My life is one of those holding patterns of late, it seems. It’s not a bad, anxious pattern, just one where the course of the next few months seems fairly certain and stable with nothing too new or too exciting in the works. My life isn’t usually stable for that long – even in a steady teaching gig, the students and classes change every four months. So when I look ahead and see six months of relative calm, it’s rare.

Last night, I started thinking about what I could do with this time. I feel very at peace with life, and I am very excited about what I see unfolding before me. God is doing amazing things, and honestly, for once, I’m content to watch and see what happens. But I feel like these spaces where the pattern moves forward without much effort from me are places where I can experience huge growth. Thus, I set some goals last night.

First, I am going to stop buying books for six months. (I’ve mentioned this before, I know). Honestly, though, I am buried in books. I give them away all the time, and still the pile at the foot of my bed keeps growing and growing. I need to curb this pattern of consumption and be more grateful for what I already have.

Secondly, I am going to read all of these books that I own and have not ever read. (You can do this, too, if you want to participate in our Read the Books You’ve Always Wanted to Read Challenge.) Obviously, this goal is tied to my first. I’ll keep you posted. So far, the going is slow, but at least I’m going.

Third, I’m going to make a very conscious effort to not waste any food. I will eat all of my leftovers before they spoil. I will not buy food that I cannot consume before it goes bad. I will not waste bites simply because I’m bored with what I’m eating. As Joy Ike pointed out in her interview with me, “According to the USDA, if just 5 percent of Americans’ food scraps were recovered it would represent one day’s worth of food for 4 million people.” With so many hungry people in the world, the least I can do is appreciate what I have been given and not throw it away like waste rather than the precious commodity of energy and life.

I have some other goals but those, well, those are between God and I, at least for now. There’s some stuff I need to work on, some habits I need to change, some places in my heart that need to be healed and stretched. I’ll be using these six months to be with God in these places. Yea!

As I see the six months ahead in my mind, I don’t have a clear picture of the specifics, but I do imagine a dirt roadway that weaves through forests and across meadows. I picture myself in one of those books I love so much – The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia – a simple girl called to something of which she can’t be sure but with a path before her and a strong right hand guiding her forward to the dreams she has been promised.

Narnia-like PathRostrevor, Mourne Mountains