I woke up this morning - January 1, 2012 - dreading the day, and dreading the year. It was a horrible, sick-in-the-pit-of-my-stomach feeling that wouldn't go away. I wanted to roll back over and go back to sleep but dreaded that too knowing I'd only wake up slightly later with the same feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted, done. It's bad enough some days not feeling like you want to face a meeting, or a day of work, or an assignment....but to wake up feeling like you don't want to face the year...?
I can feel my shoulders slumping even remembering it.
Normally I'd have some New Year's post about resolutions of mine: to be a better person/mom/friend; to take better photos/make better projects; to blog more consistently/journal more often, etc. But I was feeling a little like, "why bother?" Until, I read a New Year's blog post on Ann Voscamp's blog today where she talks of starting off the new year sometimes like this:
... fear. Fear that I am impotent of change, that new ways can’t be my ways.
What if I will always be this way… (fill in the blank with fear of personal choice: self-centered, overweight, uneducated, unmotivated, debt-ridden, angry, anxious, apathetic, unfulfilled…)
What if our family, this marriage, these children, stagnate, fester, languish?
What if all tomorrows are just more of all our yesterdays?
A thousand times I’ve told myself, “I simply must try harder.”
Try harder to be more organized, try harder to educate our children better,
try harder to be more after God’s heart.
But I know it: trying harder only results in harder trials....
She goes on in more depth, and as always in her beautiful poetic style...you can read the whole post here.
Then, she pasted in a quote. Just a few simple words from a great man:
“God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible.What a pity when we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.” -A.W. Tozer
And then I knew.
All my fears about the new year are there because I'm thinking of how I'm going to do it all by myself.
I've been picturing myself as self-sufficient instead of reliant on God.
I've been forgetting about the "village" around me that's going to help me parent my teen and pre-teenagers.
I've been discounting the fact that people around me have gifts that they need to use in my life too - just like my gifts have a purpose in their lives.
I've been neglecting the fact that I am not currently, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be...in control.
So, I'm going to adopt a few more of Ann's steps to making New Year's resolutions:
(This is a short version of hers - again, you can read the whole post here).
1. SET BACK TO THE WIND
Set back to the wind, and let His Spirit gently carry when the feet are too weak to carry on.
2. SET JAW TO PERSEVERE
“For we add to our faith, perseverance.”
For, really, what can go awry? The Spirit’s got your back.
3. SET TIMES
Set, fixed, times to make certain tracks each day allows for the wind to move us, for inspiration to surprise us. Sporadic creativity or intermittent commitment generally fails to forge a steady trail. Progress is born out of rhythm, routine, regularity….set times.
4. SET SIGHTS
Every day keep the intermediate goals in clear line of sight.
Set goals into achievable segments, and fix sights on the these midway markers: one pound shed this week, 15 minutes of organization, one date night a week with a child. Set sights close…
5. SET OUT
Simply, finally, take the first step. Again and again.
The wind, hope on its wings, sweeps each new day clean before us, and sweeps over our tracks from yesterday, filling with grace.
She's so much more poetic than I will ever be, but this is what I take from her post: I will let the Spirit carry me this year. When I see where he's leading, I will Go. I will rest and refuel often and regularly. I will keep my goals in sight. And I will take the first step, and then the next first step, and then the next.
No specific goals this year except to listen to the Spirit and go where he leads. I have NO idea where that will be this year. But I know it will be an adventure and I'm excited to start.