New Year’s Resolution 2009

champagneredLast year, I made some pretty big resolutions.  Take more risks, and in that vein, memorize an entire book of the Bible.  In truth, I remembered these resolutions all year, unlike previous years, where the resolutions went out the window by the second week of the new year.

You’ve read about some of my risks for the Lord, notably the time I invited a stranger to eat lunch with me or starting a website for people to share their testimonies.

But the greatest risk by far was my attempt to memorize the Book of James.  I know, you’re dying to know, did she do it?  No, not by a long shot.  But, I managed to commit to memory a sizable chunk, the first chapter plus several verses of the second.  Even though I didn’t finish, I’m still glad that I made the attempt because if you ask me, the process was worth more than the end product itself.  I learned a great deal about myself and my relationship with God through my feeble attempts at trying to remember those verses.  I plan on continuing to work on James, but it’s going to be a long process. I see that now.  A year was probably a bit too optimistic.  However, if I wouldn’t have pushed myself this past year, I probably wouldn’t have accomplished as much, nor learned as much.

So that brings me to this year.  Last year set up a pretty big precedent for resolutions, and I’ve been praying about this for several weeks now and have been coming up short.  But thankfully, to the rescue, my friend Michele e-mailed me yesterday with a proposal.  She’s been inspired by an article she read about President Bush and Karl Rove’s reading challenge last year, to read a book a week (and these guys are arguably quite busy).  And she offered me the same challenge.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I read a lot, so this seems like a natural fit.  But I prayed about it and also discussed it with my husband.  I’m going to make an end goal of reading 52 books this year, with the weekly goal functioning more like a guideline for keeping me on track.  I tend to alternate reading long and heavy Victorian type novels with current fiction, which tends to be quite short.  The former can take me a couple weeks, while the latter might only take a day or two.  I’m also not going to make this just about fiction or nonfiction, so it’s all fair game.

I’ll be keeping a running list of the books I’m reading in 2009 on this site.  You can find it by clicking on “Amy’s 2009 Book Challenge” in the right hand margin or clicking here.

I’d love to hear about your New Year’s resolutions or if anybody found success with your resolutions from last year.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Obey God by the grace that He gives you (grace is the God-given desire and power to do His will- see Philippians 2:13) and you cannot fail. His New Testament commandments inform us what His will is, while His grace gives us the desire and power to do it.

    AL: Thanks for the New Years encouragement!

  2. Hi Amy. Having kept book lists for quite a while, I think you will enjoy looking back at your list when 2010 rolls around and you will be amazed at all you have read. It is always interesting to look back at the variety and remember some special thing that you gleaned from this or that book. You may also come across a title or two that draws a complete blank and find yourself wondering what on earth was that book about? That has been my experience, anyway.

    Enjoy your challenge!

    AL: Have you ever considered doing a Shelfari list? I’ve been doing those recently and have enjoyed them, but it’s hard to remember to keep up with it. You can see mine on the right hand margin of my site. I have a few links to it in the book section. I’d love it if you’d join and “friend” me to share lists!

  3. Hey Amy, great resolution. Being a parent of little kids I’ve noticed the quantity of my reading has shrunk drastically. I’m going to do a mini version of your goal: one chapter a week. If I could just do that it would feel like a success to me.

    AL: I can’t imagine what kids would do to my reading habits. I think I’d be saying “to eat or to read?” Sounds like a good goal to me!

  4. I like how Ross your blog commenter and many other of my friends have modified the goal to fit their lives.

    I was reading at the gym yesterday (a normal habit) while climbing that blasted stair master… and I started laughing at myself.

    Started laughing at myself because I recalled how in college, one semester I had to read 22 novels. I read most of them (see my comment to your comment on my blog to Tess, phew!). I thought it was a major accomplishment. And though I enjoyed it, at the same time, I didn’t HAVING to read those specific books.

    Now, I’nm having a hard time trying to decide what to read next.

    I think I need to take some time this weekend to pray about the direction I want my reading to head. I don’t want to waste a year by reading garbage just for the sake of reading.

  5. Memorize an entire book from the Bible? Wow. That’s a very ambitious new year’s resolution. Even some of the shorter “letters” in the New Testament could be pretty challenging. That’s great!

    I know many times whenever you hear, “I’m going to do such and such,” for a new year’s resolution many people figure it won’t get done. But if you persevere and work at it you won’t fail! I know from personal experience; my new year’s resolution for 2007/2008 is still going strong – I quit smoking. It wasn’t easy, by no means, but I did it, and will continue to do it, God willing! So far it’s been 1 year and 67 days, but who’s counting 🙂

    AL: Good for you, keeping up that resolution beyond the year you resolved to do it, too. I should be taking a some inspiration from you to keep up my James memorization, which has really slowed down after this new year passed. Without the year resolution driving me, I really lost the motivation. Time to dig out those flash cards again!


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