the obligatory new year reflections

it’s not something i habitually do, preferring instead, like a typical Enneagram Type 4, to avoid doing whatever it seems most people do at any given time…

but this year, with so much on the horizon, and many things bubbling up in our collective heart, i couldn’t help spending a little time looking ahead. these are not new year’s resolutions, exactly, but sketches of what might be.

first, i made an inventory of the responsibilities, commitments and obligations we already have. then i looked at the ones we might end up soon adding (indicated below by question marks):

  • Campus America prayer-room planning
  • Transit mentoring
  • Boiler Room leadership (meetings, gatherings, teaching)
  • Big OakĀ  and REM (our day jobs)
  • Some independent and contract photography work
  • keeping house (laundry, cleaning, organizing, etc)
  • menu planning and cooking
  • blog and photo projects
  • one another’s well-being
  • helping our families with some things
  • pastoring “the little church that could?”
  • buying a house?
  • starting a family?

and i thought, “looks like we might very well get over-committed here, if we’re not careful.” i wondered about what will be the most important things to protect… and in knowing what to guard, we can make decisions about what to take on and what to let go. and this is what i came up with:

1. simplicity – sustainability

to me, this means our life pace is restful, with room to breathe, our physical spaces are uncluttered with things requiring our attention or creating distraction, and we keep our rhythms of sabbath rest and daily prayer. i don’t want to feel like we need to escape into vacations.

2. intimacy – relationship

to me, this means that t’s sphere and mine overlap significantly, that we have a few deep relationships with folks we see at least a couple times per week, that we stop to listen to jesus at every turn, and that ideally we live geographically and relationally near to a few close friends.

and i don’t ever want to get busy doing good things God hasn’t called us to do. (so much spinning of wheels).

when i think about quality of life — what, to me, keeps life glimmering and hopeful — these are the markers of it:

  • reading and writing
  • keeping up with friends
  • taking photographs
  • sit-down, home-cooked meals, often shared with others
  • visits to family in MI
  • adequate sleep each night
  • prayer rhythms with community
  • silly dancing in the kitchen
  • annual pilgrimages
  • practicing hospitality (overnight or just for meals)

in other words, if those things started to slip, or to become rarities rather than regularities, it would tip me off that a little re-evaluation is called for. and, as best as we’re able, we’d adjust. because this is, perhaps, part of what sets us apart from “the world”: that we don’t knock ourselves out, but are people able to be still and know our humanity.

finally, i wrote a 101 in 1001 list. i was inspired by a wedding photographer i follow, who has done similarly in a recent post. the idea is that you write a list of 101 things you’d like to see happen in the next 1001 days. if you’re interested, here is MY 101 in 1001.


5 thoughts on “the obligatory new year reflections

  1. as for having people over/hosting, my mom does an annual “cookie party” where she invites all her friends with small children over to make, bake, and decorate sugar cookies. It’s fairly cheap since she does it potluck style (she makes the cookie batter) and it’s very very fun for all, adults and children alike.

    I figured you’d be a person who’d enjoy such a suggestion.

    I love and miss you, Brooke.

  2. Pingback: I’m determined and I’ve got 1001 days to prove it! « Rejoy Photography :: Blog

  3. Pingback: A Story of Limitations | The Lord's Housekeeper

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