Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New!

Every day is a new beginning truly, but it does feel good to start a whole new year today. I was not a fan of 2013. I am not sorry to see it go. When I celebrated our birthdays with Teresa last week, I asked her what she considered to be her high and low for the year.

Although I asked the question of her, I was the first to answer as she pondered her responses. I said my low was the entire experience I had with a misogynist cultist certain individual from the East Coast. I am still processing what happened there. Just so weird. A musician friend of mine and Michael's came by recently to look at a couple of guitars I'm selling, and we ended up having a great talk. He and his wife were also nearly caught up in a cult through the deceptiveness of people they trusted.

I felt much better about my own situation after hearing their story, especially knowing that he and his wife are intelligent, successful people, and committed Christians. Another friend who is a psychologist had also told me not to blame myself as manipulative people can be very hard to discern. I guess the outcome is all that matters, and the outcome is that the Lord opened my eyes and protected me and Michaela from a miserable situation.

As for the high, I think our week in Kauai qualifies for that honor. That was a practically perfect vacation. Thanks again, Mom and Dad! Teresa pointed out that my high probably wouldn't have happened without my low. Mom turned some travel arrangements that were made earlier in the year for "other reasons" into a family vacation.

There were other good things in 2013, for sure. Michaela is a delight each and every day. I'm so blessed to be her mom!

Moving forward...

I am not big on resolutions, and yet I find myself sort of making them each new year. It's just a good time to take stock of things, and decide what to throw out, what to keep, and what to add.

It has been several years since I've been able to do much in the way of exercise. At 46, and the mother of a very young child, it's becoming more important to me to be fit so that I can keep up with Michaela. I can keep up with her now no problem. But what happens when she wants to do some of the things I did in my childhood like skiing, horseback riding, or other outdoor activities? (Please, don't ask to go camping, Michaela!)

So, fitness is going to be a focus for me. My fitness goal is to start running. This is a big challenge for me, but I'm going to use the Couch to 5k program and I hope that will be a good way for me to get into it. I will be pushing Michaela along with me in our jogging stroller. We start tomorrow. She is excited. I'm trying to psyche myself up. My short-term goal is to be ready to run a local 5k the first weekend of April. I really need to do this. I used to set big goals for myself (they just weren't fitness goals!), and I met those goals. But it's been a while since I had a personal goal.

Another focus is going to be serving others and sharing God's love with them. I've got some ideas for how to do this, but I'm praying that the Lord will bring opportunities into my life as the year progresses.

Then there's the usual: 
  • save more, spend less
  • read more, Facebook less
  • get more organized
  • eat healthier
  • cook more
  • drink more water
  • blah, blah, blah

What I know for sure is that 2014 will do its own thing, and I'm along for the ride. So I pray for the grace and wisdom to navigate through the lows and highs as they come.

Happy New Year!


  1. Oh J, I'm so sorry about your awful experience. That's the last thing you needed. One of my best friends from University is in a cult. She won't admit it and despite trying to remain her friend I got to the point 3 years ago where enough was enough. I tried accepting her, meeting up in more neutral situations but it was incredibly difficult - she had a hold on me, in a strange way, she made me feel bad about everything I do and the Lord. That meant something wasn't right. I can't imagine that in a would be partner, so I'm so pleased you were able to get out, for your and Michaela's sakes. Pray for any children involved, I think it is a very hard life...
    I really like your last statement that the year will do its own thing and you are along for the ride. So very true.
    Blessings to you both!

  2. I came across your blog as I sit here contemplating starting my own blog..."Beauty for Ashes". I was curious as to how many others had Isaiah 61 as "their story." Though mine is very different from yours, it puts on smile on my face knowing how amazing God is. Even when it hurts... we are not alone. We all make mistakes. We are all deceived. It hurts...we want to give up... but we don't. All we can do is take it one day at a time. We do the best we can do for that day. Running is great! it's a journey all of it's own....every time I run i feel closer to God. Praying for you and your daughter.

  3. I love this post. While I am so sorry you had to go through such a downer earlier in the year, I know God was protecting you and your little girl. I am praying this year brings you much joy. hugs!!!

  4. What a refreshing post for the New Year. I understand your 'low' and celebrate your 'high' with you. I'm very proud of your decision to be more active and run! You already do a wonderful job of sharing God's love with others, and I know He will continue to help you.


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