1. Project 365. This is something I've considered doing for years and I finally said I was going to make the attempt for 2010. All you do is take a picture a day for the entire year. I'll be uploading mine to flickr and sharing them here occasionally. The picture on this entry is from day one, 01/01/2010. I rang in New Year's with a couple of friends - one of whom introduced us to the tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight - one each for the coming months - to predict your upcoming year. So there are mine. I must say, I'm looking forward to seeing if September is juicy or not.
2. Read Through The Bible. You may recall that I started a "Read the Bible in 40 days" thing last summer. I was on a good roll until the craziness of moving out of my apartment, in with my parents for a few weeks, and then to Chicago took its toll on my reading schedule. So, here I go again. I believe I've done it successfully two or three times before - but it's been years. This year I'm using the same reading plan as a number of other women and we're all sharing our thoughts and questions as we go. I'm really enjoying these first two days and look forward to the rest of the year. I'll go ahead and share with ya'll something I noticed yesterday as it does pertain to "new."
In Luke 5:36-38 Jesus is telling a parable and says, "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.' "
As I don't often see wineskins in my modern life the example of the garments makes much more sense to me. I think sometimes I forget that even older versions of my Christian self are just that - old. I have fond memories of times in my Christian walk where I felt like I trusted more, obeyed more, or had more joy. I have a spent a lot of time wishing I could be that girl again - almost as if I'm trying to rescue the innocent and pure faith that I feel like got taken away by life. I am, if you will, holding tightly to a tattered garment and trying to mend it. The garment was a fine garment - beautiful in many ways - but it's old now. If we continue the analogy - the things I've learned and the ways I've grown since being that version of my Christian self are the "patches torn from a new garment." I think I've always seen this passage as old=non-Christian and new=Christian - but the truth is that we are being continually made new and I can't cling to or long for parts of the old Christian self anymore than I can anything else. I need to move forward.
3. Keep track of my reading. I don't so much have a number of books goal - but I do want to keep up with what I read. I'll probably add a link here on the blog eventually where I will keep a list of my books read along with my thoughts on them. I do want to make sure that I read a roughly equal amount of fiction and non-fiction. My non-fiction interests currently include books on Health At Every Size and Sustainable Living.
4. Charitable giving. I want to become more focused on where my money goes for charitable donations as well as to become a regular volunteer for a justice cause. My main interest is in volunteering for an orginazation working to end human trafficking and/or working to help women out of the sex industry. If you know of an orginaztion in Chicago who works in those areas please let me know! I also plan to add an "Act Justly" link on this page to list out some organizations which I believe in and/or sponsor. So, hopefully that will appear here at Mashena before too long.