I’m not gonna lie.
I love reading all the “words of the year” and resolution posts around the blogosphere and social media this time of year. I love fresh starts, blank pages, and the motivation that comes with a new beginning. I appreciate goals and if they’re S.M.A.R.T. I even do a little happy dance inside sometimes. I know. I’m nerdy like that. I love a new adventure, whatever it may be.
Part of me embraces this new year with a desire to sit down and reminisce. I want to reflect on all that has happened over the last twelve months and see how I can make the next twelve even better. I want to pause and remember the good that came out and the lessons learned. Reflection can be oh so good.
Another part of me wants to get out my journal and start projecting to the year ahead. What will I do? How will I accomplish it? Where will we go, who will we see, how many new things can I learn, how many books can I read, how many projects can I finish… How can I improve myself (aka what new self help book will I be lured into)? I’m wired to plan, or at least write down– everything I want to do or think I should do. Projecting can be oh so fun.
Or for me– this year– neither.
I’m not saying I won’t have things I want to do this year, or I won’t think about things I did well/poorly over 2013. But I’m not going to go through that saga of creating my word for the year, or writing down all the things I learned– or making S.M.A.R.T. goals for myself and our family. I’ve done it all before and checked off all my boxes at the end of another year, and sometimes I was left realizing it was just filler. It was like going to a real, authentic Chinese restaurant and filling up on steamed white rice. I was “full” (busy), but substantially lacking.
Over the break, I was in California visiting family for the holidays. We. Had. A. MARVELOUS. Time!!!! It was perfect weather, in the mid to high 70’s the entire trip. David went surfing while I walked on the beach (alone, sans baby girl!!!). We had a date night. We enjoyed family, family, and more family! We sat late into the night talking and spending time with people we love. It was perfect. And throughout the trip, I just kept wishing we could move back. Wishing we could see our family all year round, wishing we could live in jeans and tanks and flip flops all throughout winter, wishing we could drive the 2 miles to the beach anytime we wanted. Wishing, wishing and more wishing.
I felt a little bit of discontentment begin to creep into my soul.
Normally, after coming back from a trip like that– and especially being that it’s the new year– I would have sat down with my journal and my husband and said “let’s write out our goals! Let’s make it a priority to get back to California!!!” But this time it’s different. I don’t want my love for that place to become an area of discontentment, or even worse, misdirected worship. It’s absolutely fine and wonderful to miss a place or people you love, but not at the expense of missing out on the greater glory that is already OURS who are in Christ!
So… This year I’m okay with not knowing what’s ahead because I already know He brought me HERE. I’m alright with not having concrete goals. I pray that I will settle into this life He’s called me to in the here and now, and that I’ll be grateful for our adventure– even a year after it’s begun. I pray I would love this little family well and that I would not miss out on extraordinary gifts right in front of me because I was looking elsewhere! This is my prayer for 2014.
As you begin your 2014, I pray you would embrace the here and now too. If you’ve made goals and resolutions, good for you! Like I said, I love all of that. If you are still settling in and waiting, good for you too! Whatever your 2014 holds, it will be marvelous if we direct our worship to the One who deserves it and rest in the assurance that He governs all things!
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” ~Psalm 139:7-10