Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Better Late Than Never

I don't know about you, but I'm not that big on making New Year's Resolutions.

I think because my kids are in school, I tend to follow the school calendar.  For me, the beginning of a new school year often feels like a "new year" to me, even more so than the first of January.  So my resolutions for the year are more likely to be made in September.

For the past several years, we've put a different spin on the resolutions and turned them into predictions.  It goes a little something like this:

Each New Year's Eve, our family sits down in the living room with pens and a big pile of paper strips.  We make predictions about the upcoming year - one per slip of paper - then sign our name to each.  For example, "The Spurs will win the NBA Championship", "We will meet someone famous", or "The girls will get all A's on their report cards".  Then we seal the predictions in an envelope and store them in a box with our Christmas decorations.  The following New Year's Eve, we open the envelope and read the predictions to see which ones actually happened.  Then we get out new strips of paper and start all over again for the next year.

I'm thinking I probably should've told you about this back in late December but you really could still do this.  We're not too far along in 2012 for this to be a total bust if you want to try it.

Also, most of you know that I'm a big reader.  As in, anytime I have a few free minutes, you can bet I am going to spend it reading.

So the only resolution I'm 100% willing to commit to is to read even more in 2012. 

Thankfully, there are several reading lists floating around the internet to get me going.

Bloom (in)courage has their winter reading list up and it's a good one!

The Nester tells us the books she read in 2011 and the ones she hopes to read in 2012.

Sandra Peoples (author of Speechless, a book about her first year's journey with autism) has a list of what she read in 2011 and several of them look really good.

And check out the School Library Journal's Best Books of 2011 for some great reads for your kiddos.

Now, one more thing that I'm a little behind on.... the Joy Dare 2012.  But this is my only other 2012 resolution - to be more intentional about looking for the gifts and blessings in my life. To try to find at least 1000 of them.  And to write them down.  I hope to have a lovely notebook to show you this time next year, a beautiful visual reminder of my grateful thanks to a loving and good God.

Ann Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts has even created monthly "guides" to help in the search.  

Here's January's:

Pinned Image

Will you join me in this?

Obviously, you don't need to be strict about this guide.  It's simply some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.  The goal is to be looking for blessings, not going thorough a checklist.  Use it only if it makes it easier for you to get started.

So, let's chat now.

1.  What's the best book you read in 2011?
2.  What was your biggest blessing in 2011?
3.  Will you dare to join me in the Joy Dare 2012?

Your turn.  Leave a comment.  Ready.... Set...... Go!


  1. Oh, I love this! Great New Year's tradition, by the way!

    Best book I read in 2011- "Falling in Love With Jesus"- AMAZING book that helped make Jesus so real and intimate.

    Since I am OBSESSED with "One Thousand Gifts", the current book I'm reading (thanks to you), and have been working on my 1000 Gifts app, I will definitely take the Joy Challenge! (I can always use an excuse to buy myself a pretty notebook!)

    Biggest blessing of 2011- the deepening of friendships that occurred in my life and the baby that God gave me (hard to name just one!)

  2. The Joy Dare is a wonderful idea! For many years I have kept a daily "Gratitude Journal" in which I list 5 things for which I am grateful. It has helped me to "pay attention" and look for blessings throughout the day. It has caused me to appreciate some of the smallest--and even unusual--things, as well as the big things. It has also forced me, at times, to FIND something for which to be thankful--even when it was hard to do due to the circumstances of life. Keeping the journal has been one of the greatest blessings in my life, and tonight I will record that as something for which I am grateful!

  3. 1. Christian - Crazy Love
    Secular - The Help
    2. A new job for my husband.
    3. Ummm...

  4. Is Joy Dare in the book "1000 Gifts" or is it a separate book?

  5. Hey,
    Joy to dare sounds like something I would want to add to my prayer journal. My biggest blessing this year? Both my sons being Baptized. I started Tebow's Book but never finished it. I think there's just something special about writing it down.

  6. Suzanne - Glad to hear you'll be doing the Joy Dare with me! And I'll have to check out that book.

    Mary - You've been doing the Joy Dare for years! :)

    Amy - Come on.... all the cool kids are doing it.

    Teresa - The Joy Dare is not in the book. It's just a dare to try to name 1000 gifts/blessings in 2012 and record them in some way - a notebook, on the computer, using the app, whatever you like. If you come up with three blessings a day (if you started Jan 1 so we'll have to do a little catch up), by the end of the year, you'll have 1000. Click on The Joy Dare link up above and you can read more about it.

    Anon - There is definitely something special about writing it down. It's hard to doubt God's goodness when you have it written in front of you!

  7. That prediction idea is such a good one!
    I love to read too but I tend to stick to psychological thrillers.

    Here's my quick answers:

    1)Can't think offhand but I love Lee Child's books and have his new one to read. I also discovered Harley Coben this year. really grabs you and his writing can be so descriptive (in a good, not a gory way!!?

    2) Our health.

    3) Love the idea but can't promise. Things getting very busy here but I thik I'll make an extra effort to see the joy and make a mental list at least, particularly when stressed!


    xx Jazzy

  8. Jazzy - Sounds good to me! And I love thrillers, too - my favorite kind of book.

  9. I too LOVE the predictions idea!! I'd rather do it with more family around so maybe we will do it in the spring with T's birthday.

    With your questions, (1) Autism and its Medical Management by Michael Chez, M.D. - best book of my life so far... (2) Clear brain MRI for the little guy and (3) Hmmm, I'm trying!!! xoxo

  10. I will join Joy Dare with you! Thanks for turning me on to this author as well! Can't wait to read some of her books.

  11. Lana, never, never, ever in all my life have I been described as "cool". Why start now? ;)


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