I'm proud to present the writer of this post... my younger sister, Aria! As I hinted at in my post about the plan for this year, she's a great writer and an incredibly wise lady, even at a younger age. This is the first in a series that will introduce each month's theme here on the blog, beginning with January: Starting Fresh and Asking Questions.
Hey, Flashback Summer followers! Happy 2015!
Before I get to how cool this year will be, let me first introduce myself.
My name is Aria, and I ask a lot of questions. I love questions. Remember those email questionnaires that were popular in (my) elementary school days? The ones where you’d fill out all 1,500+ (slight exaggeration) questions about pointless things, like what your favorite color is, what your second child’s name will be, and your reflections on beef jerky? I may have filled out every one I received, and passed them on. Vain…maybe. Fun…for sure.
Since my elementary days, though, I’ve learned to not only revel in answering questions but to also delight in asking questions, in discovering who people are and what makes their hearts sing (and maybe I also delight in being melodramatic—you tell me). I’ve learned to treasure people’s stories and to learn from them.
So—you knew this was coming—what’s your story?
The way I see it, this new year is a blank book, a blank page. There will be more on that later this month, but this blank book idea and talking about questions has stirred a new question in me: If you could have one question answered this year, what would it be?
I have a feeling you probably got sassy just then and thought of something like, “Why does chocolate taste so good?” or “Why is Jimmy Fallon SO COOL?” Maybe that’s just me.
Seriously, though, what question would you want answered? We know that some are impossible to answer, and some take a lot of time to reveal the answer.
As a twenty-one year old college junior, two questions have surfaced in my mind time and again these days. Maybe you’ve considered them, too.
WHO AM I? AND WHO AM I BECOMING?
Simple questions with profound ramifications. As I reflect on this new year and the idea of goals, I can’t help but wonder how these questions factor in. When I think of goals, a lot of times, I think of external achievements, like business deals, pounds lost, friends made, and dreams materialized. Effective goals have measurable ends, so it makes sense. These questions have lead me to think of something much longer-lasting, however. We’ve all seen, some even firsthand, the effects of people who seem to have it all, but are eventually ruined by their character, or lack thereof. Weaknesses and character flaws can be uncomfortable and even painful to look at, so it is easy to put them aside and make excuses for them. They can only be ignored for so long, however, before the cracks begin to show and something breaks, sometimes breaking apart families, businesses, organizations, or communities.
So, who are you? And who are you becoming?
Have you considered these questions as you decide what to focus on this year? This new type of post here on Flashback Summer is called "Compact of Character," and it exists because we all have room for improvement. In a production-driven society it’s easy to push character development to the fringes, but in the long run, deciding who you want to be and what you will value in life will help to give you direction, focus, and authenticity in your lifestyle, today and into the future.
I ask again, who are you? And who are you becoming?
A deep question to begin our blog friendship, but I don’t ask questions I’m not willing to answer. One of my answers has to do with what I eat and why. Although I strive towards healthy eating habits, I have a tendency to eat my feelings. This year, I’m changing that. Some of my greatest and deepest questions have been answered by discovering Jesus’ love for me, so instead of turning to Ben and Jerry for comfort, I’m making a practical effort to find more freedom by turning to Jesus first.
I mentioned before that I would talk about how cool this year is going to be. Oh, friend, it’s going to be cool. It’s going to be fun sometimes and painful other times, peaceful sometimes and stressful sometimes, but wildly beautiful all the same. Your character is going to affect your response to everything life brings this year.
So, let me ask you: who are you? And who are you becoming?