Hello there! Happy New Year to you!
It’s 2019 and for me, that means it’s a time for making New Year resolutions. It seems that recently there’s been a lot of negativity surrounding the concept of making New Year’s resolutions because of our tendencies to give up on them. They really get a bad wrap. It troubles me to hear people say they aren’t going to make any resolutions because they typically don’t keep them. They don’t like being reminded of their failed attempts of keeping last year’s resolution so they sometimes despair at the thought of making new ones. NOT ME!
While my own personal success rate for sticking with these resolutions is not particularly high, there’s something so enticing about setting goals for the person I’m aiming to become at the start of each new year. I love dreaming of the person God is shaping me to be and that I’m aiming at becoming. Do I always make realistic goals? Absolutely not. But I’m very much an enthusiast, an optimist, an idealist, a number 7 on the Enneagram. So here I am again in the infancy of 2019, reviewing my past year and setting goals to push myself to get a little bit closer to the person I’m aiming to become. Hopefully, someone who looks a little more like Jesus.
I’ll spare you my hopes and dreams of being a powerlifting, six-pack sporting, model of physical fitness and skip to the goal I think I might actually be able to keep up with this year. I’m resolving to discover in myself a new discipline for reading books. By the end of this year, it is my goal to have read 52 books. For me, this goal is very ambitious. I probably only read 8 books last year. However, it’s becoming apparent to me that with the growing availability of audiobooks and the expanding libraries of companies like Audible are taking away the excuses I’ve made in the past. Excuses like, “I’m not a fast reader”, “not having the time”, or “I’ll wait to watch the movie.” I really didn’t like reading that much when I was younger. The biggest motivation I got to read was (surprise surprise) getting a free personal pan pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. Thank you, Book-It!
I’ve been trying to think of other ways I can make it easier on myself to take on this task of reading 52 books. One youth minister friend of mine from Kansas gave me some sage advice when I was complaining about how I was going to accomplish this goal. “Just read shorter books!”, he said. Not a bad thought! Aside from getting my hands on some pop-up books on theology, one of the ways I’m going to try to keep myself accountable for staying on track with this goal is to write some very simplistic reviews on my blog site that no one reads. This will help me process what I’ve read, help improve my typing skills, and hopefully help keep me on schedule. If you read one of these books I’m reviewing and find yourself wanting to chime in on your thoughts, please feel free. If you have suggestions for books I need to add to my list, let me know. I only have about 20 on my list to read (or finish reading) right now. Turns out there are way more than 20 books out there.
I just finished books 1 and 2. I had never even heard of Bob Goff before this year. Okay, that’s not true. I had heard of him and his first book, “Love Does”. I just hadn’t taken time to learn anything more about him. The first full week of this year I went to the National Conference on Youth Ministry that I attend every year. This year, they had Bob Goff come and give a keynote. If you’ve ever met Bob or read his books you know what I know now. Bob is incredible! He has an energy that would wear out any kid hopped up on Mountain Dew. He has a generosity of spirit, unlike anyone I’ve ever met. What a treat to be able to listen to him and meet him in person.
Bob speaks the same way he writes. His joy and whimsical nature are so contagious you can’t help but let our own imagination start to run wild. He tells stories of taking his children on epic adventures, recounts situations that were very dangerous but always worth the risk, and he illustrates through personal experiences all the ways he’s come to learn that the type of love Jesus teaches us to love with is the type of love that does things for everybody, always. I want to say more but I’ll save it for next time when I write my review of his two books, “Love Does” and “Everybody Always”.
Until next time, I’m curious to know, what goals have you made for yourself this year? What books are you reading? What are you doing to make sure you make time to read? Let me know!
Will someone please get me this t-shirt in an XL?! 😀