In Which Noelle Gives Her Resolutions

So a couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I had made a ridiculous amount of New Year’s resolutions.  Many people might say that this is a recipe for failure and frustration, and curling up mid-March to eat my despair out of a tub of Pistachio and Almond Blue Bell ice cream.  (That’s not specific because it’s–ya know–true or anything.  I just haven’t had my delicious Blue Bell in so long it hurts.  Darn you listeria!)

As I said before, I divided them up into four sections–Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit.  There are seven resolutions in each for a grand total of 28.  Wow.  That’s a lot isn’t it?  Am I crazy for really believing that I can do this?  I hope not.  I am someone who needs lofty goals in order to push myself. I’ll never accomplish anything great if my goal is to be mediocre, right?  (not that having only one or two resolutions is mediocre of course).

I decided to list some of them out here for you, partially in an attempt to be braver and honest with others, and partially in the hopes that I will accomplish everything I’d like this year, rather than risk failing in the public eye and enduring the scorn of all both of you reading this blog (Hi Shelle!  I wonder who our other reader is? 🙂 )

I want to get better this year at reading and interacting with other bloggers.  A favorite that I’ve been reading off and on for 2 years is Kristina over at Eccentric Owl.  She has such a sweet spirit, we have a lot of common interests and similar personality types (well, according to me lol).  She is my friend in my head!

Anyway, she posted right before New Year’s Day what her resolutions were for 2016.  I read over them today and just had to laugh because quite a few of them are the same or similar to what I have as goals!  Is this because we are just so alike, or because most Americans have similar resolutions? (Be healthier, travel more, do something that makes you happy, etc.)  Probably a mixture of both.  Anyway, pop over and read her Ten Things she wants to do this year–you might find yourself inspired for this year.

But back to mine (again, not sharing all of them, but a select few):

Mind

  1. Eliminate “like” from my vocabulary as a filler word (as much as possible)
  2. Read 100  new books this year
  3. Learn a new word every day
  4. Write on a daily basis
  5. Practice piano regularly-scales, classics, learn new hymn each week

Body

  1. Exercise regularly (preferably daily)
  2. Finish couch to 5k program and maintain 5k running 3x a week for 3 months
  3. Take better care of hair-wash, co-wash, deep condition on a regular schedule
  4. Grow hair to bra strap length all over

Spirit

  1. Post at least 100 blog posts
  2. Finish writing book
  3. Finish at least one short story
  4. Go on date with at least three people
  5. Live more neatly
  6. Be a better, more communicative, and more thoughtful friend

Soul

  1. Have devotions on a daily basis
  2. Memorize Psalm 119
  3. Finish what you started
  4. Trust God with everything and love Him with abandon

So, you see, it’s nothing too out-of-reach! Just your normal, everyday incredible expectations that I’m setting for myself for the new year.  (I have left off some of the more….um…ambitious resolutions 😉 )

Would you help me? Hold me accountable? (All both of you who are probably reading this lol.) I don’t want to waste these single years as I feel I have done for the past few years. I want to spend this time that God has given me to myself, to better myself. And here’s where I’d like to start.

Let’s have fun during this year, together.

Hopefully,

Noelle

 

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In Which There Is Resolution

It’s that special time of year again.  The time that this North Carolina weather goes from 70 degrees, to a monsoon, to expected snowfall within a week, the time of year when retail workers want to hurl themselves out of the window as all of the Christmas presents they just sold a few days before get returned all, and the time all gym regulars hate, when their sanctuary is taken over by a stampede of fired-up, holiday-laden heavyweights (me first among them), misusing equipment, going .5 on the treadmills, and coughing up lungs on the benches in the locker room.

And then they’re gone by Groundhog Day (again, me first among them), remembering they have an appointment, plans after work, that a new TV show airs tonight, or the sweet sweet taste of a good bowl of hot apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream.

But not this year.  You hear me Blue Bell?  NOT. THIS. YEAR.

(Apparently they did hear me.  Sigh.  Darn you listeria.)

I made a few resolutions this year, which has prompted reactions ranging from chronic disinterest to derisive laughter from the few people I’ve told.  And yes, in the past I haven’t kept all of them.  But after keeping a few for two years in a row, I upped the ante and made FOUR PAGES of resolutions.  Yes, that’s right.  I went Super Saiyan.

I divided them up into four categories–Body, Mind, Soul, and Spirit.  I won’t tell them all, (over time I might disclose), but I did want to officially announce that one of my (many) resolutions is to read 116 new books this year!  I feel like I am constantly going back to my old favorites, despite my CONSTANT purchases of books.  If I want to one day realize my dream of reading all of the books in my library, than I’ve got to start somewhere!

So I’ll be posting reviews on books as I read them.  They won’t be long and detailed, they won’t be incredibly intelligent and analytic, but they will be honest, and will kill two birds with one stone–keep me accountable to keep reading, and help me meet my goal of posting consistently on this blog this year!

Let’s do it!

Resolutely,

Noelle

In Which Noelle Asks, “Where Are We Going?”

A non Christian coworker today mentioned that he read an article (he’s a news junkie) saying that the number of Christians in America is on the decline. I did a bit of searching and found this NPR article published this morning… “Christians In U.S. On Decline As Number Of ‘Nones’ Grows, Survey Finds.”

The article is pretty short, and mostly stats, but I did make me a bit sad, for two reasons I think. I don’t know if I believe that the actual number of Christians have decreased all that much–I think it’s more that people are no longer self identifying as Christians if they don’t believe. It used to be that if you were raised in a Christian household you were both externally and self-identified as being Christian. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. The idea of a “cultural” Christian is going away. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I mean if someone is not behaving or showing the fruit of salvation, I believe it is probably better that they label themselves as a non-Christian. Perhaps that is insensitive to say–I don’t see Christianity as a club that must maintain its exclusivity, but in a world in which we already face persecution and ridicule and accusations of hypocrisy, I feel it can only help us to have those who are not striving to be Christlike abandon the title.

On the other hand, I find it saddening because I feel that popular sentiment now views Christianity as being out of touch, or “uncool”. As many debates rage in our nation, Christianity is now viewed, at its worst, a raging, frothing, hatemongering, pitchfork wielding group of extremists out to wrest civil rights from the cold dead hands of innocent Americans; and, at its best, the out of touch religious equivalent of the slightly drunken and racist uncle at the family picnic, whose hugs from behind should be avoided at all costs, and whose whisky soured offensive jokes should be met with teeth-grinding–to use the buzzword of the times–tolerance.

Conservative Christian values are just not trendy anymore. They are seen as oppressive and/or a damper on one’s moral compass. To be fair, this could probably be attributed to religion as a whole. Religion is seen as an additional authority figure; in a land that got its start from bucking religious authority it perceives as being unfair, it seems that has extended from not only unreasonable authority, but ANY authority. That thought is backed up by the fact that religious affiliation as a whole has decreased since 2007.

What do you think? Do you agree that Americans see Christianity as no longer being trendy, and religion as being oppressive? What explanations do you have for those statistics? In other words, where are we going? Leave a comment and let me know!

Prayerfully,

Noelle

You must be lost…

…but please, stay awhile!
In this first post of our blog, we wanted you–our new reader!–to be informed, entertained, and completely awed. We brainstormed plenty of catchy sayings and taglines to throw at you, but none of them flowed onto the page as smoothly as we wanted them to. So for now, all we have to offer is just a simple greeting, a small offering of gratitude for you choosing to read our blog out of all of the thousands of blogs out floating in cyberspace.
Thank you.

We hope to bring you regular little somethings that will encourage and inspire you, make you pee your pants with laughter and reach for the nearest box of chocolate kleenex, or just make you grateful that you’re not us. We love life, each other, and you – for joining us on this adventure. It’s going to be a good time.

xo,

Noelle and Michelle