This is my favorite week of the year, the in-between time. I don’t place any huge expectation for the week and the house feels fresh after pulling down all the decorations. There just seems to be a feeling of “space.” This feeling of space leads to hope, I get really excited thinking about all the possibility to come in the new year. The newness of the seasons to come, leave me feeling full of new perspective.
I must admit though, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make the coming year full of big accomplishments. I have been doing this for years: writing out goals, making vision boards and filling my calendar with check-in dates for my desired accomplishments. These are all wonderful things and have most definitely been good for creating forward momentum in my life. BUT… this past year, more than ever, I have learned the way we have always done things is not the best fit for the current season of life we are in. 2014-2015 was full of wonderful experiences, but it was also full of heart-crushing let downs and half-hearted living. Let downs and unexpected outcomes are inevitable, and bouncing back is a huge part of living a successful life.
After reading “Rising Strong,” I’ve realized its okay to live in the let down for awhile, letting myself learn from it. In the past, I would jump to the next, not really learning from my experience…more like bulldozing into the next thing & ignoring that I needed to take a beat.
This year I was forced to be vulnerable and hopeful that others would honor my vulnerability. As we all know, this doesn’t always work out. That leads me to the next lesson learned: I don’t need others to validate my successes or failures for them to be real. This was HUGE and a lesson I will be working on for many years to come.
I have always felt the need to explain myself. Why I am not where I “should be” or how I worked really hard to get to where I am. This is a horrible way to live and leaves you feeling empty when you don’t feel understood.
A paragraph in the Naptime Diaries ABIDE devotional captures my hope and human heart for 2016 so clearly. “Over the past few years I’ve let Him chisel down the hard parts of my works-loving, producing heart. Slowly He’s helped me to strip off my worldview that sees what I can do as most important so I can dive into the ocean of His refreshment. Yet so many days I still find myself trying to earn my place in the Kingdom.”
It would not be an honest statement to say I have let Him do this. I have been kicking and screaming the whole way.
In light of the lessons learned, 2016 is not going to be about reaching for some big goal. No ladder climbing, business-proposing or huge, life-changing endeavors will be making the list this year. I’m accepting the truth I’ve made it. No matter the accomplishment or lack of accomplishment, I’m contributing what the Lord has created me to contribute.
This will be my third year using Lara Casey’s PowerSheets. They have gotten better every year and I’m looking forward to writing my goals with new perspective in her most recent version. All of my goals will be focused on the things I currently have going on in my life. I won’t be focused on doing them better or making them bigger. I will be living with a mindset of keeping it simple and being grateful for this season.
I will also be using the Abide Devotional by Naptime Diaries throughout the year. I will dig in to what abiding means and allowing the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, patience… to come forth, not from my circumstances but from Him.
I hope you enjoy the possibility found in the New Year.
Give yourself grace, remember life is not a check list. Its messy, uncertain and full of glory. I would love to hear what your hopes for 2016 are! Share your goals and the tools you’re using to set yourself up for the new year in the comments below!
Check back next week for a peak into what Marrissa and I will be up to in the new year!
Happy New Year, tribe! We are so thankful for your support and look forward to seeing you right here in 2016!