Wow. It’s crazy how long a couple of weeks off can feel. I feel as if I haven’t sat down and written out a blog post in a few months.
So bear with me if I seem a bit rusty. I FEEL a bit rusty.
To be honest, I’m in a season of higher anxiety than normal so I appreciate your patience as I work through it. I’m learning how to make choices for my health instead of making choices for other people.
I always seem to come away from the Holiday season feeling more anxious than normal, and that’s something I want to dig in and figure out so this season doesn’t always get the best of me. I think unhealthy food, and the strong push for consumerism + a busyness I can’t seem to shake are huge factors. Then there is the end of year reflection that always happens as the New Year begins.
Was the year what I wanted it to be? Did I accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish? Inevitably the answer is always no.
My expectations are always too high and I’m always too flawed. Or at least these are the conversations I have with myself.
So I was tempted to follow the trend of bucking New Year Resolutions and Words of the Year. It’s a nice idea to think that growth naturally happens when we allow ourselves to just “be.”
Ultimately, what I wanted this year was to find a happy medium between unrealistic goal (resolution) setting, and completely rejecting any sort of New Year’s reset.
I decided to embrace the reflection and focus that Words of the Year give, and I decided to adopt the gentler cousin of resolutions: intentions. Intentions leave room for failure and growth. They allow each day to speak for itself, and a step back today can mean a step forward tomorrow. This speaks to me.
My Word of the Year was quite easy to pick. After having four babies in five years, I knew that what I craved the most from 2020 was quietness. The last five years have brought change, chaos, movement… all things I am grateful for because of what they have brought with them, but my soul is craving a year of respite… a chance to catch up.
And then after I had decided my word the Lord brought me to a life changing book: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry and this idea rooted even deeper into my soul. This verse in particular washed over me: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
So much clarity right there: some things have been out of my control (four babies will do that to you), but I have not made it my ambition to lead a quiet life. In fact, I have pursued just the opposite. Too many goals, too many ideas, too much social media, too many things.
My intentions now are just a natural outflow of my word of the year:
- spend (significantly) less time on my phone… which I know will annoy those of you who already find me hard to get a hold of.
- When I do make the choice to consume media, it will be media that uplifts me. I’ve already deleted YouTube off of my phone because I find my consumeristic tendencies go into hyper-drive when I watch YouTube. I also deleted Facebook off of my phone so my consumption is limited. Nothing good happens on Facebook (other than baby and wedding pictures).
- Purging clutter from our home, but then not adding more clutter. I don’t buy into the idea that we should accept purging as a natural part of living. Obviously some things will always need to be rejigged, but if I’m decluttering on a regular basis then I’m either buying junk or I’m buying things I don’t need. I want to work on that.
- Filling myself up on things that bring calm into my life: nature, reading, yoga, running, eating nourishing foods. I’ve rejected all of these in favor of time on my phone and I want to reverse that.
- Finally (but most importantly), putting God first. He’s been on the back burner these last five years, and while I have felt His sweet grace in this time of raising babies, I feel Him urging me to step back into His word and His presence. I feel a deep longing to be with Him and I haven’t felt that in a long, long time.
I will fail at these things. I already have and it’s only January 6. BUT these are intentions right? So every day, every hour, every minute… all chances to reset and refocus. And so, so much grace to be imperfect. Christ is calling me to allow Him to work in me. To trust that He will orchestrate my growth.
2020 will be a year of growth: of that I am sure. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I know its time.
I pray that you also find growth and more love this year. Please consider putting down your phones as well. Let’s fill our time with things that matter and not things that make us numb. It’ll be worth it.
Until next time,