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I started thinking in early January about the word “Resolution.”  Does the word in-and-of-itself not imply that there was an original solution that is being rethought, reconstituted, or reapplied?  I considered this in light of the time I’ve spent looking at the life of the biblical Nehemiah – master servant who produced and directed the clearing out of an incredible amount of rubble in order to orchestrate the rebuilding of an entire city wall (Jerusalem) in just 52 days – and thought to myself….hmmm…. a year is roughly made up of 7 sets of 52 days.  Is it possible for me to tackle and conquer seven different projects this year?  I don’t have the same set of resources or man-power, but certainly I could take on the necessary amendments to my home that will allow it to be more functional (for starters).  So that’s where I’ve been…I’ve already remodeled my master bathroom (for a whopping $125), created a sports corner and reactivated my tendinitis while rearranging the shelving in our multi-purpose study/music room.  My target date is February 21st for having the remainder of the house taken care of (new library, sprucing up the dining room and rearranging the kids rooms).  I’ve been frequently calling to mind the quote by Les Brown, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” 

So here are the projects that I’m working on/considering for the remainder of 2014:

1. Practical Solutions for my home.

2. ReSolution of the online TESOL certification that I started months ago.

3. Physical Solutions to increase overall health and vitality (so that I can get my 5K time somewhere in the 30 minute range)

4. Solutions for how to set up my website and market the stuff I’m inspired to write.

5. Solutions for learning to communicate effectively in at least one foreign language – Russian.  

6. Solutions for certain gluten, dairy and egg-free entrees and deserts that I’ve not yet attempted.

7. ReSolution of the research, prayers, and efforts for my second book…title to be disclosed at a later date 🙂

I do have an additional year-long pursuit.  I’m reading through the Bible in chronological order thanks to  As a family, we’ve also decided to pursue memorizing the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  I’ll keep you posted!

By tackling different categories of things to accomplish in 52 day cycles, it promotes a greater sense of urgency while also being forgiving to those whose New Year’s Resolutions faltered by the end of January.  Each Solution is a practical step toward something beyond itself in the future.  For example, you could resolve to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds this year, but to what end?  It helps to have an additional motivating end result attached.  Hey – you could make the Chinese Lunar New Year your starting point.  It was just a few days ago!



I’m a big note-taker, and have dozens of notebooks with tidbits from sermons, conferences, books, and random things that my kids say.  In going through one this morning, I found notes I’d taken from a book called “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Buckingham & Clifton.  In it, strength is defined as “consistent near perfect performance in an activity.”  They point out that you will excel only by maximizing your strengths and not by  focusing on trying to fix every weakness.  They propose that a trait becomes a talent when it is productively applied – hmmm…perhaps many of us are more talented than we originally thought?  Most people confuse the definitions of strength, talent, skill, and even knowledge or wisdom.  This book does a good job of breaking down the differences in easy to understand language, and helps us evaluate (or re-evaluate) how we can be the most effective business women, students, wives, mothers, and neighbors.


Stress is simply a response to realizing our own inadequacies. Those that live in a perpetual state of worry are essentially focusing their energy on the wrong thing – where they are weak. Instead we should be focusing on God’s strength. Trusting in, and meditating on, His sovereignty is the best medicine for anxiety.