I’ve never been great at making or keeping New Year’s resolutions. Last year I went with a kinder approach.
I picked one word and tried to live in it.
The word was vulnerability. I wore the word out, maybe on purpose for the first day, and then by necessity for the following 364 days. I think I’ll pick more than one this year since vulnerability is something I don’t think I’ll be able to get rid of now that I’ve decided to walk more than knee deep into it.
Before we went to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends yesterday, I ran the lake trail one last time. I’ve run the 3.25 miles from my doorstep, looping Lake Hollingsworth, and returning home more times than I can count. I’ve run it alone but many times with my best friends. The conversations, the laughter, the closest calls (there aren’t any bathrooms on the trail), the tears, the questions…and on yesterday’s run, the ominous sky even felt like home. Like I had lived in it and returned more myself.
The water was a purplish hue, normally pinkish orange at dusk, but purple because of the clouds. The color glassy on the water, shimmering like the iridescent underside of a shell turned up on the sea. I breathed in and could hear every exhale, could feel every step.
I was running alone. Deciding to leave my phone, my music, my life for a few minutes of voluntary amnesia. I quickly unlearned everything to create a blank space for God to speak.
At the end of the run I had:
And a generosity toward myself to try.
Emily Dickenson wrote:
If your nerve deny you, go above your nerve.
It’s time to go above my nerve– beyond limitations of thinking, acting, and being.
I’m giving up stressing about being virtually late to everywhere because I seem to think that everything will take approximate one hour less than it actually does. I’m embracing dry shampoo and not apologizing for the messy hair I was born with or the want to pay more attention to my eyebrow(s). I’ll love and love well–especially the messy and happy kids God gave us. I’ll get a sitter and date my husband this year more than we did last year and not feel like I’m failing at marriage if we let real life win and we end up staying at home mostly watching Netflix. I want to be transformed. I want my mind to grow and change. I want to be honest, and unafraid. So, here are the things that I hope will help.
1. Creative – I declare 2015 to be a year when I give creativity extra space and permission to be seen in me, exercised, and valued in my life.
2. Trust – I confess that trusting others or myself isn’t easy for me. I give myself grace because the past is real. But I want to love well into the future and break the cycle of mis-trust in the future by practicing in the present.
3. Just Water – I’ll be drinking JUST WATER this year. Nothing else. Because I can’t ask people to do things that I’m not willing to do myself. Because I need to know what it’s like to have only this option. Because it’s the one thing that physically holds everything together. Because it’s beautiful and it’s Source is creative and I’ll need to learn to TRUST to really do this.
4. 500 Miles – I will walk 500 miles… and I will walk 500 more. This song gripped my heart in 2014 and it’s my hope that the movement that we’re starting this year will cause this type of desire and action to materialize in the world. 3.4 million people die every year from water related diseases. That’s almost the ENTIRE city of Los Angeles–gone–every year. The city has the land area of about 469 square miles (almost 500). So I’ll walk or run 500 miles this year and I hope to walk 500 more before Jan. 1 2015. I can’t forget why we do what we do. Kids shouldn’t die before the age of 5 because of something that all of us can help to change. I’d love for you to join me, if you want to.
5. Grow in strength, beauty, Jesus.
We are strong and brave, clear-eyed and visionary when we keep Jesus before us. We can inhabit beauty and love well. We can do things we never thought we could do before.
Where will you be camping out in 2015?