2016 Resolutions

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New Years Resolutions

Resolutions can often feel cliched and over done but this year I wanted to commit to 3 specific and thought out goals. Many times I write down my goals from the coming years and then forget about them for the next 364 days. With this short and more detailed list I feel that I will be more equipped to accomplish the tasks I set out for myself. So here they are 3 ways that I want to do better by 2016, to make it a great year for me and those I am surrounded by.

 

Live more simply.

In 2016 I want to make it a priority to live more simply. This past year I have started to feel the weight of all the stuff that we humans like to make a priority. I felt I always wanting more material things, thinking that they if I could just purchase that one thing my life would be so much better or change so drastically. Relying on stuff, material and worldly stuff, to fix my life and make me happy is not a way that I want to live. Material things have come between my relationship with God and my relationship with people. So in 2016 I pledge to make a change, I want to put my hope in the Lord, in people, and in love, not the stuff I can buy with my tip money.

 

Give more. 

Give more of my time, attention, love, money, and just give more. The world today is so focused on ME, me time and self care and treat yourself. The world says “give to yourself you deserve it”, I have bought into this lie and I have paid for it, really making myself a priority in my life only made my life harder. Giving myself a break from studying and homework when I really hadn’t deserved it or needed it, caused me to do worse in school and not learn from my instructors.  Buying myself things on a whim because I deserved it and it is my money became a big burden not only did I spend money things I didn’t need but I felt I missed many opportunities to bless others. In 2016 I want pull myself out of the center of my world. I deeply regret all the time wasted on myself in 2015 that could have been spent with my family or friends being present and enjoying the wonderful things about others. Giving more to others and experience blessings that way is something that I missed in 2015 and do not want to let slip away in 2016.

 

Learn everyday. 

I want to always be learning new things. This resolution could manifest as simply as picking up a new hobby like sewing or knitting but it could also be on a grander scale. I want to grow deeper in knowledge about the world around me which the Lord has created. Through reading and listening and finding new experiences I want to be learning all the time. I hope to return to you all this time next year with a list of things I couldn’t do and didn’t know before. What I learn, I hope, will not only be fun and interesting but also be beneficial to me as I grow up and go out into the world. Yes, I may be faced with a challenging task or subject but in 2016 I want to learn everyday with a hunger and a passion.

 

Thank you all so much for reading this year. Thank you to friends and family that support me in this blogging adventure. Thank you to those godly women whose blogs I love to read who inspired this. If you would like to share you resolutions for this year I would love love love to hear them so leave a comment down below. Welcome to 2016 may it be a beautiful new year.

-Hanna Caroline

East of Eden | Book Review 3

And my love for Steinbeck grows! What a whirlwind of a book, vast and episodic yet focused and detailed. Set, mainly, in the ever changing hills of Salinas valley East of Eden is a novel that keeps your brain awake the entire time you read.  In East of Eden Steinbeck plays out the age old battle, good vs. evil, over and over through the life of Adam Trask starting from his birth. Steinbeck deals with the fight of good vs. evil in the world in general and also the fight between good and bad that is within each individual person.

The battle is best represented in Adams son Cal. He observes the battles between light and dark in the world around him but has a difficult time facing them within himself. He feels stuck in the shadow of his brothers purity and perfection. Cal struggles with the idea that if you are bad you are all the way bad and his love for his brother blinds him to Aron’s shortcomings. Though it is not till the end of the book that Cal has a revelation and realizes that no one is purely good and he must learn this.

I have two quotes from this book that I wanted to share with you the first being:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.”

I will let you all read the book to find out the context of this quote but I think standing alone this quote says a lot about pressure that can be put on people. How people deal with being held up to a standard of perfection when there is not a single person on this earth that is perfect. Reading this quote reminds me that once I stop pressuring myself to be perfect at every aspect of my life, I can be good.

The second quote is:

“We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.”

I love this quote for its final line “virtue is immortal”. It makes one feel as though even with the constant battle of good and evil going on inside of ourselves and in the world virtue will always prevail because it is immortal.

I was so excited to read this book as I had read reviews and heard that it was one of Steinbeck’s best. And now I cannot wait to re-read it and fill the margins with notes and comments, and to highlight all of my favorite quotes. This book is amazing to read for fun but was for me a great learning experience. I feel that by focusing on how the book was written as I read I was able to learn more and more about Steinbeck’s writing style.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to take it on. It’s definitely a commitment as it is quite long, but I think if you do read it you will not be disappointed.