2013 was quite a year in many ways for me and my family. We experienced a lot of great things and not so great things. We learned some hard lessons that we're better from having learned. We experienced some great things in our travels. We made some lasting memories with Rylee and watched as she has continued to grow and blossom in her own personality.
I'm excited about 2014 for many reasons. For one, there'll be a new Herrington in the world sometime in July of this year. I would love to have another little girl, but I'll be perfectly happy with a little boy too. 2014 will also be the first year that I've not been working on college work since 2007. While I've taken a few semester breaks since 2007 to when I finished a few weeks ago, it's pretty much been a nonstop graduate course continuation. I'm glad to have that behind me and enjoy a year without having to write papers, read books I don't want to read, and engage in one-sided discussions (at least online). I'm also looking forward to some new ventures in ministry this year as I seek to fulfill what's been in my heart for some time.
In 2013, I made six personal resolutions and I finished four of them. I lost 40 lbs last year and I'll be starting the year at 200 lbs like I hoped for this time last year. I also resolved to read 60 books last year and I completed that task just a few days ago. I resolved to finish my Masters degree as well and after going to school all year last year without any breaks in between I finished up my last class a few weeks ago to get my Masters in Christian Ministry with concentration in leadership and discipleship. I also resolved to take more time off to be with my family and Billie gave me the thumbs up last night on that accomplishment. I started taking every Monday off and it quickly became as Rylee called it, "Rylee & Daddy Day." I'll be continuing that for sure! The two resolutions I didn't get around to was writing my first book and paying off our car. I did make strides in both. I got about 60 pages written in my book and if everything goes as planned, we'll have the car paid off next month.
So with that in retrospect, here are my resolutions for 2014:
(1) Read 52 books - Yes, I know this is a step back from the 60 I read this year. However, I do want to work writing my first book and I'll need the time to do that. Plus some of the books I'm preparing to read this year are pretty long (500-800 pages). In 2011, I read 52. In 2012, I read 54. Last year, I read 60. I would love to keep the numbers going up and I'm not saying that I won't read more than 52, but that's my goal to keep.
(2) Write my first book - If at first you don't succeed, try, try again right? The crazy thing is that after writing the first 60 pages of a book and having to take a break due to school, ministry, and my own reading, I've got a different idea on how to tackle the book I started. On top of that I have a couple of other book ideas. I'm not sure which one(s) I'll tackle this year, but I would love to get one finished . . . finally!
(3) Lose 20 lbs - We'll have to see how this one goes. Technically speaking, for my height and build and at 200 lbs, I'm at the top of what my suggested weight is. For my height and build, I'm supposed to weigh between 175-200. I'd like to get near the 180-185 mark by the end of this year. I'm going to try and do a lot more running this year to accomplish the goal and maybe some P90X at some point to tone up. We'll see.
(4) Run 400 miles this year - That sounds like a lot but it's about 8 miles a week. Before my ankle injury and then the return of my chronic asthma problems, I was running between 13 and 18 miles per week and was making good time. I turned in few average miles in the 7 minute range and was averaging an 8 minute mile at least each time I ran. When my ankle got messed up, it took me out of commission for 2 weeks. I ran my first 5k on the ankle and hurt it a little more. I tried to get back to running as I was before the injury but I struggled. Then the weather changed and allergens took over, my asthma has spiraled out of control. I'll admit that after most every church service, I've had to get to my office pretty quickly to use my medicine to get my breath back. All that said, I'm going to try and push through this year and run the whole year. If I can get back to running like I was, then getting 400 miles won't be hard. But the jury is still out on my asthma problems. They have got a little better, but we'll see.
(5) Become debt free other than student loans - If all things go as planned, we should have our Kia Sorrento paid off next month. It'll be the first time since I was 16 that I won't have a car payment! I don't know how long our Kia will last, (I hope a long time), but I don't plan on buying another car hopefully until either mine or Billie's student loans are paid off. We have to pay off our new refrigerator we had to get last year when our's died as well.
So there's my five for this year. I have some other goals like traveling and growing in ministry some more, but those are largely dependent on how the first five go. I certainly love to travel. I'm already planning our next road trip in 2015 back to Boston and New York. I want to at least get some kind of road trip in this year as we really didn't do one last year and I miss the call of the open road and the discovery that goes along with it.
Above all else, I want to serve the Lord better in 2014. I want to be more faithful to His cause and mission. I want to see the vision for ministry in my heart begin to find some stable ground one way or another. I'm ready to see some things I've been holding on to come to pass or at least begin moving in that direction. Regardless, one thing I can see without any reservation is that as for me and my house in 2014, we will serve the Lord!
Happy New Year everyone. Whether you make resolutions or not, set some goals for yourself this year. Focus on them and make this year the best yet for yourself, family, and others. At the top of that list, put your relationship with the Lord and your family. You can't go wrong there.