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hi you,

I'm the tourist on the metro, lover of markets and dresses, a writer in the local coffee shop, and the friend who is always up for a picnic and conversation. 
Welcome to L. Raine

Be Resolute

Sometimes I forget that writing reorients me and refreshes me. Now and then there are days when the compass spins madly in 3-4 directions and none of them seem to be getting me where I need to go. Tonight was a night to shut my eyes to the other things, and grab the computer to do some writing. 

Changes will soon be coming to this little house. My roommate got engaged over Christmas and is in the middle of the whirling plans of a wedding. I am suddenly consumed with details such as, "what is hers, what is mine, what shall I have to buy?" I tend to do that; rush off into wild plans of a future I can barely see and then get overwhelmed because I'm not infinite enough to live in the present and future.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 It's still the start of a New Year, and of course with the most of the rest of the progressive world I made resolutions. Some people may claim not to be resolute, but I'm still suspicious they set goals and make promises to themselves, and I think I'll just call a spade a spade. Anyway, on to resolutions. I made some this year, just as I always do, and then promptly set about forgetting them, which seems counter-productive but hear me out. 

CHARACTER FLAWS

 Everyone has them. Whether or not you make resolutions you have flaws, and a new year is a great point of which to think of them. Now don't dump me in your trunk just yet, I don't mean to step on toes, but mean to say that blindly ignoring certain parts of yourself is foolish. I, for example, have had it brought to attention that I am a people-pleaser. While in normal amounts this is not a character flaw when it makes me worry about where I stand with others and translates into fear, then it just turned into something I don't want around anymore. 

 For most of my grown up years, I just trotted around under the guise that I was respecting other people's boundaries, and while there is something to social respect there is also something to the fact that I never agree or disagree, and never rock the boat because I am afraid of what people think. I disclaim however that I am grateful for the walls that I deliberately kept from being built by respecting what other people believed and giving them grace and space. That I don't intend to give up since the baby shouldn't go out with the bath water. However it's one thing to rock the boat to stir up trouble, and it's another to create a healthy atmosphere where ideas are flowing, moving and changing. It's one thing to be controversial, and another to not be able to stand up against an idea one doesn't agree with without buckling under the pressure of relationship or social obligations. 

BEING RESOLUTE: IT'S A FINE ART

I'm all about art, I love beauty, and I love peace. I'll do just about anything to keep the peace, but sometimes peace only comes at the cost of the storm. Refusing to never face a storm will not serve God well at all so a resolution must be made. The problem is I'm no good at all at changing myself and I'm not God, so there's one thing left to be done: pray about it and leave the changing up to God. I usually give Him 365 days before I check back in, but in special situations it can be more often. There's something to persistence in prayer, but there's something to bringing something before God simply, once, and then shifting the focus from myself back to Him so that I don't miss Him in the general flapping and jawing about myself. 

THAT'S THE POINT

 New Years resolutions are usually about me, and focus on me, and to 100% focus on what I want done is truly counter-productive. I've found that if I focus more on a situation or what I should do about something, or what I should be figuring out on my own, then I spin madly in all directions. (See all the I's in that sentence? Gah) There's no focus, other than my aerobic self (I hate aerobics) and all that results is frustrated, big and a self-focused problem. Me meddling with personal problems just makes a bigger mess, whereas turning them over to God and focusing on living life for His glory just works out better in the long run. He hasn't failed me yet.

Of course, the caveat is that the big resolution made each year has to be something I know He will back (it's called His will) so I don't ask unless I know He would be happy to give it to me. I don't think God will ever refuse us if we ask for wisdom, kindness, discernment, compassion or anything else that will benefit His kingdom and our spiritual growth. 

Disclaimer: Ask away, if you dare. Like I said, God is good at answering those types of prayers, and you might not like the stretching. I'll probably growl a few times this year.

THE OTHER KIND OF RESOLUTION

This is the normal list. It has things like:

  •  travel to Europe
  • read C.S. Lewis's space trilogy
  • paint a picture 
  • run a 5k

Of course always remember to add something you know you can keep, just for morale: 

  • don't read 50 Shades of Grey
  • don't get drunk in Copenhagen

By all means, make this kind (not Grey and Grey Goose) and talk to God about them, but these are the kind of things that don't happen unless you make them happen. God won't train your 5k for you, and He certainly won't travel for you, (he doesn't have to, get it?) so here you'll just have to get off your duff and go train and travel. Read and paint. Stay away from trashy fiction and reality-altering drinks. These things will affect your eternal destiny and life, and each choice this year is going to factor into what gets put on your list for next year. 

THE SUMMARY

 Don't ever use God as your excuse not to live life, but don't try to live your life outside of God. Won't work. Period. The End of the Beginning. Enjoy your year, y'all! 

Down Home

K̶i̶l̶i̶ ̶&̶ ̶T̶a̶u̶r̶i̶e̶l̶ ̶

K̶i̶l̶i̶ ̶&̶ ̶T̶a̶u̶r̶i̶e̶l̶ ̶

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