I let myself relax over this past Christmas week. Not that I didn’t do some work, but I didn’t allow myself to feel under the gun. I moved at my own pace. I must say that this was the least stressed December I’ve had in a decade, and I enjoyed it a great deal. Too often I’ve been under a tight deadline during the holidays.
Well, I do have a deadline, of course. And tomorrow I must hit the ground running. So last evening, I took down all the Christmas decorations. Everything is back in boxes and stored in the garage. It helps that I do just enough decorating to feel festive and not so much that the idea of putting things away is mind-boggling. Been there, done that.
Like many other believers, I’ve gotten in the habit of asking the Lord for a word for the coming year. In 2005, the word was Endurance. In 2006, the word was Victory. For 2007, I was given two words: Peace and Simplicity. I can look back and see how the Lord taught me many things as He brought those words to fruition in my life. For 2008, God has again given me two words instead of one: Intimacy and Devotion. I already have a hint of what He means to teach me in relation to those words, but I also know there is much I don’t understand yet. And so I look forward with anticipation to the new year.
Since I read through the Bible twice in a row (Bible in a year in 2005 and the Bible in 90 Days in 2006), I spent 2007 doing Bible studies and focusing on specific books. But now I’m ready to return to my usual reading schedule (whole Bible in odd-numbered years, New Testament 3 x in even-numbered years). I’ve got my reading schedule for going through the NT three times, and I’m starting with the New Living Translation but haven’t decided which translations I’ll use for the other two read-throughs.
This year was a busy one for me. I sold my large home with its large yard and bought a smaller home with a small yard and no yard work. I still have way too many boxes stacked in my garage, but little by little I’m getting through them. When I moved to my last house in 1996, it took me at least a year to get fully settled. So looks like I’m running true to form.
What books did I work on in 2007? A Cloud Mountain Christmas in Hearts Evergreen, Steeple Hill, Nov 2007; The Perfect Life, Women of Faith Fiction/Thomas Nelson, Mar 2008; Wagered Heart, Zondervan, May 2008; Bundle of Joy, Steeple Hill, Nov/Dec 2008; and (just barely started) an untitled historical for Zondervan to be released the very end of 2008. I guess I wasn’t lazy this year.
Favorite novels I read in 2007 (in the order I read them): Ten Thousand Charms by Allison Pittman; The Road by Cormac McCarthy; A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini; The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck; Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson; and Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. I reread some great books, too, including C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. Love that book!
I don’t make it to many first-run movies, mostly because it isn’t much fun to go alone and fitting my schedule with the schedule of others too often doesn’t work out. So I’m a DVD gal, thanks to Netflix. So here’s a few of my favorite movies that I watched in 2007: Amazing Grace; We Are Marshall; Little Manhattan; and Freedom Writers. I enjoyed the new National Treasure: Book of Secrets movie that I saw on Christmas Day, although still like the first one better. And I hope to make it to see Enchanted before it’s gone from the theaters.
What else should I add? Hmm. Unhappily, I’m carrying an extra 6 pounds, put on after moving out of the two-story house where I went up and down the stairs an average of 30 times a day. My official work-outs have been sporadic. I get really good for a month or so, then "fall off the wagon" and get lazy. December has been a lazy period. So one of my goals for the new year is to be consistently faithful at my exercise. I took up knitting again after a 30 year break and am really enjoying it. I’ve already made scarves for Daughter #1 and Granddaughter #1, as well as one for myself. Grandson #2 requested a hat, which is finished but I think it will be too large for him. I just ordered a few knitting books, plus Debbie Macomber’s Knit Together, the latter purchased for both spiritual and knitting inspiration. And finally, one more goal for 2008: To be more faithful in my journaling. I was sporadic at it this year, and I feel it. I learn more from life when I write it down and can reflect on it. As the Lord says, "Remember…" It helps me remember when I have a record of events and emotions and revelations.
So there you go. My year in review. What about you? What stands out for you? Do you have a word or words for 2008? How about any goals or New Year’s Resolutions? Please share if you feel so inclined.
And Happy New Year!