I was challenged by a friend a few weeks ago to define what my goal is for the year 2012 in one word (I don't think I can do anything in one word!). I love being asked questions that make me dig deep; my problem always seems to lie in finding the answer. I was in a small group years ago and was asked the question "What fuels you?". Everyone else in the room answered the question on the spot. Seven years later I still am unsure of my answer. This time around, I was intimidated by the question but began doing some soul searching for my word. That one word that would define what I wanted to strive for this year. I usually have all of the same old resolutions: to clean my house more, organize my closets, stay on top of the laundry, be bikini ready by june, etc. Those things are great (and MUCH needed in my life) but they are not enough. They are not it. And I'm pretty sure that even though I've resolved to do them this year, I'll be resolving to do them for 10 Januaries more. I'm happy to say that only 23 days into the year and I found it! I want to s t r e t c h. There are areas in my life where I can see the need to require more of myself; to not settle for mediocracy but to stretch myself toward excellence. Being a good friend/partner to my husband is mediocre. Learning him and anticipating his needs requires more. Training my children to be merely well behaved on the outside for the sake of my sanity is mediocre. Training them to have pure hearts on the inside requires more. Showing up at bible study and answering questions is mediocre. Digging deep into God's word and really seeking to know who He is requires more. Serving baked ziti or chicken nuggets for dinner over and over again is mediocre. Scouring websites and cookbooks (and splashing hot oil in my face like I did today) to try new recipes requires more. Running a few miles on the treadmill is mediocre. Pushing my body to its limit and training for a marathon requires more. Blogging once every four months is mediocre. Blogging consistently requires more. I could go on for hours. The point is, I want to be stretched. I want to not settle for a mediocre, easy way out version of myself. I want to stretch myself towards something more.