Tag Archives: Resolutions

Catching Up

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. Though I haven’t had technical difficulties, haven’t been sick or injured, and haven’t been busy (well, no more than usual), I just stopped blogging. For a few weeks I felt bad about it, but the longer I went between posts, the easier it got to let it slide. But if you’ll bear with me, I’d like to start up again. Since it’s been four months since my last post, I thought I’d start with a quickie to get us caught up with each other. So grab a cup of coffee and pretend we’re old friends catching up after months of saying “we should get together sometime” (or am I the only one who has to have that conversation six times before I actually get together with people?)

First of all, I am completely and totally healed up from last year’s knee surgery. And even better, my recovery and physical therapy were the catalysts I needed to start a regular exercise routine and to make some positive changes to my eating habits. I’m down 30 pounds, and for the first time I can remember, I actually accomplished my weight-related New Year’s resolution.

Speaking of resolutions, the other things I focused on in 2017 were committing to buying only Fair Trade clothing, shoes, and accessories for myself, and living out my word of the year, honor, by finding ways to serve, encourage, and love on others. If we’re grading this pass/fail, I’d say I passed on the honor goal, but failed on the Fair Trade resolution. I believe I made it 5-6 months before the need for things I couldn’t find Fair Trade tripped me up. And, typical Karah, when I slipped, I jumped right off the plan and gave up. But I think it’s a worthy goal, so I re-upped for 2018. Expect to see posts in the near future about Fair Trade and second-hand retailers. Mixing weight loss with ethical shopping is going to be an interesting challenge!

My word for 2018 is “warrior.” When I first started to feel attracted to this word, I was afraid. I still am, actually. I figure that God calls up warriors when there is a battle to fight, and I don’t really want to get into any battles, thank you very much. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we all face battles all the time. Each of us has to chose if we are going to be a warrior or a victim.

So here are the things I jotted down:
2018 – My word is “warrior”
I’m done wishing, done hoping
I’m ready to fight.
– Learn what the Bible says about being a “warrior.”
– Learn to take orders: to go when called, to act when called upon, to shut up and obey.
– Do no harm, but take no *crap*
– Put on the armor of God
– Stand up and Fight!

If that doesn’t fill you with a mixture of passion and terror, then you need more coffee!

So I hope you’re up for another year of inspiration and information sprinkled liberally with faith and humor. As always, I welcome comments, questions, and ideas of things I can research for us. Leave comments here in the blog, or on the Food Shelf Friday Facebook page. Thank you and welcome back!

One Word – A New Year’s Revolution

I’ve posted before about how I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I used to work at a gym, so I have seen first hand how useless they are. You start off so gung ho that you annoy everyone around you, and then you just fade back to your old habits. Changing your life is hard, even when it’s necessary.

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. A few years ago I began to hear about the idea of having a one-word focus for the year instead of resolutions. Basically, you pray and ask God to reveal one word to you that you can focus on for the year, then you just pick one. Some people say that they have a strong sense of what word God has for their year, while others experience less direction and make a more self-guided choice. Then, for the entire year, you think about that word and how you can put it into practice. I don’t know if you get better results, but I do know you feel less discouraged, because it’s never too late to get back on track with your word.

My first experience with this came at a retreat I attended. On the first day, the leaders of the event invited us to pray and ask God to give us a word for the weekend. I closed my eyes, and said, “Lord, I don’t want to put words in your mouth. This has to be obvious if it’s from you.” Instantly I thought of the word empty. Seeing as how I was hoping for something like peace, calm, or relaxation, I knew that empty was not my idea. In my self-centered mind I decided that work, grad school, and other obligations had left me empty, and that God was going to refresh my spirit and I would leave the retreat feeling full. I was wrong again. By the end of the long weekend I understood that I had arrived full: full of self, full of fear, full of responsibilities and concerns that were not mine to shoulder. As I spent that beautiful fall weekend with my friends, I felt myself letting go, and I vowed to make some changes in my life, to empty myself of me and take on more of Jesus.

Last year I prayed again and asked for a word for 2016. Again, I wanted something pretty, but what I got was open. Ugh. I’m a good, stoic, Midwestern Scandinavian woman. We’re hard workers and good cooks (in general), but we’re not real touchy-feely (OK, some are. My one sister is a sweet, empathetic crier, but I’m more of the emotionally wary Scandinavian stereotype). It was hard. And while I didn’t undergo any dramatic personality changes, I did open up and talk about things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

This year my word is honor. Again, it wasn’t what I was looking for per se, but it fits. It actually came to me in a strange way. I was watching a video of a pop up sale that Made New Co. was having, and I saw some cute key necklaces on turquoise ribbons. I asked what they said, and was slightly disappointed that they said “honor.” I associate honor with the commandment to honor your father and mother, or with military service. But the necklaces were cute and a great price, so I ordered them anyway. By the time they came in the mail, I knew that honor was going to be my word in 2017. It was just stuck in my head like a catchy tune.

So that’s my one word revolution for 2017 – honor. I am focused on being mindful about acknowledging birthdays, speaking the compliments I usually just think to myself, writing thank you notes, and being an all-around encourager. In 2017 I will work on putting others first, making my husband and son feel loved, and lifting up prayer needs. After all, Matthew 22:34-40 tells us:
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”

Do you have a word for 2017? Share it in the comments!


New Year’s Resolutions that Save Lives!

New Years Resolutions

Confession: I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to resolutions. I rarely make them because I know no one keeps them. I used to work in a gym’s childcare center.  Every year in January and February the parking lot would be full. The locker room would be full. The childcare center would be full. And by March, resolutions faded and we were back to just the regulars. The regulars and staff hated the January crush of new members hogging all the space. We all knew that it was just a phase, and while it lasted the “resolutioners” were clogging up the system.

I have new resolutions this year, something that’s not about me, and I think that’s a plan that will help me make resolutions that stick. Plus, sharing them with you creates accountability, and that helps too (I hope!).

  1. Blog every week – 52 posts that keep me thinking about the hungry and researching solutions.
  2. Participate in Food Shelf Friday 50 of 52 weeks in 2015. If for some reason a Friday doesn’t work, I give myself permission to hold the FSF meal on another night of the week.  It’s not about the day of the week; it’s about simplifying for the sake of providing more food for my food shelf.
  3. Participate in packing meals at Feed My Starving Children 6 times in 2015. My family participates in their M&M tube fundraiser. We bought tubes of mini-M&Ms at FMSC, and after we enjoyed the chocolate, we hold on to the tubes and fill them with quarters.  Each tube holds $12.  We plan to go to FMSC when our three tubes are filled, but life happens and we always have to wait for everyone to get healthy, or for the stars to align on our schedules.  This year, I’m making it a priority.

How about you? What resolutions are you setting for 2015, and what do you do to make sure your resolutions stick better than the people at the gym?