Dear readers, I have been longing to blog for a while now, but just could not find the words to write. There has been so much on my heart and mind, it truly has been difficult to express it all. But now, as usual, I ache to the point that I must get it “down on paper”, to share thoughts and feelings. When Christ calls us to something, we can do nothing but obey.
We are on the brink of another new year beginning. Four days from today, 2014 will be a memory, and people all over the world will be celebrating the ringing in of 2015, with new hopes, dreams, goals and resolutions. Some will look back to see only their failures, and strive for success in the new year. Some will be very pleased with their accomplishments and reach even higher for the stars. Others won’t care either way and go on with life as normal. Whatever the case is for each one of us, we have a chance to start new. The question for me has become this: What will I do in 2015?
2014 stretched me more than I thought possible. I have been learning more about what the Bible says about God and Jesus and I am continually in awe that Jesus was born to die for each and every one of us if we choose to accept him as the leader of our life. I have realized just how essential baptism is for salvation, and how much God wants that for us.
I have had wonderful moments with dear friends and family. I earned my Bachelors Degree in Journalism and Business Studies and my Certificate of Journalism. I have developed new friendships that are precious in my life. I have grown in my position at work, so much that I outgrew it and have recently started a new position that will challenge me more than I think I know. The next few months will tell the story, and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds. I realize I can do anything I set my mind too and this is no different. I have watched my son become more independent and grown up since he moved up here with us last October. It has been a joy.
There have been hard moments too. People I thought were friends gradually faded into the distance, important relationships were damaged because trust was broken by dishonesty and selfishness and events in our country have disheartened me. I have had my moments of being angry at the world and how people treat each other, the sense of entitlement and the “it’s all about me” attitude.. I have had to find ways to heal and move on from the hurts, and have worked hard to learn that there are times when something really is not my issue, and I can’t take things personally.
Life is not easy. It is a constant battle between good and evil. We fight every day, especially with social media constantly in our faces, breaking news stories at our fingertips, and extreme groups telling us why they are right and everyone else is wrong. We are overloaded with information and we are always connected in some way to the outside world but yet are in the so called privacy of our homes. It is hard to disconnect, but in 2015 my goal is to do just that, so I can reconnect in more important ways.
It is important to stay in touch and know what is going on in the world, but I don’t need to be in front of a screen 24/7. I want to make it a priority to have more REAL FACE-TIME with people, one on one, or in groups. I want to focus on helping others and not worrying about the next TV episode of Pretty Little Liars or big game that is on TV. Don’t misunderstand, I still enjoy those things very much, but they are not as important as I thought they were.
For the last couple of months, Scott and I have been cutting back on a lot of things in our budget. The last “thing” was the cable bill. We decided it was just too much money and time to cut back. We did the research, figured out what channels we “had” to have and what we could live without. I knew no matter what we did, we were going to lose NFL Network and Sportstime Ohio, which meant no more Thursday Night Football or Cleveland Indians Baseball in the spring. If you know me at all, you realize how important these channels are to me and my sports loving self. Nonetheless, we finally, after much discussion and research, decided to go down to the bare bones package and pick up Hulu Plus. Overall, we will save around $40 each month.
I made the phone call and downgraded our service. For the next week, I kept talking to my husband about whether or not we were really getting a better value for our money than we were before. No matter how I tried to slice it, the answer always came back as yes. It was hard and I didn’t like it at all. I missed football (we also lost ESPN so there went Monday Night Football too) and I wanted it back.
Then Sunday came and we went to church, and Allen preached his sermon. I cannot recall what that sermon was about specifically, but I can tell you he talked about the importance of our relationship with Christ versus our relationship with the world and all the stuff we think we have to have. Talk about timing and perspective. Here I was, acting like a two year old that wasn’t getting her way, over a stupid box on my wall. I was putting that before what was important, which is spreading the love of Christ and putting others before myself.
There is nothing wrong with my love of sports in general., However, there is a lot wrong with it if I let it get in the way of what is really important in life. It has now been a month without the full service we used to have. I am finding I don’t miss it like I used too. I am sure I will have my moments, but the reality is that it has opened up time to be with family and friends and spend more time doing things that mean so much more in life.
I do not make New Years Resolutions, but I do set goals for myself. My goal is to be more present and available to people in 2015. I want to do my part in making the world a better place, in whatever way God would have me do, whether it is in my home, my workplace, or at the grocery store. I am one person, but I can make a difference, and so can each of you. I know I will not be perfect in my efforts, but I will do my best to try.
So what will you do in 2015? Will you worry about having the biggest and best gadgets? Will you complain because you don’t get your way? Will you spend your time in front of the computer to see what everyone else is complaining about and agree or disagree with them? Or will you come out from behind your computers, tablets and phones, and do what you can do to make a world in turmoil a better place for so many?