I don't know if it's the Spirit crying out or just my cry...or maybe both.

Here, try yourself. You don't need to watch the video necessarily, just listen to the song. The song I purchased is seven minutes, but this video is 17 minutes. If you don't want to listen to the whole thing, you can stop around seven minutes. Though I challenge you to listen to the whole thing. In both Haiti and Brazil, they sing worship WAY longer than we do in America and don't care if church runs super long. At first it was weird for me, but then something switches and you catch the beauty in it. The release from just worshipping and not being concerned with time. But if you don't want to listen to all 17 minutes, that is a-okay. :)

Here it is.



You provide the fire
I’ll provide the sacrifice
You provide the Spirit
And I will open up inside

Fill me up God
Fill me up God
Fill me up God
Fill me up

Love of God
Overflow
Permeate
All my soul

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So, you're human?

I’ve been struggling lately in the healthy living arena. There are a variety of contributing factors – shifts in my gym’s class schedule, holidays, illness, another injury, more-than-usual busy weeks (leading to lowered focus on cooking). Also, there was just a pure lack of discipline on my part. This wasn’t something that I wanted. I’ve worked hard and don’t want to continue down this path away from healthiness and back into lack of self-care.

I started praying. I then raised a flag of surrender, admitting this to key people in my life and heading back to the doors of weight watchers to face it. I had gained, which I knew. For a few days I slipped a bit into the negative self-talk.

I then had brunch with a friend and told her part of the reason I was so frustrated with myself was that this is the first time in the two years of walking this road that I had gained more than 1-2lbs. She then responded with something that I think was really just a comment, but what was quite profound, “So, then you’re human?”

I am human. My natural tendency is to seek perfection and beat myself up if it’s not achieved. The fact that it was taking so long to hit goal weight in general was frustrating; I mean, don’t other people lose faster?

And yet, that is a deeply sinful thought. And my friend showed me that in her comment. She pointed-out that I had resorted to doing this on my own, not through the strength and glorification of the Lord. Not in a way that waits on and recognizes his timing above my own; that the only reason I am working toward healthy living should be to glorify the Lord.

I then heard a talk about the spiritual impact of healthy living. It was beneficial as it reminded me of that purpose. Yes, there are worldly positives that occur when you live healthily, but ultimately my sole purpose in life is to glorify Christ, and that includes the hows and whys I should and want to live a healthy lifestyle.

I started by praying, asking God to help me have self-discipline in all areas, including this. I asked for accountability to pay attention to my eating and working out, as well as to not allow those to become an idol. I then quit trying to fit workouts in that I knew would never motivate me. Sure, there are days when I need to just do the elliptical, but on the whole, I know I am more committed when I like something. I evaluated and determined that truly the best things for me are dance-oriented cardio (when the instructor is good…bad instructors are downright irritating) and yoga. Yes, I also need to add-in some weights, which I’m still trying to figure it out. I jumped back in and so far, it’s been good!

I’ve realized that I thrive with encouragement in these sorts of things. I naturally beat myself up, so having people point-out my failures just makes that worse (side note: there are situations/times when I most definitely need help identifying if something isn’t aligning with God’s Truth and, while it may be hard to hear, I welcome that if it helps me grow in Christ).

On Sunday, I went to a zumba class that I hadn’t been to in a while as it was cancelled for about two months and then the time was shifted after it was reinstated and I hadn’t been able to go. It worked for me to go this week and for some dumb reason I was a little nervous about it. As I was walking in, I prayed and asked that the Lord would protect my heart from the fears I had. Well, to my wondrous surprise, three girls came up to tell me they’d missed seeing me, two of them combining the greeting with a hug! It was so encouraging.

Then this morning I was tempted to skip yoga, but drug myself out of bed and to the studio. Tuesdays are the hardest yoga days, which I knew going in. During class, the instructor took time to come over and compliment me on my form several times. She didn’t need to do that at all, but it was so encouraging as well. Especially as she’s a 500 RYT and I sometimes feel like I’m just flailing around in her class.

So, I had a set-back. I’m human and sometimes make mistakes and/or choose my flesh over what I know God has for me. But thankfully God is forgiving and gently leads me back to him and graciously provides encouragement along the way. I do hope to finally achieve goal this year, but more than that I hope that I can honor and glorify Christ with my body and my life.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lent

I’m so, so excited. It’s actually probably slightly bizarre how excited I am about this. But I know it’s a good excitement as it comes from a heart of wanting to see God move in huge ways that only God can do.

Last year, I learned of this book called A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor, by Chris Seay, that was written specifically to go through during Lent. I was intrigued and intended to go through it during Lent, but I didn’t. I honestly don’t remember why… Regardless, it’s been in the back of my mind since then. I could have taken another 40 days of the year to go through it, but I had this feeling like I needed to wait for Lent 2013. Here’s a video explaining the book in case you’re interested: 
 

 
I decided that, aside from just reading, I’m going to implement some of the food/diet-related challenges. I considered outlining exactly what I feel led to do, but then hesitated, considering Jesus’ urgings about fasting. My heart in wanting to implement these things is for the Lord to work – to deepen my love for the “least of these” and to change me in any way He’d choose. I feel if I share now what I’m planning to do, aside from merely reading the book, it’ll be a source of pride for me. Or maybe not pride, per say, but control. I do want to strive to implement this challenge, but I want it to be flexible in how the Lord may guide me as opposed to achieving a pre-set list of “dos/don’ts”.

Post-Easter, maybe I’ll have some things to share from what I learn.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faces

I'm obsessed with this video.

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Does it make me official?


So, week one of my photo challenge is quite boring...just things around my room. I was originally thinking it would consist of some rock climbing shots, but we had to postpone that trip. In any case, here it goes.
 
1. New yoga mat
I started yoga about a year and a half ago, but then took probably close to a six month break after injuring my back as I was fearful of re-injury. So in total I’ve practiced yoga consistently for about a year. I’ve had a hankering to increase that frequency, in many ways because of the sheer volume of benefits I’d experienced from a mere 1-3x per week practice. Unfortunately, I had already maxed-out on the classes offered at my gym for my style of choice. Also, there has been a mass exodus of instructors at my gym in the past year (a whole other story…), including all of my favorite yoga instructors and the replacements haven't been as good. 

Anyway, before Christmas I learned my favorite teachers all went to a new studio by my house. I did a little research and learned it has a great concept – yoga for all. It’s still growing, but they have yoga for all ages, levels, and I saw yesterday they’re starting one for kids with special needs. Love it. I was hesitant to join since I wasn’t sure if I’d like a studio setting, but after learning about a deeply discounted six months membership for 2013 resolutions, I bit the bullet. I’m glad I did as I’m loving it! It’s funny as even my favorite instructors from my gym have a completely different style in a studio setting since they’re allowed to adjust your postures and such.

So…the mat.

In my year of regular practice in yoga, I’ve burned through three cheap mats. On Friday, I almost fell on my face during down dog. Saturday, I couldn’t balance in crescent lunge as my foot kept slipping. Then yesterday I almost fell in warrior 1. I decided it was time to get a new one or I was going to hurt myself. I was going to mosey on to Target for a new cheapo one, but after doing some research, considering how I’ve increased my practice, and the fact that I’ve already spent the same in cheap yoga mats, I decided to commit to a better made mat. And this one has a lifetime guarantee, so it should last longer!

Enter, Manduka proLite…and it’s purple. Apparently they take a little time to break-in, but tonight will be my first test! So, does this make me an official yogi now?!?
 

2. Current reading
My first 2013 resolution book is The Sun Also Rises. I must say, I'm not a fan. I'm close to finishing it, but I legitimately don't get the point of it. A group of expats partying and getting drunk in Paris and Pamplona? Pointless.
 

3. Playing with persepective
I was playing with perspective here...my current favorite boots.


4. My inability to sit still
Ask my roommate, I have an extreme inability to sit still almost ever, but especially when watching TV. I always find some project to work on or just something to play with. Here, I'm playing with some leftover yarn. Maybe it'll become a scarf. Or maybe it'll become nothing.


5. Working on my bed...because it was freeeeeeezing
Last week one night I had to work really late. I don't stay at my office late anymore as I did that for many years and it's quite creepy after 6:30... Last week I worked late but was so flipping cold in the living room, even with my lovely electric blanket (my hands were cold typing), that I transitioned to my room, which is the warmest in my house. It was super tempting to just crawl into bed and go asleep, but I pushed through. :)

 
So that's week one. Pretty boring. 



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Photo Challenge

I love photography. I love looking at beautiful images and relishing in the interesting perspective of talented photographers. For many years now, I'd lusted over my friends' and family's DLSR cameras. Knowing I had a goal of saying bon voyage pour Paris this summer, I thought what better time to get one than for a trip to the City of Lights. So, with Black Friday deals, I nabbed a good deal on one, including a zoom lens (I think that's what you call it...).

I then got myself a little book how-to, as I figured I'd want to try my hand at figuring things out prior to taking a class (and, I may or may not be able to take a class prior to Paris; trying to decide whether I'd rather do that or take a class to brush-up on my French...).

So, I've had it for a month now, but haven't taken many pictures... Why? Well, I still live in the mindset of film cameras and think I have to "wait for that right shot" before taking one.

Therefore, I'm issuing myself a challenge. One that I think will get me playing around and taking more pictures. Here's the challenge:

For the next six months, prior to Paris, I must take and share at least five pictures a week, preferably on different days.

Weird, I know. But hey, maybe it'll help with getting me out of the "wasting pictures" rut and realize I can delete...after I share. :)

This will be the place I share because, why not.

So there you have it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

C'est Possible?!?

I'm allowing myself to get excited. The full rein of this excitement will not burst through until tickets are booked and it's official (and then will grow exponentially as the day approaches). But it looks like Paris may FINALLY be in my future...as in seven months away. I'm excited, too, as my travel companions have known my 25 year growing love of this country...my parents!

Yes, I've dreamt about France and Paris since I was about six and learned it was the home of ballet. Sometime after that, I had a substitute teacher in elementary school who was French and taught us "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" en francais. I was fascinated, and decided to take French in 8th grade...the rest is history.

Anyway, until it becomes official, official, I'm simply relishing in the thought, and embracing my already deep love of anything French. I'll share some of my inspirations.

La musique francaise!


Je lit un livre a Paris

Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart
Et un belle livre de tourism a Paris!



Je vais manger un croissant pour le petit dejuener a demain!


J'etudie la langue de francaise!


Je recherche des arrondissements a Paris!

Side note: my French is VERY rusty, so there's a high likelihood the above is filled with errors, hence my plan to study French (thankfully I kept all my college books for such a time as this...and because they were my favorite classes). So, if you speak French fluently, or even just well, perhaps look past that. Thanks in advance. :)

Mmm...it could be possible. 2013 could be the year. Get ready for some obnoxious Frenchness to burst out of me. I don't really apologize, it's been bottled-up for 25 years. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

That Goal Thing

I figured I'd write-out some goals (or fun things I like) for 2013 more just so I can have a list to look back on for myself. But I first wanted to see how I succeeded in 2012... Here's what I said and the blue is how I performed.

Spiritual
1. Follow the Journey in 2012 (reading through the New Testament) Nope. I think I quit pretty early and transitioned to something else. Oops...
2. Practice meditation on God’s truth without analyzing, simply sitting still to “listen” I don't know how to measure this per say, but I'd say I grew in this area for sure
3. Focus on working through things with the Lord first Most definitely grew here. Many things this year were worked through just God et moi
4. Increase practice of Scripture memory hmm...not sure I did this one

Healthy Living
1. Achieve my goal weight!! sad face...nope
2. Successfully proceed through the maintenance phase to achieve lifetime membership of WW (six weeks maintaining +/- two pounds of my goal weight) double sad face...
3. Try new foods that I’ve been afraid to attempt cooking I guess so. I cooked okra this summer!
4. Increase frequency of my yoga practice…added goal: complete all chaturangas without dropping to my knees! And complete wheel (backbend) from the floor as opposed to from three-legged dog SUCCESS! I can officially do wheel from the floor. Along with birds of paradise and crow. Next up: being able to hold all of them longer. Oh and I do most chaturangas without dropping, depending on how fast the teacher is flowing (i.e. I decide based on ensuring I have the space to ensure my abs are fully engaged)
5. Participate in spin classes more frequently on non-zumba days for cardio Nope...decided I just don't like spin very much... Though I'm going to need to figure something out as my favorite (and most beneficial) zumba is no more... sad, sad, sad face
6. Increase weight at Bodypump with the goal of toning (I don’t want to be big and muscular :)) My back injury made this one null and void as I can't do bodypump...too much of it does not promote safe backs

Financial
1. Follow the cash system for food, entertainment, and hobbies Um, probably half-and-half
2. Continue to work to increase savings and pay-off debt Yep.

Personal/Attitude
1. Focus on the positive in myself and my circumstances I'd say yes, I've definitely grown in this.
2. Rest my mind more frequently (tied to Scripture meditation and yoga, too) and this
3. Consider myself as someone valuable, worth getting to know, and interesting and this!

Others-Centered
1. Write to my sponsored child regularly eek...fail.
2. Expand my horizons with friends, reaching-out to people including new possible friends Oh I for sure did with my fun zumba friends! Ugh, miss them...sad about my zumba world :(
3. Continue to get to know my new small group girls (I hope to have new goals related to them as the year progresses, but am still in the process of getting to know them) Yep

For Fun/Artistic
1. Finish knitting my first sweater! I did! Sadly, by the time I finished, I realized it's too big.
2. Machine embroider something for me, which I have yet to do since receiving my machine from my grandmother (everything has been given to others) Still haven't done this one
3. Work on a project I have in mind for my niece :) I have no clue what I was referring to...
4. Drink more hot tea in pretty teacups Sure? Not exactly quantifiable :)
5. Light more candles Definitely. Burned through several!
6. Read more than watching television I'm not sure. Realistically, I don't watch a ton of TV as I'm not home a lot so maybe?

Well, looks like I did pretty well in 2012 if I do say so myself! With that, here's 2013...I'll keep the same categories because, why not.

2013

Spiritual (I added personal in here)
1. Get back into continuous time with the Lord
2. Be more consistent with attending church, even if it means sitting alone
3. Continue to increase Scripture memory practice
4. Continue to grow in working through things with the Lord first
5. Pray and journal more through the thing I prefer to avoid (nothing bad, just don't want to share this publically :))

Healthy Living
1. Achieve the stinkin' goal weight!
2. Only eat at Whole Foods for lunch max, once a week
3. Continue to expand my yoga practice to more days per week
4. Find a cardio replacement for my favorite zumba...

Financial
1. Follow the cash system for food, entertainment, and hobbies
2. Continue to work to increase savings and pay-off debt

Others-Centered
1. Really start writing my sponsored children more regularly...seriously...
2. Continue to expand my horizons with friends, reaching-out to people including new possible friends
3. Pray continually for ways that I can encourage others in whatever way God may have

For Fun
1. Go to Paris!!
2. Read or reread select classics: Sun Also Rises, Farewell to Arms, Pride & Prejudice, Great Gatsby, Emma, Tale of Two Cities
3. Make a quilt
4. Meet my new nephew, Jameson Blair
5. Learn how to use my camera and develop some photography skills

I'm sure there are more I could add, but I'll stop there. Here's hoping I'm successful, whatever that means. :)