Looking ahead to 2016

As I look back at 2015 and think about what I want to do differently or live into with more intention in 2016, I came up with quite a list as you can imagine.

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But when I really dug deep (Thanks to the Powersheets for a lot of that) I realized that there are two big things I want to do in 2016.

  1. I want to be a better steward of what resources I already have. I am certainly fortunate and so grateful for all the good that I have. But I don’t always steward it well. Often when we think of stewardship it’s in regards to money and while that is certainly apart of my goal, I’m thinking of a broader view of stewardship. Stewarding my time. My talents. The things I already own. The things that we might purchase this upcoming year (hello Baby Registry madness). How can I honor God, our own family goals and also be able to have the margin to give back (and give away) our possessions. I want to be reminded that this is not our eternal home and to hold loosely to those material things that I can often hold with a clenched fist.
  2. I want to S A V O R every moment of this new year.  I don’t know what to expect as a new mom. I don’t know how I’ll feel about returning to work this summer. I don’t know what I’ll need. I don’t know how becoming a mom will stir up new grief emotions of losing my own mom this past fall.  What I do know is that I don’t want to miss moments. I know (from all my friends, family and voices I hear through blogs and podcasts) that being a mom of little littles is hard. And while I’m buckling my seat belt to prepare for that hard, I don’t want to be so caught up in the hard that I wish it away.  I don’t want to wish away time spent. That’s the paradox I’ve found grieving loss and celebrating new life this year simultaneously. Taking the hard and knowing it’s only here for a season and readily embracing what comes with it. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

So what do these two things mean for me practically? 

Slowing down.

Saying no to things.

Eating clean meals at home around the table with people with I love.

Giving things away.

Reading more.

Watching less TV/Netflix.

Writing more (both here and in my journal).

Being intentional about time with those who matter most.

Taking long walks.

Getting as much sleep as possible.

Enjoying a weekly bath.

Doing my own nails every Sunday night to wind down our Sabbath.

Joining with Supper Club monthly for a great meal, laughs and maybe even a few tears.

and one of the biggest ones…..

Not feeling guilty for doing any of these things over something I SHOULD be doing (things I said no to, date nights out vs. at home, a super clean house, etc.).

I recently read somewhere that our “shoulds” never bring us true happiness. While I completely recognize that life isn’t all about being happy and that there is a lot of life that is unhappy and there’s a true difference between happiness and joy, I do see the truth in this statement.  What are the things that fire me up? That only I was created to do? What do I do with the ease of falling snow? That’s what I am going to do this year.  (Thanks Shauna for this amazing reminder). I’m realizing those things are different than they were 10 years ago.  5 years ago.  Even 2 years ago.  A lot of my “shoulds” are those former things.

I’m no longer the gal that wants to be orchestrating the details of an event or casting vision for a huge long term project. While my job requires me to do that on occasion, I’d much rather be meeting with someone one-on-one in a coffee shop, writing or teaching/leading a small group over the masses.  I think that came out in my goals and what I want this upcoming year to look like. Say no to the things that used to fire me up that now leave me depleted. I’m walking away and won’t feel guilty at all because I’ve got a whole new list of things that feel like the ease of the falling snow. That’s where I want to live in 2016.

So as you lean hard into your 2016, what are the 1-2 things that you wish to focus on? What feels like the easy of the falling snow for you? For me, it’s savoring each moment and doing the best with what I’ve already got. If I can do those two things, 2016 will be a winner. 

 

 

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2014: Anchored

Anchored

In doing some soul work, I’ve looked back at all that 2013 held and there was a lot of good. A lot of holistic development–personally, professionally, emotionally and spiritually. A lot of change–a new job, my mom moving from being 6 hours away to 30 minutes away and a very stressful school semester for the beau which in turn impacted me as well. A lot of hanging on by a thread to be completely honest. So in that reflection I’ve been doing, I’ve realized that I no longer want to hang on by a thread.

My photo is one from the amazing vacation that we had right before Christmas in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This exact photo was taken from our balcony one morning as a group of scuba divers was getting ready to leave on their morning adventure. The group was mostly the same folks–the older gentleman we’d see eating at the breakfast buffet alone and then on the scuba boat presumably while his wife slept away, laid by the pool or enjoyed the spa. The 40-somethings man whose wife would walk out with him, kiss him goodbye and the go back to her lounge chair on the beach with her book awaiting the boats return where she’s subsequently walk out to shore and welcome him back with a kiss. The bronzed older lady who loved her bright yellow string bikini. Then there was the older woman. The one in full scuba gear who went out every day to dive into the Caribbean Sea, but held tightly to the rope anchored to the boat that would take her out to sea. Never failed, each morning, she’d step lightly holding tightly to her scuba gear with one hand and even tighter to that rope. No matter the beauty and uncertainty the sea held, she held tight to what she knew.  

I want that.

Hebrews 6:19 says “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” I want to be an anchor. I want to be so secure and grounded in the hope of the promise that 2014 holds and that God holds for me that I will not move. I will not be a thread, but yet a million little threads bound together and held securely into the sea as an anchor is. Sometimes that sea is crystal clear, other times it’s dark and unknown. But I will be secure. If you’ve been around me or this space for any time at all, you know that I love trees. I still love trees. I love their deep roots, what they can weather and how they change for each season. Anchored is different. Anchored is a choice. I’m thankful for my roots and know that they have allowed me to stand strong as I have. But this year I’m choosing even more.

I know that 2014 is not going to be easy, but I want to hold tightly onto the things that I know bring me security–that hope that I have in Christ. I love the entirety of Hebrews 6 and what is says for the church and for me.

I want to be anchored in my priorities for this year. Anchored for the changes our family will see with another job change occurring mid-year. Anchored for growth in my job and my passions. Anchored in relationships. Anchored in wellness. Anchored in simplicity. Anchored in mission. Anchored in what I know to be true.