Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Favorite Things, Part 4

In tribute to my three years of living in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago, I am having a favorite things week. You can thank me later. 

I have always been a goal setter.  A resolution maker.  Even when I was a small girl, I remember the allure of the new year and the endless opportunities that empty calendar of 365 days brought with it.

My word for 2013 is act--discussed in this post.  Here it is, the end of January--the perfect time to share how I've fared on my goal.

Trying to look at yourself objectively is really impossible, right?  But attempting to be as objective as I can, I must say that this has been an excellent month so far.  I can see my approach to life changing a tiny bit every day.

I am acting more purposefully with my time--setting realistic achievements for each day instead of writing unattainable lists and beating myself up at bedtime that only three or four things have been checked off the list.

My reactions, for the most part, have been more controlled and hopefully manifest the change that is happening within me.  I feel different because I feel differently--gauging how others will react or feel when I say what I'm thinking instead of spouting off the first thing that enters my mind, regardless of feelings or consequences.

Because I feel different, I have been better to myself--giving myself credit for many of the small things I do each day that make our family life easier and better, like making dinner when I don't want to or encouraging kids to write in their journals even though they fight me every time.  I've also been able to cut myself a little slack when I fall short of what I think I should be--forgiving a day of poor eating choices or celebrating the fact that my house was mostly clean most days instead of lamenting the lapses in between.

I have found joy in small acts of service each day.  By adding Elder Ballard's small request to my prayers each morning, I have acted on small promptings to help others--from taking time to help Micah write a poem for school to texting a friend who may need a little cheer to bigger things like taking a meal to someone who may just need to know they're loved--and my days have felt more rewarding and satisfying.  I have yet to change the world, but I have added drops of honey a morsel at a time, and it has changed my perspective on life and the difference one person can make on a small scale, when that one person isn't consumed with anyone around noticing their efforts and patting them on the back for it.

I am taking an institute class this year on the Old Testament, and I am fascinated with the concept of phylacteries--the small boxes filled with scripture verses that Orthodox Jewish men strap to their foreheads and biceps during prayer, reminding them of their covenant between God and themselves to be better.  When I saw the necklaces in the word of inspiration line at The Vintage Pearl, I knew I wanted one of these physical representations of my inner commitment for 2013.
I love wearing it--almost daily--because whenever I see it in the mirror or feel it against my skin it reminds me to actAct with purpose.  Act not react.  Act with a heart turned to serving others.  Act kindly, with my family and with myself.

I contacted The Vintage Pearl to tell them how much I loved my new necklace, and they gave me a promo code for my readers dentonfam15,  for 15% off anything on their site, good through February 9th.  Take advantage of it!  FYI, I didn't get reimbursed in any way for my kind words.  I just love their products.


  1. So great to hear that someone can keep their New Year resolution. We should all have that one. LOVE

  2. love that necklace...the word is perfect, too. Acting instead of reacting....

    PS LOVE Gone with the Wind...wish I could write a fraction as well as Ms. Mitchell!

  3. Love the way you liken your necklace to the phylacteries (had to go back to the post for that word!). Tangible reminders of intangible hopes and desires.

    So glad you updated us on your goal for the year, I hope you will keep posting your thoughts and progress along the way.

    Loving, just loving these posts this week.

  4. Yea! Great job on the first month-- feels good to start it off right.

    And yes one person can really make a difference and I don't think we will ever really how fully we have made a difference as goodness really spreads.

  5. Act. Not react. I like that, and need to remember it. Because way too often I do the latter and not the former. Love your necklace. I'm a fan of Vintage Pearl too.