Friday, October 2, 2009

Ground-Zero: 365 days left, 100 books to go!

Well Day One definitely feels like THE BEGINNING!

Especially since the first thing I've read this morning is The Book of Genesis, chapters 1-2.  Such an inspiring way to delve into a new project.  As daunting as it seems when I peruse through all the classic selections I've challenged myself to read...being reminded how God created the universe in 6 days makes reading 100 books in 365 days not sound so bad!  I'm very humbled beneath this task.  And I'm excited that I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover in the next 365 days as well.  It's a feat I've accomplished several times in my life already....but admittedly have failed in the last 3 or 4 attempts.  Although I have quite the year of new experiences ahead of me and partly think I'm insane to tackle a project like this with everything else that's coming my way this year...I am oddly encouraged that this challenge might give me the direction, purpose, knowledge and inspiration I so desperately need this year!

So let's take inventory of the beginning of Day 1:
  • Personal Status:  Day 3 of a cold...but I slept better last night, so things are looking up!
  • Baby Status:  1 day shy of 19 weeks pregnant...or 4 months now!  In the 2nd Trimester (part where I feel pretty great)!  Am just starting to feel the baby kick & we are loving it!!!
  • Husband Status:  One of the things that cautioned me in "Julie & Julia" was how utterly absorbing Julie Powell's project was & how it left everything else in her life in the shadow, including her husband & her marriage.  Although Jay hasn't seen the movie...he knows how I get when I'm into a good book and/or working on an intense project and while I think he's on-board with this new endeavor of mine...he has had no qualms in saying, "But when I don't have any homework & want to do something with better not be constantly turning me down to read!" 
  • Friends & Family Status:   So far only our roommate Amy & my brother Danny (who's currently a roommate of ours as well) know about this challenge.  Amy has been a part of the conversations that this can't be something that overtakes my life to the point where I'm turning-down social opportunities at every turn...& I think she thinks I'm a little crazy, but we shall see!  Oh & this just in, Mom called so I told her about this project....she thinks I'm crazy too...doesn't think I should expect much of myself by way of this project once I've had the'll see!
  • Genesis 1-2, wow!  This is the God I believe in..."And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."  Genesis 1:3  I need to stop & truly think about that more often...not take my belief in this God so for granted..."So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it."  Genesis 1:27, 28  I need to live my life more under the knowledge that I was created in God's image...not to be taken lightly..."To whom much is given, much is to be expected..."  right?  Oh, and we're working on the being fruitful & multiplying thing!  I pondered on the beginning of chapter 2 when God took the 7th day to rest....I considered how I can place importance on my Sabaaths & have them as a day set apart, in light of this project...Jay didn't feel that I need to decide not to read on Sundays, but as he normally has his homework mostly caught-up by the time Sunday rolls around...he has offered that my Sundays can be a less intense reading day while I take time to go to church & be with him.  It sounds nice!  Genesis 2, verse 7 is just the most gorgeous poetry, "the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the Breath of life, and the man became a living being."...............and lastly, verse 9 "In the middle of the garden were the tree of life adn the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."  Since we know have the knowledge of good & evil...I'm interested in how much I'll learn over the course of the next year....about both!
  • Matthew 1....And Sonja was the mother of Debbie, Debbie the mother of Michelle, Michelle...mother to be!  They were big on their genealogies in bible times, weren't they?  I find that reading about Mary conceiving Jesus by the Holy Spirit gives me an entire new fascination now that I'm pregnant myself..."she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit."  (vs. 18)  "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name, Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."  (vs. 21)  Far from the Son of God, but still a child of God I'm bearing....makes me wonder what he or she will bring to the world......
  •  Simple Abundance, Oct. 2nd:  "It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction"  Pablo Picasso  On day 1, that's how I see this's exciting &'s focused on one of my true great's goal oriented and requires something from me daily...I'm thrilled!  "Our work - especially if it's our grand passion- can be so seductive that we can find ourselves completely caught up in its rapture, unable to resist."  I am picturing this project as the upcoming year's work...I will first & foremost be Michelle Nelson, child of God.  I will secondly be the wife of Jay Nelson & mother of our new baby.  I will have my place in the world to navigate, including friends, family, acquaintances, neighbors, volunteering & selfless giving.  But I will also have this work....and who's to say that it won't be my own personal passion?!  "The ultimate seduction if often accompanied by the ultimate addictions:  workaholism & perfectionism."  Of those I am aware & desire that they will not overtake the joy of this project or the purpose of my life.  Today's reading in Sarah's book was obviously ordained for me to read on THIS DAY...the closing paragraph is everything I need to remember on Day 1 of this project: 
"When we succumb to workaholism, what's really happening is that we've lost faith in the Spirit's willingness to help us achieve success. We've separated the secular from the spiritual.  Asking for grace doesn't seem as practical as working round the clock.  When was the last time Spirit accompanied you to work?  When was the last time you asked It to?"

  May this experience be a spiritual one for me...may I take what I read in these inspirational books each day & apply them to the rest of my tasks.  I ask God to accompany me, absolutely....anything good I can accomplish is through His strength alone anyhow!
  •   The Love Dare:  I have to admit that I attempted to tackle "The Love Dare" months ago...and didn't proceed past Day 2.  It may be that becaue my marriage is already the best part about my life, undoubtedly...that I didn't have the dedication to commit to improving it...why fix what isn't broken?  But at the beginning of this reading project, I want to set the tone for my relationship with Jay being a very TOP 1:  Love is Patient  "Love works.  It is life's most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize.  It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest of problems."  God's actually been teaching me that lately very is stronger than hate...sounds so simple...but I'm realizing the depth to that truth & the praticality of applying it.  "Patience...makes us wise."  I have seen that, even in the past couple of weeks...and it's typically not a strong suit of mine.  "Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human."  Day 1 Love Dare Challenge:  Resolve to demonstrate Patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all.
    • Note on how that challenge went...I definitely encountered an opportunity to choose to be patient & keep my lips shut with Jay today....he had a little run-in with an incredibly unfriendly Costo Custmer Service employee....I could have reacted even better, I am sure...but I WAS consciously reminding myself to be patient & choose the wisdom of silence over any criticisms!!!  Jay so rarely loses his cool that it was an out-of-the-ordinary experience...ha, ha!
  • The Shack:  About 3/4 finished....incredible....more to say about it tomorrow......
*Altogether....a successful day....goodnight!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, many people will think you are crazy but you are my crazy pregrant avid reader! I love you and love the passion that you pour into life!! You definitely keep things interesting