Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions for 2011

This is the first New Year's Eve I will celebrate through my blog, so I have decided to post my main resolutions here. Feel free to share some of your resolutions, as well! We can encourage each other as we express our hopes for 2011. =)

Exercise

As a blog-lover and student, I spend a lot of time indoors (in front of my computer). We have a lovely gym on campus, as well as a nature trail, and while I have used them in the past, I have become much more inconsistent with my workouts. I don't want to limit myself to only specific types of workouts, but I do want to work out at least three times a week, in some form or fashion. God has given me this body, and I need to take better care of it. In that sense, I also want to work on eating healthier (especially eating fewer sweets).

Learn to Drive

As some of you already know, I do not have my driver's license. I have never taken Driver's Education classes. I don't have my permit. And while I certainly don't want to rush into driving, I think it's time to learn. I'm still nervous, yes. And I don't want to get a car (which entails paying for gas and paying for car insurance) until it's absolutely necessary. But I know that I would gain more independence and be a greater help to my family if I knew how to drive. So my goal is to get my license before 2011 is over (preferably during the summer when I am at home).

Finish my Manuscript

This is a big one for me this year. I've had high hopes in the past of completing my manuscript, but it hasn't happened yet. This year, though, I'm setting forth a game plan. I told a dear friend about my desire to go to the Oregon Christian Writer's Conference this summer, and she encouraged me to go ahead and act as if I am going, even if it doesn't work out. So my goal is to finish my manuscript by May 31, 2011, and then polish and edit so that I can write a proposal and submit it for the conference. I'm about halfway through as of now. I love this story God has allowed me to write so far, and if it is His will I want to start taking the steps toward publication this year. Only He knows where it will go, but I think it's time to step out in faith and really set aside the time to write.

"Wake up with the Dawn"

One movie that has really touched me and blessed me is Tuck Everlasting. As a believer, I love the movie's message about not fearing death and truly living one's life. There are many great quotes from the movie, but one that I want to really live out this year is when Jesse tells Winnie, "Wake up with the dawn." If I don't have to be somewhere in the morning, I have a really hard time waking up early. (This could be partly due to the fact that I'm quite the night owl!) While I don't necessarily want to "wake up with the dawn" literally, I do want to treat each day as the gift it is and wake up earlier. I want to spend more time with the Lord, and I think it really does make a difference to start your day focusing on Him. I often wake up, get ready, and then look at my blog before rushing about with the activities of everyday life. I want to change that, and I know I can only do that through God's help. May I truly live for Him alone!



Whatever our resolutions are, may we seek God's will and seek His mercy and strength in living lives that will please Him throughout 2011 and all the days of our lives. See you in the New Year!

23 comments:

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

What great resolutions, Amber. Learning to drive is on my list as well, so I hope we can share in excitement of it all, together. Waking with the dawn is something I’d love to do too, but I fear my night owl-ish habits keep me sleeping in, in the mornings. And I LOVE Tuck Everlasting too. In fact, I think I'm going to go watch that right now.LOL I pray that you and your family have a wonderful and God-blessed New Year, Amber girl!
Love Ya,
Ashley

Amber S. said...

Ashley,

Thank you! :) That's cool that you'll be learning to drive, as well, and I would love to share the experience with you! I'm quite nervous about the idea, so it will be nice not to be alone. ;)

And glad to hear you love Tuck Everlasting, as well! Enjoy watching it! :D

I hope you and your family have a great and blessed New Year, as well, dear friend!

Love ya, too! :)

~Amber

Renee Ann said...

I didn't learn to drive until I was in my early 20's. Can't remember why I didn't in high school and then during college I felt the same as you--couldn't afford a car so why bother? I was also nervous because I waited so long, but cars and I took to each other pretty quickly. You'll be great once you start, Amber!

Amanda said...

Happy New Year, Amber!!! I’ve been waiting for your Resolutions post ;) Oh, and I just love your new background! And that picture is so beautiful!

Exercise. Yes that is definitely high on my list as well :) We bought an elliptical a few months ago and I used it the first couple weeks, but it has since turned into a coat rack! There is nothing wrong with wanting to get your temple healthy (it is God's house after all!), but I’ve used 1Timothy 4:8 as an excuse for far too long ;)

Driving. I have to smile because I was so scared to drive, you have no idea! I was homeschooled for high school so it was easy for me to put off drivers ed classes. I’m embarrassed to say that because of fear I waited until I was 21 to get my license! Now, I can’t believe I waited so long to get it! I’m not one of those fly-far-from-the-nest kind of people (my umbilical cord is still attached and it doesn’t stretch that far, you know? ;) ) but I can’t tell you the freedom and joy there is in being able to jump in the car and go wherever you want to go! Don’t rush into anything until you’re ready, but from someone who has been there and felt the same “nervousness”, once you finally do get it your gonna wish you went sooner ;)

Your manuscript. Girl, keep on writing and keep on planning because like Proverbs says, the Lord will direct your steps! :)

I love your resolution about waking with the dawn! Wasn’t that movie cute? I remember a really pretty melody in the movie. Was it a music box? I wish I had one that played that tune, it was beautiful :) And what you said here is a desire of my own heart. There is no greater Friend to start out day with and no greater Strength to equip us for what may lie ahead of us. There is a song by Nichole Nordeman that has the line “Your mercies are new every morning, so let me wake with the dawn.” So beautiful and so true!

This year I want to read my Bible more and spend more time with the Lord and form a deeper relationship with Him. I want less of me in me so I can be filled to overflowing with Jesus! I want praise more, complain less. I want more faith to believe my God is as big as He says He is and that through Him all things are possible. I want to be on fire for Christ! And, He has placed a Scripture on my heart that is truly my goal for this year- (1Timothy 4:12) “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Anyway, I’m sorry, that was a long one, LOL! Your resolutions are awesome, my friend, and I know through the strength of Jesus Christ we can do all things!!!

Blessings on your *new* day!
Amanda

Joy Tamsin David said...

Amber!

Happy New Year! I love your goals. Get working on that manuscript. You can do it!

I didn't learn how to drive until I was in college either. Good luck!

Joy

Kav said...

Happy New Year, Amber! Love your resolution list. One of mine is to finish my wip too. And guess what I'm reading right now? Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio. I think you have convereted me to that series. Can't wait until the PEI one comes out.

Amanda said...

Oh dear, I meant I want "to" praise more and complain less! The way I worded it sounded like *I* want the praise, LOL! New year, but apparently the same old brain ;)

Blessings,
Amanda

Bluerose said...

I love your Wake up with the Dawn resolution!

I've always lived way out in the country, so around here, I was really late getting my license @ 17. And it took me 5 times to actually get it! (I failed 3 times) 5 is my lucky number. So embarassing!! :)
I actually HATE driving now, though. All my appointments are out of town, and if my hubby has to work, my mother in law drives me. I'm so sad! I totally understand not wanting to get your license, though!!

Amber S. said...

Renee Ann,

Thank you for the comforting words! :) I haven't really had the desire to learn to drive in the past. I get rides everywhere, and it doesn't bother me to be a passenger. ;) But I know it will be good to learn, and I appreciate the confidence boost!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Happy New Year to you, as well! :) I'm glad you like the new background and picture! The picture is one my dad took as we were driving to Virginia City this past summer. I just thought it fit so well with new beginnings! :)

Ah, the elliptical! Those things are fun. ;) I confess that I prefer using those to the treadmills and bikes at our school, but I guess it also depends on my mood. Oh, and I looked up I Timothy 4:8--a good reminder to have proper focus, for sure. ;) It's good to exercise our bodies, but our spirits need it the most!

Thank you so much for the encouraging words about driving! I turn 20 in June, so I'll probably start driving right before or after then (hopefully!). I confess to being scared/nervous, but the freedom does sound very nice, and I'm glad to know it's not as bad once you know how! :)

And thank you for the encouragement about my manuscript! I'm excited to continue writing more of this story. Thank you for sharing the journey with me! :)

I do love that movie--it's very sweet! And that melody is beautiful! It wasn't quite a music "box," per se, but something similar that played as she wound/cranked it. :) I love what you say here about this resolution: "There is no greater Friend to start out day with and no greater Strength to equip us for what may lie ahead of us." Amen! And thank you for sharing that lovely quote, as well.

Your resolutions are wonderful! Thank you for sharing them here, and thank you for being the great example you are. :)

May God bless you in this "new" day, as well! :D

~Amber

P.S. Don't worry--I think we knew what you meant. ;)

Amber S. said...

Joy,

Thank you! And I definitely could use all the encouragement I can get in regards to my manuscript--so thanks! :)

And thank you for helping me feel better about driving! From all these comments, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who waited. ;)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Kav,

Happy New Year to you, as well! I hope all goes well with your WIP, too! :D

And I'm glad you're enjoying the "Love Finds You" books! ;) I hope you like the Sugarcreek one, and I definitely agree about the PEI one--looks great!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

Thank you! :D

I'll probably be 20 when I get my license, so i guess I'm rather late, too! ;) And I love getting rides places, so I understand. We'll see how driving myself goes!

~Amber

Amanda said...

How cute, your birthday is in June?? Mine is too!! Mine's June 8th, when's yours? I've been wanting to ask you when your b-day is- figure it's something friends should know about each other ;)

Blessings,
Amanda

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

How fun is that? :D My birthday is June 3rd! We'll have to have a big party in the blogging world. ;)

You're so sweet to want to know when my birthday is. Definitely a good thing for friends to know about each other! :)

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

Amber,

Your birthday is a special day for me, my anniversary :).

And I wanted to mention that I didn't get my license until I was 25!! In fact shortly before I got pregnant with my daughter. I really struggled with fear behind the wheel and I failed my driver's test several times. Once I started, it felt like I had always been driving though. It was nice to not have to depend on other people. I still struggle with fear at times but I'm amazed at how much easier it seems to get on the highway than it used to be.

I know I need to work on the fitness and eating, too. Amber, I'm thankful to you for being honest about the things that many of us struggle with on your blog. :)

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

How interesting about driving.

If a guy didn’t drive, he didn’t date! When I was in high school we taught our girlfriends how to drive in the Rose Bowl parking lot. There were acres and acres with nothing to hit – except another girl learning to drive! Yet the white lines were like having a road to follow.

You can learn a lot about another person by trying to teach them to drive or about someone who is trying to teach you to drive. In fact, this could well be the best premarital counseling there is. : )

Good luck with your goals and everything else in 2011 -- from a fellow Gemini!

Vince

Amber S. said...

Julia,

That's so cool! OK, this June we'll definitely have to celebrate! ;)

Thank you for sharing your experiences with driving. I confess that I'm not very eager to get behind the wheel, but if it does get easier once you start then I suppose the independence will be nice. :)

Also, thank you for your encouragement! I've got a lot to work on, but I just love that we have started a new year, and that each day is new, as well. :) I'm looking forward to more of the supportive blogging community in this new year!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Vince,

The Rose Bowl parking lot sounds like the perfect place to learn how to drive! I definitely need to have a place with lots and lots of room where I won't worry about hitting anything!

And what an interesting concept--driving lessons doubling as premarital counseling. I best be careful how I act when I learn how to drive if it really does reveal a lot about me. ;)

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, both in 2010 and in this new year. :) Good luck with all of your goals, as well! And another summer birthday? OK, lots of reasons to celebrate this next summer!

~Amber

Amanda said...

How wonderful! All this time we've been friends and I had no idea our b-days were so close! And, how cute that your b-day is the same day as Julia's anniversary! June is a very special month indeed and I'm looking forward to celebrating it with such dear friends :D

Blessings,
Amanda

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Me either! Definitely cool! :) I agree--June is a very special month, and I'm glad we all know that now. ;) I'm looking forward to celebrating with you, as well!

~Amber

Project Journal said...

Wow! I'm such a loser to not get here sooner :)

Exercise, well you know how I stand on that front. You're gonna do great with that, lol, I just know it, lady!!

Driving, I'm here for you always!! You are going to be a fantabulous driver. I am here to cheer you and Ashley on anytime you need it, just say the word! It is tricky to pay for car, the gas, the tires, the insurance (did I scare you out of it yet!?) but it works. It'll all work itself out. Most everyone has to go through it at one time or another, so don't stress out about. I know you, you'll do everything perfectly. You'll be a cautious driver, very aware of her surroundings. You will be respectful to other drivers. You won't text and drive! Lol...you're going to be brilliant, Amber.

TUCK EVERLASTING!!! What an incredible movie. Man, love it and the book is wicked good too! Oh snap, I'm gonna dig that out and reread it for your challenge, thanks for the idea! Ummmm we're so alike in this one, Amber. I stay up way too late! Lol! But for me it's because I can't sleep :) You definitely don't want to be burning both ends of the candlestick, so do what you can do. You'll be a better you if you can choose, as Audra was talking about today in Seekerville, hun. I mean, don't think we won't miss you if you can't spend as much time, but we can handle it. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we want the very best for you. You deserve everything under the sun.

Manuscript, I cannot wait for that day that I can rush to the bookstore and request, yes I would request even though I know I could find it on my own, help to find the book by my very close friend Amber Stokes!!! Lol! It's a day I so look forward to, my dear : ) You have such a way with words. Even when you're not writing to tell a story you speak with such eloquence and grace. I can only imagine what you must be like when you're talking! Lol...anyway, you are going to be an incredible author. So stay strong and determined, you know it'll be a possibly long road, but I know with your faith you will see it through.

Amber, I don't think that there are enough words in the human race, or maybe just my vocabulary, that can get across my support, encouragement, and sheer admiration for you. You have so many amazing qualities. I hope that you know you can lean on me whenever you need to, even though we may have many states between us :( I know you must have other offers, but I'm just putting myself out there lol....Okay, that's my rambling for today! Can't wait to chat sometime. With love,
Hannah

Amber S. said...

Hannah,

You are so incredibly encouraging, my friend, and I really appreciate your supportive and kind words here! :D Thank you for offering words of advice in regards to driving--it's nice to know that it's not really too scary. ;)

I love Tuck Everlasting (the movie), as well! I've never read the book, but I hope you enjoy re-reading it for the challenge!

It means so much that you're excited about my possibly getting published someday! All of your encouraging words here mean so much, and I wish the best in this new year and in all the years to come for you, as well! :) From seeing you around the blogosphere, it is obvious that you are creative, caring, and an all-around wonderful person, and I'm so glad we could become friends over this past year!

~Amber