in 2014, I will be…STRONG

I love New Year’s Resolutions. Heck, I love all kinds of goals and every excuse to make them and renew them. And I’ve resolved to never do them the same way twice. So, for 2014, I wrote this post about my goals for the year in the form of 6 different words that I want to be committed to this year. I thought it would be fun to take some time to explore each of the words and how they are weaving into my life in this season. The first one is creative.

The second one is STRONG.

strong (strôNG) – adjective

  1. having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks.
    • able to perform a specified action well and powerfully.
      exerting great force.
    • (of an argument or case) likely to succeed because of sound reasoning or convincing evidence.
    • possessing skills and qualities that create a likelihood of success.
    • powerfully affecting the mind, senses, or emotions.
      used after a number to indicate the size of a group.
  2. able to withstand great force or pressure.
    • (of a person’s constitution) not easily affected by disease or hardship.
    • not easily disturbed, upset, or affected.
      (of a person’s character) showing determination, self-control, and good judgment.
    • (of a market) having steadily high or rising prices.
    • firmly held or established.

I want to be a strong person, in all the different aspects of my self – physical, mental, spiritual, relational. I’ve never heard anyone attribute the word “strong” to me before, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that. It’s a formidable goal, to be seen that way, without being seen as closed-off or inaccessible.

I think that for most of my life, I’ve pitted strength and vulnerability against each other, and so I’ve pursued strength in a lot of ways, but often at the expense of vulnerability.

So this year, I have and will continue, to pursue strength, knowing that strength is developed through trial and practice, and knowing that strength actually requires the courage to be vulnerable.

I want to be physically strong – able to help others, able to defend myself, able to withstand pressure and outrun danger.  I want to be mentally strong – able to overcome fear and anxiety, able to control thoughts and actions, and able to repel the hurts that come from oversensitivity. I want to be spiritually strong – able to recognize the voice of God, able to recall the facts and experiences that generate faith, and able to worship and serve with humility. I want to be relationally strong – able to listen patiently, able to control my responses, and able to be intentional with my love .

A conversation from the show “Bones” stands out to me as I think about strength:

Dr. Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan: I’m… quite strong.
Special Agent Seeley Booth: Yeah, well, you’ve always been strong.
Brennan: You know the difference between strength and imperviousness, right?
Booth: Well, not if you’re going to get all scientific on me.
Brennan: Well, a substance that is impervious to damage doesn’t need to be strong.
Booth: Hmm.
Brennan: When you and I met. I was an impervious substance. Now I’m a strong substance.
Booth: I think I know what you mean.
Brennan: A time could come when you aren’t angry any more and I’m strong enough to risk losing the last of my imperviosness. Maybe then we could try.



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