Every once in a while, I take a turn through my old blog entries. I find it fascinating to see what was rolling around inside my head back then. Tonight I looked back and found an entry from one year ago. I believe I was sitting right where I am now (on my bed at my parents' house, far away from the lands of Oklahoma). I had compiled a list of New Year's resolutions. Here is what they were, and how I feel I did with each of them:
As ever, draw closer to God. (Successful. Except I have realized that He draws closer to me far more often than I do to Him, for which I am incredibly grateful. He is so very faithful.)Be more intentional with others. (Successful. I moved in with three other girls for this very purpose, and found myself pulled into a beautiful community of Christians. Honestly, though, I still fight to let myself know and be known. Don't we all?) Read (and actually finish) a decent number of books. (I finished one. It was worth it. My list last year was a bit lofty.)
Try to write a novel. (I wrote my heart out, but not for a novel. I have a lot of life to live before I think I can offer something novel-worthy.)
Hone my photography skills. (Successful. I made some investments into equipment and took opportunities to get experience. I am loving every minute of it.) Journal more often. (This one was up and down. Lately...not so much journaling.)
Get some art on my walls. (Successful. I started painting a lot more and nearly all the art in my room at our house is my own.)
Play more shows. (Not so successful. I played one. But, on the other hand, I started leading worship for sets at every Burn that I could. It's a make you/break you sort of experience to play the 2 a.m. set and to realize what it means to have an audience of One. Needless to say, it changed me deeply.)
Now for (a few of) the 2009 resolutions, for those of you who care to know.Go to Africa.
I have plans that include Uganda and Kenya. More on this later.Tell the stories of others more often.
One of the reasons I have been relatively silent in the "blogosphere" lately is because I've gotten tired of hearing my own voice. After taking a few steps back to examine the creative aspects of my life as a whole (writing, music, photography, art), I realized that I need/want to spend more time pouring myself into art that tells the story of others. Again, more on this later.Learn to tell my story better.
I know this may sound like it conflicts with the last resolution I listed, but in truth, they are inseparable. As I learn more about the stories of others (and most importantly, how they weave into God and His Kingdom), I will hopefully learn to tell my own story in a way that is humble and effective. I realize this all may sound a bit transcendent. That's probably because it is.Stop trying to keep my best foot forward.
It is not worth the time and effort to try to maintain a perfectly agreeable image with others. Real community and relationship are forged in the fires of the nitty gritty.
There are, of course, the more cliché and nonetheless important items on my list. But enough of that.What are some of your New Year's resolutions for 2009?