We’re about six weeks into 2020. Just far enough to move on from all the reflecting I did as I rang in the new year. Just far enough to start to get bogged down in the everyday demands of life. Just far enough to forget all the promises I made to myself as the new year began.
I have always enjoyed that time between Christmas and New Years. It’s kind of a no man’s land for me. I have time off from work. There is no where I have to be. I can sit, rest, and decompress. Then January comes and life seems full of possibilities. But by the time February rolls around, I find myself back to the grind at work, and I’m buried by all the demands that come with adulting. Before I know it May will be here, school will be out, I’ll take a week or two to breath, and then I’ll start preparing for a new school year. I’ll blink and another year will have passed.
I long for deep and genuine relationships with people and with God.
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve said I want to go out to lunch with a girlfriend or I really should call….fill in the blank….and see how they’re doing. I think about friends I haven’t talked to in ages and wonder what they’re up to. But I’m plagued with inaction. I’m an expert at making excuses. And if I’m honest, I’m a bit lazy, hoping someone will reach out to me first.
Many people start the new year by making resolutions, or setting goals. Others choose a word to focus on for the year. I personally like the idea of choosing a word for the year. Resolutions and goals, for me, are just too easy to break, and then I beat myself up for not staying the course. I’ve spent a lot of time the last few weeks kicking around words. Words that hold special meaning for me. I’ve tried to find a word that would both inspire me and guide me. A word that would drive me to be my best self.
Grace….Satisfied….Restored….are some of the words that have been marinating deep in my soul.
Grace is such a beautiful word. I have been shown such grace in my life by God and by others. But I have learned one of the most important things is to show grace to myself. I tend to be pretty hard on myself. Learning that I’m pretty a-ok just the way I am has been a journey.
Along the same lines is the word satisfied. I have been working and learning to accept myself just as I am. I am enough. I am satisfied with who I am. There is nothing more or less I could do to make God love me more. I don’t have to do anything extra.
Restored is the other word I’ve been thinking about. Restoration is a powerful thing. Taking something that is battered, scarred, and broken and making it like new is a miraculous thing. I’ve spent much of my adult life carrying scars from multiple traumas. I was letting those difficult and heartbreaking experiences define me. I have felt so blessed as I have worked to renew my mind and restore my heart.
I have come to realize that I get to choose what defines me.
These are all great words. There isn’t a bad one in the lot. But I’ve come to realize that as important as each of these words are for me, none of them are the right word as I venture into this new year.
I’m not naive. I know this coming year will still bring with it many stresses and experiences that I can’t even begin to contemplate right now. But my hope, when I come to the end of this year, is that my life will be fuller and richer because I choose to intentionally embrace this wonderful life I’ve been given.