Jessie Richards had a role in the production of Activated from 2001 to 2012, and has written a number of articles as an Activated staff writer. She has also written and edited material for other Christian publications and websites.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep. Over the past several years, I’ve gotten considerably better at both through learning various dos and don’ts. On an average night, though, it still takes me as long as 90 minutes to fall asleep—and that’s usually not because I drank coffee too late in the day or didn’t exercise enough.
Well, not literally. I can explain.
At the start of last year, I made a resolution to not purchase any new clothes or shoes that year. I had a combination of reasons for that:
It’s a clichéd résumé line, but I’m a goal-oriented person. For as long as I can remember, I’ve set goals, and in particular New Year’s goals, and then worked to achieve them. A lot of New Year’s resolutions fail because they’re just things people say while caught up in a moment of passion (or guilt), only to soon forget or ignore. That isn’t the case for me.
I’ve been thinking how Christmas traditions vary not only from country to country, but from family to family.
Years back, I began what has been a decade-long and running interest in fitness. Having been a rather sickly and non-athletic child and teenager, I was excited to realize I could train my body to run several miles, lift weights, and even do a few “guy pushups.” The one thing I really wanted to do, but didn’t think I would be able to, was a chin-up. As in, the pull-up with a reverse grip. I had tried a few times and barely moved upward, let alone to where my chin touched the bar. I was fairly convinced I just did not have that upper-body strength.
I’ve kept a journal of some kind since my preteen years. At the beginning of this year, I decided that I would not only record things of obvious significance when they occurred, but I would write at least a line or two every single day, whether or not anything apparently noteworthy took place. I’m happy to say I’m well on track to finish strong.
I grew up thinking that “faith” and “doubt” were opposites. Faith was good. Doubt was bad. With that mindset even questions could be dangerous, as I figured they could lead to doubt. For an intellectually curious person, that is a difficult thing to deal with, and I struggled with it for most of my rememberable life. The questions I used to resist ranged from wondering whether God really cared that much about X or Y specific rule mentioned in the Bible, sometimes vaguely or heavily interpreted, to that large and ever-present question: Does God exist?
I absolutely love avocado! Along with being delightfully delicious, it is a versatile fruit. Not to mention that it’s outstandingly healthy—one of the best sources of natural oils and many vitamins.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt strongly that I needed a purpose, a “mission,” a life plan. It’s both part of my natural personality type and how I was brought up to understand that God worked—that He had a calling, a “special place in His kingdom” for each of us. I still believe that … but differently.
On a recent day off, I spent the better part of the day at the zoo. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a zoo. Animals are fascinating and a lot of fun to observe, and I learned some interesting information. What I noticed, too, which I don’t recall feeling as much when I was younger, was sadness because of the animals’ lack of freedom. I’m confident they are being well cared for at this particular zoo; but can any cage, however spacious, ever measure up to the wide-open spaces of their native habitats?