It’s a new year.

It is just over a week since the new year, and it has already been an eventful year. January 2 was my 23 birthday and early in the morning my sweet nephew Oliver was born! I am already in love with this little boy and we get to share our special day for the rest of our lives–I feel privileged.

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Aunt Lydia and her little lamb, Oliver Daniel.

I spent a couple days in Indianapolis visiting my brother, sister-in-law and little Oliver. It was such a special time. I can honestly say, he has been such an inspiration of hope for me the last few months. I have been looking forward to his arrival, and I find some redemption in his birth on my birthday. Thankful for this little miracle.

When I returned to Chicago, my friend Matt was in town from California for his brother’s wedding. Matt and I played music in the Blue Devils and RCC indoor percussion for three years together, and it was wonderful seeing a familiar face. We ended up at a blues club that plays live music seven days a week. It was an awesome find.

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New Year Resolutions

Some people are wary of new year resolutions and skeptical. I have never made many in the past, but I think the idea is lovely. It is a chance to make a fresh start and try to challenge ourselves and grow. This year I have made a few commitments and with so many questions about my future right now, they have rejuvenated my drive and given me a renewed sense of purpose.

First, I will be more available. Bob Goff, in his book Love Does, encourages his readers to be more readily available to others. He specifically refers to answering the phone, and not letting it go to voicemail. I am going to be much better about this, and this will be a huge challenge for me.

I have never been a huge fan of talking on the phone. I’m awkward, I often pace while I’m on the phone, and I never know how to end a conversation naturally. It seems silly right? If you have talked on the phone with me, you’ve probably quickly noticed this. In any event, I am putting my fear aside and being much more readily willing to answer the phone and not let it go to voicemail. Call me? 🙂

Second, I am going to learn how to live more sacrificially. With a group of 18+ other people, I am challenging myself to run 1000 miles (about 20 miles/week) and save $1000 throughout 2013. This money will send food to the Thai/Burmese border. With 18 people participating, we will run 18,000 miles and provide 274,000 meals for Burmese Refugees.

I hesitated to write about this, because I do not want this to come off as just as another “cool” thing I’m doing and to come across prideful. I share this will you in an attempt to share our deep rooted desire to grasp what it means to respond to biblical justice and respond to God’s heart for the poor and needy.

A friend of mine initiated this goal and talked about his goal to live more dangerously, sacrificially and generously in 2013. I am thankful for this challenge and for another year to seek those things that stir God’s heart–how special it is that he allows us to respond and participate in his story of justice.

More on this to come…

This May, I will run my first mini-marathon, and it will be soon after I have a follow up scan regarding my thyroid cancer (we will see if the first round of radiation did the trick). I can imagine completing this race will be quite an emotional experience, especially depending on those results.

Health Update

I have returned to the weight I was before I was diagnosed last August. I never gained that much, but it was enough for me to notice and enough to struggle emotionally. I had no control over my body, and it was certainly a struggle. It didn’t matter how much I went to the gym, how little I ate or how much I slept (or didn’t sleep), my body responded to the lack of thyroid and medication however it pleased.

I have always been able to control and maintain my health and body, and I didn’t realize how much I took that for granted. All of this was taken from me the last few months, and I was not emotionally or mentally prepared for it. I am thankful for the struggle and the time I had to spend reaffirming my identity  without the exterior I was used to. I’ve always been confident in who I am, but I didn’t realize how much I depended on my physical strength to present this confidence.

Here’s to a new year, improved health and new beginnings.

Here’s to new adventures.

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