Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: the Year of the Snake

St. George & the Dragon by Trina Schart Hyman
We are standing in the final footsteps of a dying year. The credits are rolling. The sequel is about to begin. And it looks like there will be dragons.

In keeping with my promise on Friday, here are a few of my New Year's resolutions, which all seem to have to do with learning, because I have a lot to learn.
  1. Have more fun with writing this year. Don't get stressed with it and think of it as work. Play with it. Learn it. 
  2. Do new things. Don't stay inside my bubble of writing-related stuff. Branch out and learn something completely different.
  3. Wrap up school/college, and savor learning along the way.
  4. Learn to be a servant not only in the big things, but also in the little things as well. 
And since, without repentance, serious resolutions can never come to be, here is my chief New Year's repentance:

I am lazy, complacent, and afraid of pain. I need to:

Put off: staying comfortable, which is serving myself.
Put on: willingness to serve other people, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts. When it's inconvenient or humiliating. When it's exhausting and uncomfortable.

This ties in with my word (or lesson) for the New Year. For 2012 my word was chosen because I've been learning to accept that not only does God care about me, but also that He chose me. Not only that He chose me, but also that He gave me everything. Not only that He gave it to me, but that He gave it to all the world. I felt like I was learning about His grace, and learning to wonder at His grace.

So it seems to follow that for 2013 my word is servant. Because God has done so much for me, it gives me a desire to do much for other people. Right now I feel like I have almost a hunger to serve, to take care of and take charge of the big things. That's why I took on not only the church Christmas play, but also the children's choir. However, in 2013 I want to focus on being a servant not only in the big things but the little things as well. I want to use this time I've been given to serve as exorbitantly and passionately as I possibly can, wherever I am. I want to be used up with service. I want to empty my store of love. Only when that happens can you find that is actually overflowing.

2013 is a year that will be filled with dragons. Economic and financial dragons. Relational and spiritual dragons. Mental and physical dragons. 2013 is the year of the snake, the year of temptation, the year of the serpent. What 2013 needs is dragon-slayers. But it needs dragon-slayers who are servants, which is why I sorely need to learn this lesson.

But before I can slay dragons I need to repent of the dragons I have not slain, that I have allowed to flourish and grow instead. Before I can learn to serve and be selfless I need to repent of having been selfish.

Repentance is putting off the old and putting on the new. God grant me the grace to repent this coming year, to take what He gives me with blessing, and to pour out myself in love to other people.

God grant us all the grace to crush the head of the snake beneath our feet this year.


  1. Very moving post, Lauren. Praying that Christ will give you strength to serve Him in all things in the coming year.

  2. Very positive post with a most poignant message. All my best to you in the coming year.

  3. "Have more fun with writing this year. Don't get stressed with it and think of it as work. Play with it. Learn it."

    Great first resolution, Lauren! We all need this reminder - thanks for that.

  4. Lauren, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    The resolutions you have made for this coming year seem to me a direct reflection of the learning you have gained this past year. Growing is an attribute of a great writer. As your peer in the realm of writing, I want to share some perspective. Not that I have achieved any feats of writing that warrant you grant weight to my opinion. I simply have been writing for some time, and experience has shown me consistent lessons.

    You are on to something with your resolution to not stress out about writing. Writing is work, no doubt. It can be intense, and demanding to the very core of your person. And, there can be a seriousness, even heaviness, about it unlike any other endeavor – mostly self-inflicted, mind you.

    But, it is also playful. There is a duality inherent in the creative process. It is hard, demanding work. Yet, it is child-like at the same time. Great art reflects both realities simultaneously. I am not saying it will always be evident to the observer or that the subject matter will reflect playfulness. But, the process of creating art, I think, will naturally evoke both serious work and play.

    What is art but the immaterial imagination given a place in the material world? What is art but make-believe given a chance to exist in reality? In my view, those who teach that artistic ability is merely to be employed to reflect reality as it currently exists are missing the whole point of art – and thinking, for that matter. Inventors do not invent for the purpose of representing reality; they invent to present a new reality and to change paradigms. Artists are the same. They invent ways of viewing the world and all it contains.

    Some who are reading this may misunderstand me. So, I will head off one particular argument right here: I am not saying there is no reality and we create our own. Our God, Ruler over all, is our ultimate reality. This same God also gave each one a personality, the ability to perceive, and the ability to create – using the elements He created for us. We are to honor Him with all we are and have.

    Of course, honor your father and your mother in all these endeavors as they provide guidance. Respect their boundaries. Glorify God. But, create!

    Some use this reality as an excuse for dullness and unimaginative ways of viewing the world. God is not honored by dry stodginess. There are always people who want to put artists in a box. Such people should be respectfully engaged in conversation, or ignored. The latter is often more fruitful.

    The Lord has made some beautiful, awe-inspiring things that demand great honor and command an air of reverence. He also made the duck-billed platypus, the giraffe, and sea otters. The Lord knows about playfulness and enjoys it in His creatures.

    I am pretty sure, Lauren, that I long ago crossed the line between succinctly making my point and being verbose in this post. But, you took the time to share your thoughts and they are good thoughts, worthy of a thoughtful response. The play you wrote and directed for this Christmas is a wonderful glimpse into your writing talent, your creative ability. Persist at it. Wrestle it. Work hard at it with passion. Foster and savor the playfulness, too!

  5. Happy new year! Good luck with all your resolutions for 2013! They all sound like great things to achieve. Having fun with writing is so important. One of the reasons why I burnt out on writing in 2012 is because it started feeling too much like work to me. Hopefully that won't happen to you and you will, indeed, find more joy in the process!

  6. I do like your goals, they are all good ones and ones which will help later in life as well. I hope this year is a very good one for you, filled with lots of learning and new experiences.



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