2010 was, to put it bluntly, the worst year of my life. For a while I felt guilty saying this, since it was also my first full year of marriage, but Dan agrees, and we're okay with that. Our marriage is solid, we love and appreciate each other more, we had lots of good times...but it still sucked. Pardon my French (I've always wondered why people say that after every crude phrase...anyone know? Hmmm?)
So, let's just say I was ecstatic to ring in a new year. Goodbye 2010, helllloooooooo 2011! Welcome, welcome, welcome! The Stanleys welcome you with open arms! And so does Mariah Carey...
I'm so not a New Year's resolution type girl, but this year, I'm giving it a whirl.
This year, be it resolved, that I, Chelsea Kathleen Stanley, will pursue joyfulness.
Pursuing joyfulness. How hard can it be, right? Ha. Three days in, and it's already a struggle.
So what am I doing to pursue the joy? Here are my sub-resolutions...
Exercise more. As Elle Woods would say, "Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don't just go around killing people." Booya...in your face, Kate Gosselin! (I've been saying that all day for some reason...and I kinda like it, I'm not gonna lie).
I also want to cook more meals. In 2010, we went out to eat a lot because I just didn't have the energy to come home and take care of us. This year, even if it's hot dogs and crescent rolls, I want to have more meals on the table.
More reading. Can I just say, Zion-Benton ruined me for life? I DESPISE reading. Seriously. I used to love it. I was reading novels in kindergarten. I couldn't get enough. Then along came active reading, and I was ruined.
BUT...I'm going to try to love it again. I need something to help me relax, and I think it might just do the trick. So far, I'm halfway through Noel Piper's "Treasuring God in Our Traditions" and I'm actully enjoying myself. Plus, she taught me how to make killer spaghetti. And how cool is it that I get to make Noel Piper's spaghetti for my husband who adores her husband? Ahhh...the circle of life.
No more anxiety. No more depression. No more anxiety. No more depression. No more anxiety. No more depression. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
Last year, I had an intense battle with anxiety, and I wasn't quite able to kick it. This year, I'm determined to "be anxious for nothing." A goal that I think will be beneficial for me and my sweet, patient husband.
A while back, during one of my bouts of anxiety, Dan found a strategy for fighting it. It's actually from a John Piper article on fighting lust, but it works just as well on anxiety. He calls it ANTHEM. And it will continue to be my ANTHEM for 2011.
A-Avoid situations that you know will bring about undue anxiety and remove yourself from situations if you know what they're leading to.
N-Say "No" within 5 seconds. "No. In the name of Jesus Christ, I will not be anxious."
T-Turn your mind towards Christ. Think about what he's done for you and who he is.
H-Hold on to those thoughts. Keep holding. Hold on tight!
E-Enjoy! Get to a point where you have been holding your thoughts so tightly that you begin to enjoy and savor Christ.
M-Move into a useful activity (hence, my reading/exercise goals).
I seem to get stuck on H. I turn my mind towards Christ, but I just don't hold on long enough.
Not too long ago, I was home alone when I was hit with a big dose of anxiety. I called Dan, and he told me to open my bible to Psalm 23 and to keep on reading it until my holding turned into enjoying. No joke...I repeated Psalm 23 for 2 hours straight. And in the process, I memorized it (why I hadn't memorized the 23rd Psalm before that night is beyond me, but c'est la vie...) That night, I decided that I had to memorize more scripture. So this year, I am hoping to memorize the book of Philippians. Which brings me to...
I'm starting a study on Philippians...Warren Wiersbe's "Be Joyful." I love the subtitle of the study..."Even When Things Go Wrong, You Can Have Joy." Story of my life right now. I desparately need joy, and I need to find it in Christ. Thank you, Warren Wiersbe.
I'm also hoping to read through the bible this year. Not to "say I've done it." I really really want to. I'm trying a chronological study in hopes that it'll be a better fit than last year's. I am not the type that can read 4 different books at once. Can you say overwhelming? The chronological plan seems to fit my style a bit better. One chunk at a time.
So that's where I'm headed in 2011. A few days ago, Dan and I were talking about how all the bloggers seem to have "theme words" for 2011. Dan decided his would be "brilliant." I thought there might be some "brilliant" meaning behind that word choice, so Iasked him what it was, but he said it was just the first word that came to mind. Ha. I actually came up with my word for the coming year. No surprise here...
And my prayer to go along with it (from Psalm 51)...
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
BRING ON THE JOY!