Monday, December 30, 2013

Goals, Not Resolutions

Resolutions. They're like making a hand-print in concrete. Once done, we treat them as if they can't be changed. I say we should toss out the whole notion along with the dead Christmas tree. 

But goals, if they're smart , (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) can keep you on track to achieve what's important to you. And you can reset them and tweak them without the guilt that goes with resolutions.

I know it's practically January 1st  but there's no law that says you can't put goals in place anytime you like. First, however, you should evaluate the previous year.  Here are some great questions from Lisa McKay (a blogger and author) to help you do that. For example, Number 5, "What were the two biggest sources of joy and refreshment in your life this year?" Certainly you want to include more of those.

Number 11, "What were some ways you disappointed yourself this year?" stirs me up to self-examination. 

Being an Eeyore type of personality, I convince myself there's no point in trying to write. "That unfinished manuscript is blather!"  Futile to practice the violin. "I'm worse now than I was forty years ago." 

George Eliot said "Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure." 

my grandson learns about striving
I didn't persevere; I piddled. It's much easier to wish than to strive. 

This year's goals will be limited to the ones that stir my heart into action. Some old ones will be resurrected but reshaped. 

I appreciate your encouragement. Ask me if I'm keeping apace with the interim milestones. Remind me to keep the target in my sight. 

 I'm happy to do the same for you.

Best wishes for 2014. 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sprigs: Merry Christmas from the garden

My kitchen smells like ham and onions. Green beans simmer in the pot with them, and cozy up to cubed potatoes for our Christmas Eve dinner. 

When I pulled the beans out of the freezer I noted the date, June 24, 2013. Six months ago today I harvested and froze those beans. 

In another six months I plan to be picking more. 

Merry Christmas from the garden!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cups for Claire

A week ago in Colorado a shooter fired on a fellow student and then killed himself. Arapahoe High School is very near our daughter's house, and our grandson's  elementary school went into lockdown.  We were glued to our iPads for news, and the district phoned several times with sketchy updates.

Last Sunday, we drove by Arapahoe High School on our way home from church. The news crews were skeletal and posted across the street. The school parking lot was nearly cleared out. Flowers and stuffed animals lay in a loose pile on the sidewalk. And above them, someone had stuffed the fence's metal diamonds with plastic cups, so that they spelled out "Pray 4 Claire". 

I'd been praying for her and her family, that God would pour down comfort on them.  I didn't want to imagine the damage done by a shot gun blast to the head, and doubted that she could possibly recover to any semblance of her smiling photo. 

When I mentioned the cups to my daughter, she reminded me that physicians had called her healing from a brain injury miraculous. She said she prayed likewise for Claire. 

To me, the cups in the fence represent faith. I imagine the person who placed them there saying a prayer as she shoved each one into place. I hope the day comes when the cups come out because Claire doesn't need the prayers anymore.