Hello, everyone. I’m back from my blogging hiatus (for now), and coming up for air from the grad school hole I’ve been buried in for the past four months. Because I spent the past four months doing nothing but reading, writing, researching, and annotating, bear with me if my next couple of posts are lacking in content. There has been a lot of reflecting since I finished up the semester a few days ago – which I will go into more detail on in an upcoming blog post, trust – but because my brain is still decompressing from the aforementioned reading, writing, researching, and annotating, I would like to ease myself back into writing before fully delving back into the #personal blog posts. To kick off this year’s Blogmas, I would like to revisit some goals I set for myself at the end of last year.
1. Dive into the Word on a deeper level
I actually forgot that I set this goal for myself. One of the things I prayed for before I went back to school was that I wouldn’t let my academic obligations be a distraction or road block from being intentional in setting aside time to read my Bible. I began building the foundation by buying a study Bible (a Bible with annotations that break down Scripture, verse by verse) in order to strengthen my understanding of the context behind the stories in the Bible, instead of blindly reading through it. Prior to school starting, I established a pretty good discipline in making it a point to fit that into my day, and I’m glad to say that that discipline continued even when I started school. I would try to read a chapter out of a book in the Bible (I usually defaulted to the book of Psalms because of the absolutely chaotic season I just went through, but I’ll elaborate more on that later) before I went to class on Wednesdays and then try to squeeze in a little more time in the Word in between classes. On class days where I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do that, I listened to sermons on my hour-long commute to school to get myself in the right mindset before continuing my day with school work. Joining small groups at my church further helped me dive into the Word during the week, and getting to listen to the wisdom of the other people in my group allowed me to gain an even deeper understanding of the Word. Reading my Bible has become such an integral part of my life, especially with the craziness of the past couple of months, and I fully intend on keeping that momentum going.
2. Get into (and start) grad school
To anyone who isn’t in any of my social circles, I got into the Higher Education Leadership master’s program at Cal State Northridge, which I started in August. The process of even applying to grad school was crazy, and I thought it was a long shot for me to get in anywhere – especially since I put all my eggs in one basket and applied to only one Master’s program – but for some reason, the Lord called me to grad school, and He’s been affirming me in that decision ever since. I still don’t know what I’m doing or why the Lord wanted me in grad school in the first place, but it’s been such a beautiful season, having the desires of my heart be slowly revealed to me. Again, I know this was super vague, but I’ll go into detail with all of that in future blog posts.
3. Go plant-based
When I hit my year mark of being vegetarian this past June, I decided to then transition into going fully plant-based. It’s been an interesting process, and I admit that I’ve fallen off the vegan lifestyle every now and again, but it’s still definitely something I’m trying to pursue. The surprising thing is that so many people have been incredibly supportive and encouraging (not that the lack of support or encouragement would have deterred me anyway), and anytime I’ve gotten together with friends or went to a potluck, there was always at least one person who made sure I was taken care of. I’m still not fully sold on the idea of ever going fully vegan, but then again, I never thought I’d ever completely cut meat out of my diet, either. So we’ll see where this goes in a year.
4. Learn a new instrument
In my 2018 Goals blog post, I mentioned that I really wanted to learn the banjo. That desire is definitely still there, but due to multiple reasons, I don’t really see that happening anytime soon. I did, though, buy a mandolin a few months ago and started learning how to play. I’ve kind of fallen off of that wagon recently, but I still fully intend on learning how to play it, even at a super basic level.
5. Begin writing fiction
This is the one thing on my list of goals for the year that I didn’t follow through with. Over the summer, I met up with a friend, and we had plans to embark on a collaborative creative journey together (plans that involved writing and filming a mini-series), but, like I said earlier, grad school has fully taken over my life the past few months, leaving me with very limited mental capacity to write even a blog post, let alone an entire fictional series. This is still definitely a goal of mine to accomplish sometime in the future, but at this point, I think I know better now than to give myself a time frame to try and accomplish this.
6. Pay off one of my credit cards
As of last month, I have successfully paid off one of my credit cards! It took a lot of discipline and smart planning, but I did it. One of the main reasons why I wanted to pay off at least one of my credit cards is that I’ve been itching to buy a new car, and I’ve been talking about plans of buying a new car since I finished undergrad. Now that I have one less credit card to worry about, I can now seriously start budgeting for the new car I’ve been saying I was going to buy for the past year or so. Timeline wise, the new car is going to have to wait until March or April, but that gives me more time to get myself a little more out of debt. Ew, I’m such an adult.
This past year has been full of crazy seasons, but, as trite as it is to say, it’s even crazier looking back on the year and realizing how much has happened and how much things have changed. If there’s one thing I took away from this past year, it’s that the Lord is always faithful and follows through with His promises. This year was full of moments that forced me to reinforce my trust in the Lord, and trust that He has me in the comfort and protection of His embrace. Looking back at all of the things that He’s done in my life this past year, I eagerly await to see where He’s going to take me a year from now.
Seeing as how I’m still coming down from the rigors of grad school, I can’t promise that I’ll be posting every single day until Christmas like I did last year – I’m already off to a mediocre start by starting this year’s Blogmas 7 days late. But like I said, school has fully taken over my life, and I really needed a couple of days after the semester ended to let the dust settle. Please bear with me if I miss a day or two – I will say that I do have a few topics in mind that I would definitely like to write about at some point during my break in between semesters. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Did you set any goals for yourself for 2018? How did those go? Do you have any goals for next year? Leave your two cents in the comments.