I joined a group of authors (and just people in general) a couple of years back who give their year ahead a word--one word. It's kind of fun to try and pick out what you hope the year ahead of you will look like. 2015 had me wanting to be FEARLESS, and 2016 was my year of HOPE. It's funny to look back on these last two years. I was probably anything BUT fearless in 2015. I guess I saved that for the following year.
2016 was kind to me. Yes, I had my troubles, heartache, loss, and change just the same as everyone else, but nothing compared to the loss of 2015. I was able to set and achieve life long goals for myself and I am proud to be where I am staring ahead at 2017.
For the past couple of days, I've been thinking hard about my word. I poured so much of myself into last year, that some areas of my life fell behind. Some of that I am ok with, some I'm not.
The "think-fast" part of me wants to choose the word MORE. I've made 5 specific areas where I want MORE in my life for this year.
I'm thrilled to say that it's January 5th and I am about to cross my second book off the list! (Thank you audio books and forever long car rides.) I'm writing now and who cares if it's just to check an item off this gal's Type A list. Writing has always been good for my soul. I've prayed, well, probably the same amount that I always do. And as far as giving and saving, I know it will happen. It is, after all, only January 5th.
But, as I have sat here thinking on the subject, I keep thinking that MORE is a dangerous word. MORE doesn't leave my mind with a feeling of security, a comfort, or an ease. It has me feeling anxious, stressed, and like I'm setting myself up for a failure from the get-go. MORE causes me to panic a little when I think about it seriously. How much more can and should I pray? How much more should I save? How much more should I give? How much more should I write? I published a handful of blog posts in all of 2016--will setting myself a goal of weekly do me in? I read everyday. How much MORE is ok? Why do I feel the need to do more???
The truth is, if nothing in 2017 changes in these areas, the earth will more than likely keep on spinning. My friends will still be my friends, my house will still be pretty chaotic, and my life will look pretty much the same as it usually does. Of course, though, these are still areas I want to improve upon. But, not with an open ended word like MORE. Instead, my focus will be on a different word: ENOUGH.
As I look ahead to 2017, my schedule is already a little fuller than I'd like it to be. There are places I want to go, conferences I want to attend, and all sorts of fun stuff in between that I've already had to say no to. As I went to purchase a ticket to attend a local women's conference, I was so disappointed that my calendar was already full that day. My life doesn't need any MORE. My brain certainly can't handle much more. What I need, what my whole family needs, is to figure out that this life I'm living, this pace I'm traveling at--it is ENOUGH. Quite honestly, there are days it's more than enough.
I read ENOUGH. I have a goal of 52 books a year. But, when I may not make that goal, I am a MESS! And why? Who cares that I only made it to 48??
I write ENOUGH. I write in my own journal, I write speeches for other people, I write my own speeches to talk to groups of people. Setting a goal for myself to post on here is great--until I fail. Then I'm stressed.
And while I can always give more to others, I am not failing. I need to stop putting this pressure on myself, my husband, and my family.
Saving and prayer--those two may do me in. I have failed in saving as much as I wanted to this year. But, I know our family can improve. But, if I miss my mental goal, the earth--it's still going to turn.
Prayer, however, still needs to be MORE, but my prayer needs to change. I need to pray and realize that praying, asking, giving it all to God--that is ENOUGH. He's got this mess of me in his hands. He's got my scattered, tired brain. my full calendar, and my chaotic life. He knows I've been a hot mess from day one, and he still loves me more than I am capable of understanding. And that thought? It has to be ENOUGH!
Here's to your 2017 being ENOUGH. Less in the areas needed, more in the areas that make you truly happy, but always knowing that you are loved by God even when you fail to recognize that everything you have and even the things you don't--are ENOUGH.
"God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved."- Psalms 46:5
Whitney B. Cromley
Follower of Jesus.