I don’t have a lot of love for the New Year holiday, to be honest. I don’t dislike it at all, but it has never really struck much of a chord with me. Because of that, I’m usually not big on New Year’s resolutions or the sort of inventory that people take about what happened in the last year.
This year, though, I’m inclined to do both. Just a little. So I’ve decided to share what I’m thinking about with you.
I resolve to spend more time being still and listening to God. I’m not really sure what that’s going to look like exactly. I know that I don’t want that rigid sort of religiosity in which I assign myself particular sections of biblical text each day, a set time for prayer, whatever. I don’t have much talent for that kind of devotion, and I have never felt particularly fulfilled by it when I’ve tried it. But I’ve allowed myself to move away from genuine daily devotion of any kind, and that’s not what I want. I miss it, and I need it. I need to figure out my own rhythm of worship, the unique way that God created me to serve and praise Him, and I’m looking forward to it.
And here are a few notable things from my life in 2009:
- I got my first, full-time, grown-up job teaching at ACU
- I learned that a year later, it’s hard to remember what happened while working a full-time and part-time job at the same time. Did anything happen between January and May?
- I got to help welcome sweet little Benjamin to the world, and discovered how nice it feels to see a big grin on his face when he sees me.
- I started this blog to help me learn to write concisely and almost immediately exceeded my word limits.
- I was in my cousin Kristin’s wedding.
- I now have 5 bridesmaid dresses hanging in my closet, which I think officially puts me in the always-a-bridesmaid club.
- I watched the movie 27 Dresses and was relieved to find that it was not a prophetic vision of my life.
- I went back to Ireland.
- Alone. And I wasn’t scared.
- Studied Ulysses in Dublin (I don’t expect many of you to get the significance of that).
- Made some new friends.
- Learned a lot about myself.
- Discovered the wonders of potato and leak soup served with brown bread
- Saw and experienced some really amazing things.
- Made progress in overcoming my aviophobia
- Limerick became my first horse to die. Kindly, the other horses refrained from serious illness or injury during this year.
- I made my first trip to the E.R.
- Had my first i.v. fluids
- I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and stated arranging my life around taking pills.
- I was reminded of how loved I am by family and friends calling to check on me.
- I got a new doctor, an endocrinologist.
- I got comfortable with having blood drawn once a month.
- I discovered what it’s like to be on a mind-affecting drug.
- I learned that the e.r. is all fun and games until you get the bill.
- I discovered that an HMO is not the insurance plan for me.
- I got to hear precious Kyleigh say “I love you, Shanna!” while she hugged me.
- I had my best class yet this fall, and it made me extra glad that I’m a teacher.
- I confirmed for myself that I do not want to be a high school teacher.
- I read The Iliad. The whole thing. And liked it.
- I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. I liked it too.
- I took the nastily-exhausting GRE Literature exam, for which I would have only been truly prepared if I had read everything ever written.
- Made a 640, which puts me in the 82 percentile.
- I learned that getting way behind in grading is torturous, but it does not cause instant and painful death. Which is good, or my year would have ended very badly.
Overall, I think it was a pretty good year. I guess it’s pretty nice to make a list like this. It’s really more like counting blessings than taking inventory.
May God bless this coming year for you and for me. May His hand guide us through the expected and unexpected alike. May His face shine upon us, and may He, as ever, be gracious.
And, by the way, it is actually still Jan. 1 here in Texas, although WordPress believes is is 4:40 a.m. on the 2nd.