Last December I set some 2012 Goals. I don't like resolutions or promises, I like goals. I especially like goals in writing. I don't work from written goals nearly often enough (maybe that could be a 2013 goal), but when I do - it is amazing how well it works.

Last year, about this time, I set these goals:

1. Celebrate today - everything we do, each moment we live is too precious to be treated as a passing fancy. I will better live in the now.

2. Laugh harder - there are too many minutes between belly laughs so intense that they make me cry.

3. Pray deeper - it is time to embrace an ancient and powerful oracle once again.

 All in all, I met these goals more often than not in 2012. #2 was especially helpful and challenging. Life on life's terms can suck the joy right out of you, unless you tenaciously keep perspective. Part of my #2 was completing my book, Wishful Preaching: Things I Wish I'd Said From The Pulpit. Writing it and sharing it with others has kept me laughing.

I'm still working on my specific set of goals for this year, but I have one piece of it nailed down. I want to live like a bird in 2013 - a particular kind of bird, the Turnstone.

Turnstone at work

Living along the seashore, the Turnstone feeds on insect and animal life near the water line. Like the sea gull, sandpiper and countless other shore birds, it is dependent on the food it can find. Shore birds search the surf's edge and beach sand for the unsuspecting bug, crab or minnow   However, the Turnstone has developed a habit of doing more than hunting on the surface of things. The Turnstone, as it's name suggest, will use it's hardy beak and strong neck to flip over shells, rocks and seaweed to uncover a meal that other shore birds will miss entirely. I feel a life-lesson analogy coming on...

It seems that I need a bit of Turnstone in the days ahead. I don't want to just react to what appears in front of me, or crawls across my path in the months ahead. I want to look into the crevices of life, search for the nourishment that hides beneath the surface of each day, flip over apparent failures and see what can be uncovered. Too often we give up. Frequently we accept less. NO! I say. Let's enter this new year with the determination to uncover the richness of our particular lives and the strength to crack it open and feast on the victory!

Will you join me in a Turnstone New Year?