So she makes some resolutions…

from Curbly via Pinterest

…and they are:

  • The pursuit of more silence. Seriously, how unspecific can I be here? I started an entire blog almost two years ago in order to pursue more silence in my life and I still haven’t figured out how to do it yet. But, the journey I’ve been on has been teaching me that my idea of intentional 6 am silence is not always possible. What is possible is the holding up of my heart while I fold laundry and listen to the news and wash the dishes and read to my kids. So this is one of those resolutions that’s hard to measure but most important. My goal is an attitude of silence in the gritty daily stuff. I think that starts with heart preparation. So, maybe I should say my resolution is that I would pray with the Benedictines every morning when I open my eyes, “Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise,” and mean it.
  • Running a 10K. Okay, again, more specifics. I mentioned around here that I’ve been running…very slowly…for up to 25 minutes at a time. Now, I’m stepping it up a notch because I think I might actually like it. Shocker! I know. I have two goals: I’m going to run a 5K in March (the 25th, to be exact) and a 10K sometime this summer. Trust me, I’m no marathon girl. And even the idea of a 5K is super intimidating to me and my pitiful asthmatic lungs. But, let’s do it, team.
  • Pursuing a simpler, kinder closet. My goal? Owning less clothes and loving them more (while striving to avoid their being made in sweat shops) and giving clothes away with a glad heart. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I have a lot of clothes that I don’t love passionately, that were made cheaply and possibly in ways that are oppressive (child labor? unfair wages and hours?). I want to know my stuff in terms of what it means if my clothes were made in Cambodia. And I want to practice simplicity in my closet. So, this month I’m going to go through my clothes and get rid of anything that doesn’t either make my heart pitter patter or add an important element to my wardrobe. And then I want to practice deliberate shopping and wearing.
  • Reading more fiction. I love novels. And I’m a big talker when it comes to the importance of narrative in our understanding of the gospel and scripture. I believe God loves story and I’ve always felt that I hear God’s voice more clearly in a story than I do in a “spiritual” book or bible study. So why haven’t I been reading novels lately?! It’s too easy to give myself a lot of nonfiction books and convince myself that they’re more important in the moment. But this year? They will not win out! I have goals. I’m going to read one fiction book every 2 months (so…6 in a year). And I’m going to read even if it means missing my favorite TV shows. Starting with:
    • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant- I’ve already told you I wanted to read this before but I’ve never gotten to it. But I’m already into the 4th chapter. Woohoo.
    • Kristin Lavransdatter  by Sigrid Undset - My dear friend Christina loved this trilogy so much that she actually bought the three books and mailed them to me a year ago. I believe her when she promises that they’re wonderful but I’ve just been too undisciplined to read them. Christina, watch out, because it’s gonna happen
    • To Kill a Mockingbird — Can you believe I’ve never read Harper Lee’s book? Who do I think I am? Who graduates with an undergrad and graduate degree in Lit and doesn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird? Who claims to love novels and doesn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird by the time she’s 32? For shame, Micha! Do not fear, friends. I’m putting this to rights.
    • One more. What should be my 6th book of fiction for the year? I want your opinions.
  • Reading a poem a day. I mean sitting with it and working through it. Nothing crazy. But want poetry in my life in a more meaningful way. Maybe this is a simple way to do it.

What about you? What are your resolutions for these coming 12 months?



Filed under the Praying Life

29 Responses to So she makes some resolutions…

  1. These are fantastic resolutions. I’ve been feeling the same way about clothes (totally feeling the urge to purge the closet), but I love how you phrased it and made it a goal for your year. I also love the poem a day. I may steal these and add them to my list. :)

  2. The way you talked about your closet really hit me. I have clothes in mine that I hang onto, “just in case I need that white shirt one day,” and “because you can never own too many black skirts”. I think I’m going to look at my closet and really think about which items I love and which ones could be a blessing to someone else. And as far as a kinder closet - YES! This is something I want to be more intentional about, too.

    I’ve never heard of Kristin Lavransdatter, but you have me intrigued about it now and I’m going to add it to my list of books to read.

  3. Basia

    Good Morning Micha!
    I love Kristin Lavransdatter! I read it as a teenager (and in my way, read it again at once) and again as an adult. Amazingly, there might even be a copy on the bookshelf next to the bed you slept in last week! I miss you!

  4. Sam

    Good for you about the 5k. I, too, have been running…very slowly…but I take to heart that saying “even at your slowest, you’re still lapping somebody on the couch”. Because that person on the couch is ME - I do love my couch!

    I just can’t wait for you to read To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s so essential and so very good. And I too am intrigued by the Kristin Lavransdatter books - I love a good series. The Red Tent was just mind-opening for me and led me down an interesting road my last year of college (pursuing a religion minor). As for what you should add, I’m going to vote for Ann Patchett’s latest book, State of Wonder. I know it’s been pretty hyped but I couldn’t believe how swept away I became in it.

  5. Yay. I love all this book and closet talk! Thanks for the Ann Pachett recommendation, Sam.

    My husband said he read this post this morning and was confused about why I only have four books listed. That’s because Kristin Lavransdatter is a trilogy so it counts as three! Basia, I love that you read them and love them.

    And Sam, maybe you should sign up for a 5K too. We can inspire each other. :)

    • Sam

      Yes, I plan to! There is one at the end of the month, a fundraiser for the elementary school where Thomas attends speech preschool…so that’s what I’m doing! I finished the Couch to 5k training but will have to regroup after crazy Christmas vacation time.

  6. Steph

    As an avid reader of fiction I think you should add Gone with the Wind (if you haven’t already read it), Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (light SciFi) and I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe.

    I’m pursuing the virtue of self-control this year - I have a feeling it’s going to be a rough year!

  7. holle

    Awwwww, The Red Tent - one of my all time favorites! I may catch a lot of flack for this, but I just didn’t keep care for To Catch a Mockingbird - everyone seems to LOVE it, but to me….bleh. I love to read, Micah, and can talk novels with you all day long! Have fun :)

  8. Amy

    I have a friend who feels the same way about Kristen L., but I read the first one and didn’t get into them. Maybe it was just the wrong timing for me.

    Almost any of Ann Patchett’s books - I love her! Or Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson.

  9. Amy

    And also, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. And, if you have time read “Mockingbird,” a biography of Harper Lee when you read TKAM. It really enhances enjoyment, I think.

  10. Lauren

    ooh, book talk. and resolutions. I’ll have to restrain myself here…

    i love your closet resolutions! i’ve been mulling these things over and you phrased it just right. this is going to be a year of purging, because we’re moving in a few months, so that will be a great impetus to winnow MANY closets, including my clothing.

    i’ll be on a similar running schedule as you, as i have a 5K at the end of April and a goal of a 10K in the fall. haven’t run in a decade. (!!)

    as for book recommendations, i chime in with all the ann patchett love. State of Wonder is lovely and thought provoking, though Bel Canto is my absolute favorite by her. have you read The Poisonwood Bible by barbara kingsolver? Snow Falling on Cedars by david guterson? Possession by a.s. byatt? People of the Book by geraldine brooks? for current middle-grade fiction, you can’t beat The Penderwicks by jeanne birdsall (plus two sequels, yay!). and for YA, you must read The Hunger Games. yes, yes there’s lots of hype because of the movie, but they’re making the movie because the book is awesome!

    and yes, i’m making myself stop :)

    • Amy

      Seconding Kingsolver, Penderwicks, and Hunger Games.

      • I’ve owned The Poisonwood Bible for at least 10 years but have never gotten around to reading it! You’re right, Lauren, I should. Such a great list! Since Amy seconds the Pennderwicks, I’ll definitely look into it.

        Also, I have read (and adore) The Hunger Games. I read them last Christmas. All three in the span of, like, one and a half weeks. They contain all my favorite things in a novel: Post-apocolyptic terror, strong female teenagers and of course, love triangles! Yay for YA novels…

  11. I love these resolutions! I may even borrow your novel to-read list. Although, I’ve promised my kids to finish the Harry Potter series before I take on any more fiction. By the way, I just finished reading the Mary Karr memoir you loaned me and will be putting my thoughts up on the blog soon. It was rather an odd choice for Advent reading that turned out to be just about perfect — thanks!
    Raising a glass to your New Year’s resolutions, friend!

  12. Lyndsey

    You should read The Convent by Panos Karnezis.

  13. Micha, have you read McCarthy’s The Road? If not, get thee to a bookstore, young lady.

    • I haven’t, Steve, but it is in my possession (no getting to a bookstore for me!). Chris read it a couple of years ago and I was supposed to read it next. But I keep being too afraid it’s going to be too sad. Lame, huh?

  14. Lauren O'Connell

    one more, one more! The Shadow of the Wind by carlos ruiz zafon!

  15. Nikki Rhodes

    Hey Micha, I’m adding The Hunger Games trilogy to your list- even though I’m slighty embarassed to after reading this thread- but something about my surity that we would be friends in real life won out. :)

    Oh, and this isn’t technically a Fiction work but isn’t bible study either-
    A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. Definitely in my top 10 ever.

    Have fun!

  16. Danelle

    How can you avoid clothes made in sweat shops? I would love to do this as well. Do you have a plan you can share?
    To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books. I taught it every year when I was a middle school literature teacher. :) You will love it.
    Have you read SWAN HOUSE by Elizabeth Musser? I recently finished it and since then I’ve read two of her other novels. She is Christian Fiction and she has a real flair for words. Beautiful!
    EXPECTING ADAM was a recent favorite of mine too. Very, very good. :)

  17. I was driving through no-where west Texas, reading an article about setting goals, and pondering my own reflections on New Year’s when this post showed up in my inbox. It was encouraging to see how the Holy Spirit is prompting you in your life and the several ways that it mirrored my own convictions at that very moment. The Lord is lovely in the way that He weaves his people and kingdom together. Yes to silence! Yes to material simplicity and integrity! Thank you for taking the time to write and share and motivate us. :-)

  18. Pingback: Epiphany: Overwhelmed With Joy « first day walking

  19. Pingback: Epiphany: Overwhelmed With Joy « first day walking

  20. extremely loud & incredibly close should be on the list….the boy in it has such a creative mind. …and it’ll be on the big screen soon.

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