Every year I resolve to read 52 books, and I have except for last year and the year before. In those two years, we've taken over a new church, (Bell Street Church of God), that has kept me beyond busy (in good ways), and we had my little Charlee Girl, (Charlee June), in July 2014. Since I started attempting to read a book a week about five years back, I've read 261 books which is an average of 52.2 books a year. But I have to be honest, my competitive juices started kicking in on my reading and some of my reading was done just to complete a goal instead of for the joy of reading. I've also resolved to write a book, and I've not really even come close to doing that. I've started and stopped more times than I can count. But I do truly have a great desire to get one done maybe more for posterity than anything.
I'm not against resolutions. I think they're great, especially if they're kept. But I've come to a place where I'd rather be honest with myself. Completing the resolution without allowing it to become a staple of my life isn't really doing me any good. I also have come to recognize that as much as I hate admitting it, I can't do everything by myself. There simply isn't enough time in the day for me to be the husband I need and want to be, the father I need and want to be, the pastor I need and want to be, write a book, write articles, read 52 books, and so on. Life is too unscripted, especially ministry life, and especially life with two little girls 4 and under. I've put unneeded stress on myself to complete things so I could check them off my agenda and feel accomplished without recognizing if the check mark meant it was done or if it was excellent. I'm reading Kyle Idleman's new book currently, "The End of Me," and it's really challenging me to recognize my own limitations and my need to rest and focus on what is important in the different seasons of life.
So no resolutions this year obviously. I'm still going to read. I would like to get 52 books in this year, but if I don't, I'm ok with that. If I go over that number, that's fine too. I'm going to make the effort, but I'm going to enjoy reading like I did when I first made up my mind to become a reader. I'm going to continue writing this year. I am going to set aside time each week to begin working on a book. I'm going to block that time out and see what happens. I'm not going to pressure myself to finish. At this point, I'm going to put all of my efforts into truly getting started.
Another change in terms of writing is that I won't be writing for Bravo Time Sports any longer. Trey Snide was very gracious to let someone like myself who writes for a hobby try my skill at writing opinion articles about my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves. I wrote for a few months and enjoyed it greatly. But as I'm consolidating some things together to simplify things, I felt it would be unfair for me to continue serving as a writer for a publication without doing it properly on a regular basis. I really enjoyed my brief foray into the world of sports writing, and I'm sure I'll do it again probably on my own at my own pace as I find the time to commit to it properly.
I've already written an article about our church this year. I'm thoroughly excited about what I believe God wants to accomplish at Bell Street Church of God in 2016. We have spent the last two years remodeling, reshaping, refurbishing, and rebranding the church for the purposes of launching out deeper and building something great. As I mentioned in that article, it's a transition time, and transition is hard. It's usually in that time that decisions are made to go forward or to remain the same. Transition takes work and focus, and I intend to give both in 2016 as we start trying to build on the foundation that has been laid. If we'll follow the Lord and do as He leads us and as His Word directs, we will see great things I believe without a doubt.
Finally, is a recommitting to my family for this year. Rylee will be starting school in August, and I'm not thrilled about it. My little girl is growing up too fast. I've enjoyed snuggling with her in the mornings and coming home at lunch to see her and play. We've enjoyed late nights playing games, watching movies, or playing with her toys in her room. But when she starts to school, a lot of that will change. Most Mondays will no longer be Rylee & Daddy Day. We can still snuggle in bed, but not for long because we'll all be up early getting ready for school. She won't be home when I come home for lunch anymore. And the late nights will have to wait for the weekends and school holidays so Rylee can get some sleep for the next day. Her world is about to change. Mine is too. I wish I could slow it all down, but that just isn't in my power to do. Because of that, all I can do is spend as much time with her as I can now and afterward.
My Charlee Girl is getting big too. She's a bruiser for sure. She'll be two in July and before long there'll be more than a few words coming out of her mouth. I'm excited for the time I'm going to be spending with her for sure, but I'm already realizing the balance necessary for both girls. They both want my attention so bad, and I so long to give it to them. Trying to read a book to complete a goal with two little girls hanging on your legs or in your lap is near impossible. I'd rather just be with them. I've always had Rylee & Daddy Days with Rylee, and I'm going to be starting Charlee & Daddy Days soon too. My girls crave my attention right now, and I'm all too eager to give it to them. I know there will come a day when they'll start becoming more independent. I'll probably become dumb, stupid, and embarrassing all while ruining their lives with the decisions I make (isn't that the honor of all parents with teens?). And while I know they'll never not need me as their daddy, I'm enjoying the time where they're more apt to show it if that makes sense.
Last, but not least, in all the juggling and goal keeping, I'm ashamed to say that it is my wife that sometimes finds the back burner. We've not had the date nights we need and that we both enjoy so much. I've got to do better about that. She's the love of my life, and I couldn't ask for a more supportive and loving wife. She completes me while still being in many ways, my complete opposite. I wouldn't trade anything for her or my family.
So there you have it. No resolutions this year. Just a renewed focus on the blessings and necessities of life. I am planning on being more healthy this year as Billie and I support one another in that goal. I do plan to write this year, and I'm going to do my part to create opportunities to do so without the pressure of a schedule. I am going to read this year. The number of books remains to be seen. I'm believing God for a great 2016. He knows the desires of our hearts and as we turn our hearts completely and solely upon Him, He will lead us and guide us into the blessings and plans He has for us.