Friday, January 3, 2014

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"a new year is unfolding - like a blossom with petals curled tightly, concealing the beauty within."

there is something about the beginning of a new year that makes me giddy - a fresh planner waiting to be filled with plans and to-do lists, dreaming new dreams, setting new goals to challenge myself, an invitation to look inward, reflect on the previous year, make changes to be a better me, and the promise that He makes all things new. [and that He will do that any day of the year, no matter where it falls on the calendar.] my word for twenty-fourteen is lionhearted. i could easily have chosen fearless or bold, but how kick-butt does lionhearted sound?

the reason i chose lionhearted is quite simple for my complicated self: i do not want to live in fear anymore. i don't have a specific fear either. i'm afraid of almost everything and everyone around me. what if this happens or what if i lose this person or what if i look stupid? stepping out of my little comfort bubble is terrifying. but i want to break the chains of fear and pop that bubble. Jesus didn't die on the cross so that i could live my life in fear. He came so that i could have life to the fullest. i walk around with fear of everything when the only fear i should have is reverential awe for my Heavenly Father. i want to be lionhearted because He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.

twenty-fourteen life verse: do not be afraid, for I am with you. do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. [isaiah 41:10]

i am a sucker for weekly challenges throughout the year, especially when it come to photography.
- a few years ago, i did a photo-a-day challenge for the entire year. this year, i have decided to try a 52 weeks project with polaroids. i am so excited! i plan to display them in a cute notebook i received for christmas and write a short paragraph on the photo of that week.
- i'm also doing another 52 week project. this one will be a portrait a week of myself. [we'll call that one up there numero uno.]
- this is the third year of writing in my five-year q&a journal. i can't recommend this little gem enough. it's interesting to see how i have changed and the wisdom i've gained since inking my answers onto the pages over time.
- the only project i plan to do every single day is journal daily happenings in my planner. i know planners are for plans, but my erin condren life planner has a lot of space for writing. i want to utilize it by recounting the events of that day, quotes, lessons learned, scripture, etc. i started doing this last november, and it has not only helped serve as a reminder of daily occurrences, but it has refreshed my creativity.  

i set some goals for myself last year. i completed one. yes, one. instead of making a mental list of the reasons why i am a failure, i resolved to give myself a little grace and try harder this year. no unattainable expectations or resolutions i can't live up to, but goals that will benefit me.

- memorize scripture. because if i can learn a t-swift song in one day, i can surely learn scripture the other 364 days, right?
- read twenty-five books.  
- just be. whether this is be in the moment or be myself or be present.
- less social media. this goes hand in hand with the previous goal. i love being connected to family and friends all over the world, but in moderation. carrie underwood sums it up best: time's flyin' by, movin' so fast. you better make it count 'cause ya can't get it back.
- but most of all: i want to fall in love. i'm not referring to romantic love. [although i wouldn't hate that.] i want to fall more in love with Jesus - to dive deeper into His love, drown in it, and let it spill over into the lives around me. my prayer for this year is lyrics from "oceans" by hillsong:  
Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders. let me walk upon the waters wherever You call me.
take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior

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