Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Cleaning

oh, the obligatory New Year's post. (as i write this, i realize that i managed to somehow avoid the obligatory Christmas post. whoops. here, read this one instead. it's way better, anyway.) lots of folks have written funny or inspiring New Year's reflections, but this one is so far my favorite. it lifts me out of this ridiculous tiredness i've been slothing through lately, and made me examine how i've sort of tumbled into this new year feeling very unprepared. blindsided, even.

we spent the weekend with my family, celebrating a rather quiet Christmas. it was wonderful, and in preparation the Hubs and i spent several days maniacally cleaning. it was sort of awesome, and i arose from the dust, as usual following these sorts of projects, with a fresh satisfaction with our house and our life. cleaning always feels like revival to me. or it could be, that in the little private revival i've been experiencing lately, that everything is tinged with a little extra hope.

i wish i could say i have only positive things to say about the year ahead, but the truth is, even in the midst of an exciting time of growth, i'm going in trapped in a very self-critical fog. so what you're about to experience is a bit of a year-in-review project, intended specifically to fix my focus and motivate healthy change. and my prayer is that that be our theme this year: change, as only God the Creator can implement. breaking unhealthy cycles, facilitating greater effectiveness, cultivating boldness, courage, wisdom and above all, love.

and so in that light, i give you this: a collection of significant happenings this past year, and perhaps a few goals for the coming year.

- 30 pounds lost. (5 pounds gained back. and this is according to the last weigh-in before the holidays. ugh.)
- more blog writing! this one, rather awkwardly, resulted in my Grandma printing out a seemingly well-loved, snack-related post and distributing it to the whole family at Christmas. yeah. so... Hello there, Family! Welcome to the blogosphere. wow, it sure got cozy in here fast, didn't it! ha ha... ha. (oh jeez.)
- first ski trip Out West. this was a humbling, and simultaneously thrilling, experience. this is when i start to think that perhaps the Rockies are God's country, just a little.
- running! in April, i began the Couch-to-5K running program, somewhat begrudgingly, and ended up falling in love with running, something i never dreamed would ever happen. this resulted in three 5k runs, all with varying degrees of success, and one super fun 4.5-mile Mud Run. all culminating in...
- stopping running! it would be unfair to dwell only on the excitement of running without acknowledging the struggles as well. in late September, i developed a foot injury and have begrudgingly benched myself since. this has proved to be an unending source of anxiety and dissatisfaction, forcing me not only to curb my workout plans, but also to wear only supportive footwear. i'm pretty sure the only suffering more horrifying in my life so far has been the lice i mysteriously contracted in college. this one hasn't made me cry or lose my mind or try to claw out of my own skin yet, but there has been much moaning and flopping around in a distressed fashion. for your sake, prayers for a speedier recovery!
- the Death of our Debt. no joke! as of spring of 2010, we are officially debt-free, not counting the mortgage on our house. we killed it all in a little under a year: 3 vehicle payments and several years' worth of student loans (we never carried credit card debt.) we're exceedingly grateful for Dave Ramsey's ministry in getting us started on a plan, something that, aside from getting us financially in order, has done amazing things for our marriage. if you plan on getting married anytime soon, don't be offended when you unwrap a copy of The Total Money Makeover from us. we know you think you don't need it; we thought that once, too. just read it. and then do it. you can thank us later.
- a new church home. this one has been tough for us. after moving to the Brookfield area, we loafed around for, oh, about a year or so before really getting serious about getting back into a community. not long ago i started to realize how much i missed it, and how much my heart ached for it. being ridiculous and cynical, finding a good church is always a horrible experience with us. but we're learning to love The Church, because Jesus does, and re-learning how to do this church thing all over again. it's usually humbling, but often rewarding; the distance has given me a more appreciative perspective, compared to the hater days of my youth. it's rare for me these days to actually feel like i'm surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and i'm so excited at the chance to enjoy that, like new, all over again.

- greater productivity, more hard work.
- shorter blog posts. (sorry, guys. it's a problem i have.)
- a better marriage
- a healthier family
- a cleaner house
- a greater sense of urgency
- a more effective life, as evidenced by a smarter and more intentional use of my time and my money.

and now, in acknowledgment of the total lack of privacy and anonymity on the internet, i expect not just awkward encouragement, but also some serious grief from all of you, when i'm seriously slacking. go right ahead internet, BRING IT.


Rooster said...

Great post! You're not alone, though. Almost everyone I have talked to recently has been suffering from some sort of malaise over the past few months, myself included. This new year has sparked a desire in me as well to break out of the slump I've been in, and recapture the 'abundant life' God speaks of in John 10:10 and live from my whole heart again. Man those John Eldridge books are good!

Michelle said...


if for no other reason than beacause it will allow you to finally get a beagle dog for Olive to play with.

erin said...

reeeeal classy, Michelle. real. classy.

sure, i'll like, get right on that. nbd.