A Different New Year’s Experience:


THE MESSAGE AT CHURCH

I’ll write about the inspiring moments first that happened during my break for almost two full days from social media.  I started New Year’s Eve going to church, which honestly is probably the very first time I ever did.  We arrived 30 minutes early to get seats in the main auditorium because at the Christmas service we ended up sitting in an ancillary room, so this time we arrived 30 minutes early again, thinking it wouldn’t be quite as crowded, for New Year’s Eve, and thankfully it wasn’t.  If you look at the photo, this is what it looked like when we arrived:  we could have been seated anywhere here!

I went to church with my kids and met my friend, Krista, her longtime childhood friend, Dawn, Dawns daughter and mom; we had seven of us meeting, so we planned to save seats so we could sit by one another.  As soon as I arrived, I texted Krista this picture and caption:

 

the-crossing“LOL…which seat!! we went back to the lobby”

Once again, the message at church was so relevant to each of us attending. It was about meaningful friendships and how important friendships truly are in our lives:  someone who has your back, someone who is there for you!  This hit home with all of us.  We certainly had the friend presence there on New Year’s Eve with seven of us attending:  it was nice being there with friends and kids.  Further into the message, the Pastor leading the service asked everyone to reflect on the last few weeks of holiday celebrations and get togethers: “Who did you see, that you haven’t seen in a while and were glad to see?”  or “Who did you miss that wasn’t there?”  and then said that whoever’s name comes to mind in the answer(s) to those questions indicates an important relationship for you.  He also talked about the relationships that have fallen apart and how important it is to mend those relationships.  He talked about how relationships contribute to getting us closer to God and presented examples from the Bible.  It was a meaningful way to begin the evening and think about heading into the New Year:

FRIENDSHIPS!

The next day, New Year’s Day, I received a text from another friend telling me to watch The Crossing… saying “it’s crazy how on point the message is to what you’ve been thinking” …  that message blew me away because, yes, it was, I noticed that too, and now another friend noticed it as well.  So often the messages at The Crossing are perfect timing.  Like anything else, friendships go through good times and challenging times, so there is always a need for communication to keep it strong. Sometimes that’s easier said, than acted on though.  But I know it made each one of us think, and some acted on it already, but others are still thinking about it.

THE GIFT

The second inspirational event was reading “The Gift”, by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D….wow.  When I started reading this, I had one of those moments where I thought:   “I relate so much to this, I could have written this observation”, not referring to the writing style, but referring to much of the content: what’s been on my mind in 2016, what I’ve been surrounding myself with during the past year of changes and transitions. So much of this is put into words here, in a much better way than I could ever do. In fact, I put some of this into an email I drafted yesterday to send to a few friends on 1/2/17, following my social media break (haha), I just can’t be still for too long!  Anyway here are a few highlights of the book, and if you are interested you can buy it here:  “The Gift”by Shad Helmstetter PhD.  I almost posted the 12 Tools he listed, but thought it wouldn’t be fair to the author after he spent over 30 years researching and experience compiling this list!

The uneventful New Year’s detail:  How I spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:

  1. Slept in; then made breakfast for the kids and me.
  2. Played iTunes Music on shuffle all day long!
  3. Did Laundry.
  4. Went to the gym, worked out for an hour.
  5. Showered, got ready and went to church with the kids, my friend Krista, Dawn B. her daughter and mom
  6. Drove my son to an overnight party.
  7. Straightened up my place because my daughter planned to have friends stay overnight, after they return from a party.
  8. My daughter and her friend left for the party.headed-out-for-nye
  9. Heated up left-overs for dinner.
  10. Turned on the Blues/Blackhawks game, recorded earlier, but I couldn’t sit still to watch, too much on my mind.
  11. Decided to pay bills, maybe read a book later, made coffee.
  12. Drafted an email to send out 1/2/16
  13. Started writing this post.
  14. Installed new hardware on my front door and finished up at 11:50 pm, thinking..wow…this is how I’m ringing in the new year?!
  15. new-hardware-installation-prep
  16. Turned off my music and turned on PitBull and Snoop Dogg’s New Year’s Eve Countdown…it took me back to the Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa concert I went to this summer!  Saw the countdown to New Years, then texted family and a few friends… yeah, I can’t completely hibernate from others!
  17. About an hour later the overnight guests arrived, so I talked to them for a while, and then read a book until 2 am, then I decided that I needed to sleep so I didn’t ruin the first day of the year.
  18. Woke up with more ideas, started reading again, made coffee.
  19. Texted with some friends in the morning.
  20. Phone call with a friend in the morning.
  21. Slowly the rest of the group was waking, so I made breakfast for everyone.
  22. Picked up my son from the overnight, he wanted to play Xbox right away, so I started writing this again and finally made my own breakfast.
  23. I then got a text about the 30 Days to Healthy Living program that starts 1/2/17, so I failed my social media break, but just until I got the question answered and shut it down again…so I didn’t quite make the 2 full days. I was tempted to scroll more, but didn’t….just took care of what I needed to take care of, then got offline again! But it was so tempting to see what people posted and respond to the notifications I had.
  24. More laundry.
  25. Made lunch for everyone and we sat around and talked pretty much until late afternoon, it was great! A lazy no-commitment day with football games on TV in the background.
  26. Read more of the book
  27. Texted with family
  28. Texted with a friend
  29. Wrote a little more.
  30. Put away all the Christmas Décor.
  31. Made dinner for my son and his friend because they weren’t hungry earlier.
  32. Went to Bed.

In summary, it was simply an ordinary day, where I probably accomplished more by not being on social media and there were some good moments, it wasn’t as bad as I though it would be.

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