The Chief End of Man and My Resolution for 2020

Hello, my lovely friends.

*exhales*

So, I realize that I haven’t written since November. And that really and truly makes me very sad. It has been quite the month, and so much has happened since I last wrote.

But, my dear readers, you mustn’t chide me for my inactivity on this blog. I’ve been writing my fanfiction, studying for exams, and planning my schedule for spring. As soon as break was here, I still had so many holiday preparations and my blog was left in the dust. I had so many posts planned, but when I finally settled in to write them, I was just so exhausted.

Hence my absence for the last month.

But December was beautiful, and so many beautiful things happened. I finished the fall semester with a 4.0 (yeet!), spent time reflecting as Advent drew to a close, saw The Rise of Skywalker (I won’t even talk about HOW MUCH I loved it), ate far too many tasty sweets and things, and cried over how good Jesus is.

And on Christmas night, I had something of a revelation. I was up late putting away my newly acquired treasures (which included three new editions to my Sherlock funko collection – more on that later) when my mother came into my room.

And I kind of started crying.

Christmas marked the first day that I was really and truly able to breathe. To laugh. To sleep. And to pray in a response to the sheer joy I was feeling.

For the last five months, I had been studying, reading, testing, and a lot of the days at school felt like a battle. I love my classmates and my professors dearly, but after five months of hearing curse words inserted into routine conversations and crude allusions to sex made during casual discussions, I was beginning to feel exhausted. Not everyone is exactly friendly toward that one Austen-loving Tolkien-reading Sherlock fanfic-writing Christian girl who just wants to start a discussion in class (which is what I do…and it’s what lit students are supposed to do).

Most people on the outside looking in would consider these to be a stupid reasons for exhaustion. No one seems to think these things have any significance. I’ve heard every rebuttal: “profanity relieves stress and expresses your emotions accurately” and “sex is nothing to keep quiet about.” Well, I’m afraid I see it quite differently.

And being overly-enthusiastic about my field is something for which I feel I shouldn’t be apologetic. I’m studying English literature because I love it.

No one knows this (unless it comes up), but I’m seventeen years old and a junior at university. My classmates are almost always over nineteen. Literary criticism class is quite often about either gender dysphoria and queer theory (there’s a joke about English Lit majors around campus: if they write a paper arguing that Emily Dickinson was a lesbian, they get an automatic A…ouch).

That’s not to say I don’t love being a Lit major at Boise State. I’ve read some of the most wonderful stories and had some of the most meaningful discussions with my professors (who I love so very dearly). I’ve read and written on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Faulkner’s fascinating short story “A Rose for Emily,” Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina (which is both sad, laughable, and hilariously clever), Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (which I wrote about on the blog HERE), reread Lewis’s The Great Divorce, and so many other beautiful stories. And I have loved knowing other students who read, love what they read, and get excited for literature like I do.

I’ve loved every moment of it.

And it was worth every hard day. The knowledge I’ve acquired, the relationships I’ve made, and the stories I’ve read have been so worth every tough moment. I’m so grateful for my semester at Boise State.

But as I sat there on my bed with my mother on Christmas night, crying in her arms, I blurted out how hard it had been and how tired I was of everything, and how badly I didn’t want my holiday to end. I told her that I felt just like Bilbo Baggins: “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

And over the next few days of prayer and digging into the Scriptures, the Lord revealed to me what 2020 was going to be: a year in which I let go of worries, learn how to stay calm, and accept not always being in control.

And then I decided to do something that I would have previously considered madness: I dropped my classes for the spring semester and decided to put school on pause.

It was nonconforming, different from anything I have ever decided before. I’ve completely let go. This, I feel, is my first step toward learning how to let go and put my faith in Christ. This is what 2020 will be, and I am ready for it.

Why do I do anything anyway? If I take one semester off of school to dwell on God’s goodness, immerse myself deeper into the beauty of church traditions and holidays (*winks at Maribeth*), dive deeper into my German (*sehr gut, Fraulein!*), and focus on my writing, will I have glorified God?

And the answer to that is yes.

Just as if I had gone to school this semester, I would have glorified God in that as well. Because at the end of the day, to quote the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

What is the chief end of man?

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

And this is what I set out to do in 2020. This is my New Years Resolution: to glorify God and enjoy him forever. This is my life’s purpose, and whether or not I graduate with my bachelors at nineteen or twenty, I will have glorified God through my patience, my willingness to give up control, and my heart that desires to enjoy my God and love him fully.

As it says in Ecclesiastes (which I will be spending time reading and writing about in the weeks to come):

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they life; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13

Notice he says to “take pleasure in all his toil.” I shall take pleasure in my toil; in the work and the task that God has set before me. He has called me to write, to rest, and to take a breath so that I may return into the fallen world ready to point others toward His goodness.

This is my task, and I shall take pleasure in it. For as Ecclesiastes says: this is God’s gift to me. What are you toiling towards in 2020? I pray for all of you, my faithful readers, and I look forward to what 2020 has for us all.

Oh, and real quick.

Let me just say that The Rise of Skywalker is definitely getting a review post on this blog. I loved this movie. So. So. Much. I really don’t understand why people hated on it so hard, because in my opinion, it was the greatest ending to the new trilogy. Ben Solo. That’s all I’m going to say. Just “Ben Solo.” My son Ben. My son deserved so much better. *cries in a corner*

This scene…oh I lost it. I cried so much. *goes back into the corner to cry*

Ahem.

Oh, and also real quick.

Remember that Sherlock funko collection I mentioned earlier? It grew. It grew a lot. And Mycroft is definitely the sassiest.

Irene’s big head and little body make me laugh…a lot.

And then my Baker Street boys. My boys. My sons. ❤

I can’t believe I own these little babieeees. It makes my heart glow. Thank you sweet Jesus for Funko Pops. And no, I did not pay the whole $80 for a John Watson Funko Pop. I had a gift card and used it to buy him for $35 on eBay. He’s vaulted, he’s rare, but I got him for $35 on ebay. Run to eBay, my Sherlockians! Go while you still can!

And also: Doctor Who.

Guys.

Guys.

Unpopular Doctor Who opinion: Eleven is the best doctor.

Don’t tell me he’s not because he just is. Look at him. Look at that face! 

and the bowtie.

Okay, David Tennant is great, but Matt Smith. Matt Smith, though. My lil baby giraffe. I honestly doubt there’s anyone who loves the Eleventh doctor more than I do. I really do. Comment below.

And then Amy and Roryyyyy. Rory is the most precious person, and he deserves so much better. He’s a wonderful little soul, and I would go to the ends of the earth for Rory Williams.

I realize I’m coming to the fandom late, but hey. Let me just say I was screaming all throughout “Victory of the Daleks” and “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone.” Don’t even get me started on “Amy’s Choice.” Toby Jones strikes again.

Anyways, my friends: I’m heading into 2020 with excitement in my heart. I’ve had an eye-opening revelation about rest, and I’m prepared to let go, get scared, and fly through the fire with my eyes closed. I have a God behind me who wants me to slow down, and if I know anything from the last nearly twelve years of walking with him, “slow down” is another way of him saying he’s about to do something marvelous.

I guess we’ll have to just wait and see what that is.

I love you all! Ooh, and for those of you following my fanfiction, I have another chapter on the way! Stay tuned.

Auf Wiedersehen,

Emily 😉

11 thoughts on “The Chief End of Man and My Resolution for 2020

Add yours

  1. My Beautiful Emmy!! Yes, yes, yes!! I love your post…I’m beyond blessed to know you’re hearing, walking and making those hard decisions because it’s what the Lord calls you to do. You’ll never regret a decision you’ve made based on following Jesus! 🙂 I love you, my daughter – your Daddy and me just love you!!
    Love,
    Your Momma

    1. Aww thank you ma! I’m so grateful for you and for everything you do for me! I feel your love every day…thank you for being so wonderful to me 🙂 You and Dad always support me in everything I do!

  2. OH, EMILY. I’m so happy for you–and I’m so proud of your resolution for 2020 and your decision to take a much-needed hiatus from school. It is so, SO important to take a step back from certain things for a while, quiet your mind, and just rest in God’s goodness and the freedom and peace He offers. When you wrote about your weariness and how you cried in your mom’s arms, I wanted to reach across the Internet and offer you a big hug. Thank you for your sweet vulnerability in sharing that with us.

    Also: this year I’m toiling towards publishing my book, and also venturing into the world of magazines (online or otherwise), so your reminder to glorify God in everything is very timely!

    But enough of the seriousness, as important as it is, because…

    I AM SO GLAD YOU LOVED THE RISE OF SKYWALKER TOO!!!!! I did not expect to love it as much as I did–but I haven’t stopped thinking about it, and now I’m writing Star Wars fanfic for the first time in YEARS. Ben Solo and Rey Skywalker have my heart–and that is coming from someone who spent the better part of the last three years *hating* Kylo Ren and scowling at the very idea of Reylo. My Rey of Sunshine would never compromise herself or her virtue for the man who killed Han Solo, no sir.

    But then SHE HEALED HIM–and he threw his lightsaber into the ocean–and he ran into Exegol just as she was about to strike down Palpatine–and he let her know through the bond that he was there for her–AND HE SMILED AT HER THROUGH THE FORCE–and I was just like: “You are the only man worthy of my Sunshine Child’s hand, and I love you.” XD

    ALSO, I’m so glad you love the Eleventh Doctor!!! All of those episodes you named are fantastic. Just wait till you get to “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang” (if you haven’t watched them already). You will love your sweet baby giraffe (and Amy and Rory) even more.

    1. Just gotta jump on this conversation about TRoS because…I was also firmly against Reylo until I watched this movie and then I was just like “YES YES YESSSSSS!!”

    2. This comment made me so happy! Thanks so much for your support of my decision to stop school for a semester; it hasn’t been an easy one, that’s for sure! I had to fight myself to do it hahaha. I’m a perfectionistic workaholic, and that’s something I can tell God wants to work on in me!

      And aww *accepts Maribeth’s hug from across the web* thank you dear friend; I was telling my parents how you’ve become a mentor for me over the last few months. You bless me so much! 🙂

      And yes! The Rise of Skywalker! Ahhh! It was fantastic, wasn’t it? And I too have hated Kylo Ren from the beginning, and I feel like bringing Palpatine in and turning Ben to the light side was the best thing they did. And SO EXCITED to read your Reylo fic! Beyond excited to read it, I should say.

      And yes, the Eleventh Doctor is fantastic. Maybe I’ll write a Wholock fic with him and Sherlock…I don’t know…that’s an idea I’ve had brewing ever since I started watching Eleven’s episodes. Him and Sherlock and John would be hilarious. And I haven’t gotten to “The Pandorica Opens” or “The Big Bang” yet, but I just bought the entire collection of Eleven’s episodes at Barnes and Nobles, so I’m prepared! It was 40% off and I couldn’t resist.

  3. Emily, this post was beautiful and amazing. ❤ I am so glad that you were able to find joy and peace and rest this month, and I pray that 2020 is a year full of that. ❤
    ALSO. I am so glad that you loved The Rise of Skywalker!!! I HAVE FLAILED ABOUT IT SO MUCH AND I WILL NEVER BE OVER *THAT SCENE*!! "Ben Solo" is all you need to say. *grins uncontrollably.* XD

    1. Ahh! Amelie! Thank you so much for your kind words. I pray the same for you, dear friend!

      And yes indeed-y! The Rise of Skywalker was spectacular, and I’m so glad to find so many people who enjoyed it as much as I did. THAT ONE SCENE. My family and I were silent screaming and I was probably the loudest and my mom may or may not have told me to shh because I was making heads turn with my squeals!! Heeheehee. Ben Solo – my little son. And my little girl Rey. She’s grown up well. THE MOTHER OF ALL JEDIS

  4. Oh my dear Emily… *gives you the giant-est internet hug I can possibly manage*

    I hope this isn’t terrible of me, but in reading this post, I must admit I felt… something like relief? Certainly kinship. And so much empathy. Because I too have recently experienced the exhaustion of hearing so much swearing and crudeness, and all within the most routine of activities – attending a weekend Driver’s Ed class at my local high school (the very same local high school my dad attended full-time when he was my age, I might add). I didn’t have to deal with it every single day for months on end, as you did; the class was only for six hours every Saturday for a couple of months. But it was more than enough for me. And I have the utmost respect for you, for putting up with what was surely more than I had to deal with for *semesters*. I felt like I couldn’t communicate it well to my mom or siblings, and to a degree my dad understood (having experienced much the same thing in the exact same place several decades before), but I just felt so thoroughly *exhausted* by it all by the time I rushed out of that building to be picked up by my mom. I insisted every morning before she dropped me off that she didn’t forget the pick-up time, and pleaded with her to try her very best to be there before the class dismissed, as I didn’t want to spend a moment longer than was absolutely necessary there. And in addition to the exhaustion was the disgust. I’m still not sure I can completely put it into words, but… at the end of the day, I felt sickened… and even angrey. After hearing multiple expletives inserted into almost every sentence spoken by fellow students, not to mention discussions where I simply attempted to fade into the background and pray I wouldn’t be directly asked for my opinion on a teacher outing another student, or whether God really cared about weed, or other crude subjects I won’t even repeat here…
    Somehow, being surrounded by it in in person is different even than stumbling across such things in shadier areas of the internet. Like I said, I’m still not quite sure how to put it into words, but reading about your experience here, I realized it was the exact same things I had felt, and it was a relief to know I wasn’t the only one who had been so bothered by it.

    So, again, I empathize so deeply with your experience at your university, though clearly you’ve had to deal with so much more than I did. And I 100% support your decision to take some time off and rest – my mom and I talk occasionally about how vital the concept of “rest” seems to be to God, even setting aside an entire day for it during the Creation Week just to set an example for his children to follow. And yet our modern world, even our modern church, seems to have completely forgotten it. We barely even know how to rest on Sundays even more, and we certainly don’t do it on Saturday.

    I hope you’re able to discover so much about God in this time of rest and trusting solely in him – his goodness and providence and guidance through all the unknowns – and your resolve to trust in him completely grows more than you ever could’ve imagined. It’s something I’m always working on and haven’t come anywhere close to mastering yet, and don’t think I’ll ever STOP working on until I’ve reached the end of my time in this life. ❤

    This is already a blog-length comment, so I’m going to make the rest of it as short as possible:
    First, The Rise of Skywalker. YES. It was ah-mazing, and although I acknowledge the legitimate issues with it writing-wise, and I DO think the entire sequel trilogy would’ve benefitted from extensive planning before-hand (not to mention better communication between the directors of the different films), this film was an amazing coda to story of the Skywalker Saga. And I’m more than willing to rant with you about it more on Instagram, should you so desire 😉
    Also, YOU ARE SO RIGHT about the Eleventh Doctor. And Rory Williams… he’s just the sweetest thing and I love him to death. (Also, Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone are two GREAT episodes that I also absolutely loved, especially River Song’s part in them. Honestly, I’m such a sucker for powerful, somewhat-understated lady characters with mysterious-and-somewhat-ominous pasts… 😉 AND I just find baby Eleven’s enormous crush on River at this point one of the cutest and most hilarious things. XD)

    AND I MUST ASK – have you been able to watch the premier of series 12 yet?? Giiiiiirl, things. Are. HAPPENING. And I’m growing increasingly worried for my sweet ball of sunshine and hope and optimism that is the Thirteenth Doctor… :\

    1. Ohh Shay thank you so much for this sweet comment! It brought a smile to my face and warm fuzzy joy to my heart.

      I totally know how you feel about that stuff you went through during that class! And yeah…doesn’t it just bug you? Like you said, it’s worse than hearing about it on the internet, and it just bothers your soul when you head home. I just have been so worn out by it, and I’m so thankful you shared your experience…I was honestly wondering sometimes if I was being just…you know…”too sensitive.” Once a week or five days a week, any amount literally can zap your joy! It’s not easy, dude. Not easy.

      I really hope I can just sink into Christ during this time, and thank you so much for your support of my decision! It means a lot to hear it from you, and it made my day. I’ve already begun to feel him working in me, and I feel so much more peace being able to just be me and listen to him make me into something even more.

      AND ALSO: let’s talk about Rise of Skywalker. Dude. It was real. I was so excited about it, and I loved it so much! Definitely more planning and communication on the production side, but hey – they didn’t kill it. I thought I was going to hate it especially because the critics gave it such bad reviews, but I really enjoyed it! I loved it to the moon. My little babies Rey and Ben. So sweeeeeeeeet.

      And I have not yet seen the twelfth series! I know, but I am still working my way up to Capaldi. My Whovian friends (who speedwatched the entire show without me lol) have told me that the first episode has done wonders for them. I was upset when I first heard Chris Chibnall wasn’t bringing back old foes, since we all love the daleks and weeping angels and cybers. But then I saw the cybers in the trailer and DUUUUUDE. I am ready. Let’s go. I remember them bringing back a dalek in Resolution (I watched that on the plane to England) and…meh. Like I enjoyed it, but…she let the dalek go. Why? It’s a daleK! That was disappointing to me.

      Ah! Anyway, this little rant has lasted long enough! I’m ready for some more Who, though! Maybe you ought to post a review of the first episode of season twelve on your blog! I’d definitely read it! Jodie is so cuuuute. Lol her little coat and rainbow shirt. Adorable.

      Cheers, and thank you so very much for your encouragement dear Shay! I’ll talk to you soon!

      Emily 😉

      1. You know, reviewing the beginning of series 12 DOES sound like an excellent idea… I think I just might do that!! 😉 😀

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