Happy New Year!
2016 has begun and is already moving very quickly. I am doing everything I can to keep up with this new year. The first thing I've done is to change my morning routine. I was losing a lot of time in the mornings so I'm now getting up an hour earlier (gasp!). This has been REALLY hard because I love my beauty sleep. The upside is that I am exhausted by 10pm so I am guaranteed to be in bed at a decent time. I've also moved back into my office, which I do at the beginning of every year because my work tends to slowly creep into the other parts of the house. It's important to me that I actually work in my office because that is the place where God has spoken so many promises to me. I have many hopes for this year and I want to be positioned to hear God's voice.
Most importantly, this year I am continuing with my righteous rituals that I started the beginning of 2015. My rituals allowed me to pay off debt and manage my finances a little more efficiently. This year I want to take my rituals to the next level by consistently applying this concept to many other areas in my life. For starters I have built two hours of thesis work and word study into my daily routine. My focus is not so much on having certain things done by a certain date (although I have set soft deadlines) as much as developing the discipline of consistent action in areas where I'd like to see exponential growth. Admittedly I did not get the new life I wanted in 2015, but I also was not as committed to all of rituals in the way I needed to be. Ultimately you get out of it what you put in.
Just a few moments ago, I got an email from my Duke DMin colleague reminding me that it's been a year since we finished our coursework and more importantly, since we've all seen each other. I can't believe it has been a year since I laid eyes on Duke Divinity School. It still feels like yesterday that I walked its halls for the first time and fell in love. I only hope that I can find ways to remain connected to the school and the extraordinary experience I've had there. In the meantime, one thing that has kept my friends and I connected is the writing of this doctoral thesis. A year ago we most certainly thought we would be done by now, but we are not even close! This is not because we are incapable or that it couldn't be done. We just discovered along the way that we wanted to be fully present in the lives of those we love (and even in our own lives) just as much as we want to finish the degree. I still have the goal of finishing the writing by the spring, but I have accepted graduating in September rather than May in order to finish without losing my mind.
This year I'm very interested in my own happiness and living into the sense of wonder and creativity within me that has been dormant for the last six months. More than simply being interested, I'm committed to it. I hope you keep coming back in 2016 to see just how I make it happen.