With the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind me, I began looking forward to the upcoming year. The first thing that most people seem to think about with the approach of a new year are New Year’s Resolutions…. what will I do to be a better person? Of course, that long and lengthy list pops into my head: eat better, exercise more, do this, do that….. I end up with a list of things that last for a week or two, or if I am lucky, for even a month. Somehow, the list always seemed to signify negatives (what I didn’t do and keep up with) rather than positives.
A couple of years ago, I found a website (www.myoneword.org) that challenges you to “lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick one word. This process provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single focus. Just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future.”
Before I could think about what my focus for this year would be, or even a “list” of things that I wanted to change, I began to reflect over the last year. At first, it began to shape up like the ubiquitous Christmas letter that I always want to send out in my Christmas cards but somehow, never gets written. I think it would be something like this:
Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year to all my friends and family! This year have been full and rewarding for my family!
Robert started out the new year getting his Learner’s Permit to drive. I can’t believe my baby boy is driving! He was also a member of the All county band, with their performance opening the new year. Robert has been a member of the marching band each year of high school and really enjoys it. This year, the band went to Disney in Florida for their annual spring trip. As it happened, Robert also traveled to New York City with the FBLA.. Quite the traveler! Robert finished up his sophomore year in June as school let out, and the summer was filled mostly with marching band. Robert started this new school year in the fall as a Junior, very excited to by taking a Cisco certification class this year.
Meghan finished up her Middle school years by being elected to the National Junior Honor society, participating in Model UN, and finishing up her Silver Award in Girl Scouts. She applied for and was accepted into the Commonwealth Governors School program as she entered high school (this is quite an accomplishment – only 30 students selected from her school each year). This did call for homework over the summer, as well as challenges during the school year as many of the classes in this program are college level courses.
This spring, over Easter break, this kids and I traveled to Florida to visit with Grandma and Grandpa in Tampa. We spent the days having fun in the sun on the beach, kayaking through the mangroves, swimming with manatees, learning about sponges, and visiting wildlife areas. Such fun! Later in the spring, the kids participated in a 30 Hour Famine to get a taste of the problems with hunger in our own country. The three of us made a summer trip up to Lancaster to the Sight and Sound Theater to see a performance of Jonah. The rest of the summer was filled with band camp. This was Robert’s third year in the marching band, and Meghan’s first. Band Camp is twice a week in July, and then for 3 full weeks in August just before school starts. It really keeps them busy.
I am still working with the babies at the local hospital. This is where my heart lies with nursing. Our Intermediate level nursery is continuing to grow and brings me many challenges in my work. The most exciting thing this year has been starting my own blog site. It does not have any particular purpose, except a place for me to put out some of my thoughts for all to see (read). It was an especially fun way for me to keep in touch with friends and family when I traveled to Italy this year.
This fall, the kids stayed with their dad for a couple of weeks while I took a vacation with my brother, aunt and uncle through Italy. We traveled through Rome and Florence, then stayed with some very good family friends in Narni while we explored Orvieto, Assisi, Todi, Perugia, Cascata de Marmore, Frantoio Gaudenzi Oil Mill, Narni de Moricone, and Spoleto. It was a wonderful trip full of sightseeing, shopping, and most of all eating!
As good as this last year has been, we hope to continue to have many adventures in the New Year!
As I thought about all the things I would have put in a letter, there were many more things that I felt that I had accomplished for myself this year. I began to eat healthier instead of dieting, I am keeping up with my bible studies a bit better, I have grown as a person. I started a bucket list – and even managed to complete some of the things on it! But even with all these things, there are more things that I want to change about myself.
This past Sunday in the sermon at church, my pastor was speaking about our need to change and better ourselves. It is a drive that God gives us to be better, to become more the image of Christ. No one sets resolutions to be worse than what they are.
So, I began to seriously think about what changes I needed to make, what I wanted to be different. There were so many things going through my head! I went back to focusing on one word for the year. My one word is: Delight! My prayer for this one word is “Lord, be the delight of my life”. I know that when God is my delight, I will have strenght, wisdom, faith, joy, forgiveness, …. and so much more. I know that when He is my delight, I will desire to do and be the healthiest I can be, to do well and be well. I know that His delight is a promise! It is to know that all things asked of God are “Yes and Amen” (2 Cor 1:20) To delight in God is to trust God in all things. I commit to Delight!