Happy New Year’s everyone; it’s 2012! Exactly one year ago today, I published my very first blog post. That first post was short and really just an introduction to what I hoped to accomplish. One year later, I’ve published 51 posts (nearly 1 a week!) and received a gracious 395 views. I’m firmly convinced that there are new friends (unmet but appreciated) reading the blog, and I sincerely hope you are all enjoying it.
One of the things I wanted to discuss today was my new year’s resolutions as they apply to the blog. I am a firm believer in resolutions, but I do try to make them achievable. I think of resolutions as goals for the year, usually accomplished in small bits, that will help me accomplish a large project or become more of who I want to be. These are a few of mine that I feel confident I can accomplish.
– I want to continue studying the Bible a little bit each day. I plan to read at least 1 chapter a day (I will probably read several, but this is the minimum I want to do). As I read through, I’m specifically paying attention to what the Bible says about thankfulness. I’m sure this will give me plenty to share.
– I want to continue blogging! My goal is to blog at least once a week. I feel that this gives us some regularity and hopefully ensures that we have plenty to talk about.
– I want to read 150 books. This past year’s goal was 125, and I managed to read 168. I like to read all sorts of books: mysteries, Christian books, historical fiction, kids books, and cookbooks. In all of that, I will surely find something to tell you about, and hopefully a few recipes to try.
– And my most exciting, yet scariest resolution is that I want to start creating my own recipes. Sometime this past fall, I was reading a soup recipe and thought to myself, “I could have come up with this.” At that moment, I decided that I would start creating my own recipes. I can’t promise how many I’ll make or how good they’ll be, but I am going to attempt it. If they turn out well, I will certainly post them here for all of you to share. Those are mine, but I’d be interested in hearing about what your goals are. Are they similar or are you focusing on something else?
If some of your resolutions involve healthier eating, you may be interested in a well-known figure named Hungry Girl. Hungry Girl is the moniker of a gal named Lisa Lillien who’s interested in finding healthy and delicious food products and recipes. I’ve been getting her e-mails for quite a while now. Today’s e-mail was about food to watch out for in the coming year; one of them sounded so good I had to share it with you. Apparently, one of the latest Cheerios flavors is going to be dulce de leche. I’ve enjoyed the newer chocolate and cinnamon flavors, so I can’t wait to try this one. Hopefully we’ll be seeing it on store shelves soon.
While I was doing my devotions yesterday, I found several phrases that I wanted to share. In Genesis 2, there were a couple of phrases that stood out to me as being beautifully phrased and descriptive. When I find phrases like this, I try to keep them in mind in the hopes that I can elevate my own writing. They both concern some of the details of creation. Verse 7 says that after God breathed life into Adam he “became a living soul.” What a beautiful way to describe the “birth” of the first human. Verse 8 says that God “planted a garden eastward in Eden.” I find the phrase “eastward in Eden” to have an almost lyrical ring to it. I’ve heard similar language in old-time spirituals, and I can see why.
In Genesis 4:21, the Bible is listing some of the descendants of Cain. One of his descendants was a man named Jubal who is described as “the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.” In my History of Music class, Jubal was called the first musician. What struck me this time was how closely the name Jubal sounds like the word jubilation. I have no basis to support this, but I’d like to think that the word jubilation was formed because people associated music and the father of music with joy and celebration. Again, I’m not saying that’s where it came from, but I like the idea.
As I’m doing my devotions this year, I’ve been reading aloud (a lost art). I like to read my devotions aloud for a couple of reasons: firstly, I am human and my mind tends to wander. Reading aloud forces me to focus on the words and makes it easier to meditate on them. I don’t know about you, but when I’m trying to read my Bible or pay attention to a sermon, that seems to be the time when a million different things try to pop into my head. Secondly, the Bible is not only a prophetic, holy book, it is written beautifully. Reading aloud enhances this for me. Usually when I read aloud, I try to put inflection into the words and sentences, so that it’s not a monotonous drone of words. Because of this, a particular phrase jumped out at me. In the beginning of Genesis 4, God is asking Cain about his brother Abel’s whereabouts. Cain (who you may recall as having murdered Abel) says he doesn’t know. In verse 10 God replies saying, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” I had to stop reading for a minute. I’m sure there are many ways you could interpret that first phrase, “What hast thou done?”. To me, it’s not God asking for an answer, because He obviously knows what happened. It’s a Father whose heart is breaking with sorrow, asking His child if he realizes the extent of his actions and their repercussions. The emotion in those words made me cry (and I’m tearing up again). I’m sure there are times when God gets frustrated with us, but most of the time, I think He’s just so sad for us. We (and I am assuredly counting myself first here) throw up so many roadblocks to the blessings that He wants to give us, and it must hurt Him deeply. He loves us and wants to give us the best, but we think we know better. So we go on our own way and then wonder how we got into such a mess. I am going to try more than ever to do things God’s way, so that when I see Him in heaven one day He won’t look at me and ask, “What have you done?”