I’ve been wrestling with a word or phrase for 2016.
In 2015, I used “Be Your Best.” I’m not sure I can say I was wildly successful, but I did give it my best and think I gained some new skills and new insights about the importance of self care, which is good if one is to even have a chance at being their best. I would say that I participated and engaged my life, learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and had enough trials and tribulations to encourage growth and to remind me that I am not in control.
Are you ready for this?
intransitive verb: to think about or discuss issues and decisions carefully
transitive verb: to think about deliberately and often with formal discussion before reaching a decision
At times (more often than I like to admit) I commit to things that later come back to bite me. I like to think it is because I am an optimistic, generous, fun loving person who thinks sure, this would be great! And then later I realize I should have put some limits on it, or thought through more thoroughly before plunging ahead. Or perhaps thinking for just one minute about how adding one more thing into my overly scheduled life would make me feel the next day. Right. So this year I want to be deliberate – both with the ways that I DO spend my time and energy, and the things I deliberately do NOT spend time and energy on.
I am going to be intentional and deliberate about setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
I am going to serve others: not always doing the thing everyone wants (because I cannot do it all) but very deliberately discerning what Jesus is asking me to do, and doing that. And learning to be at peace with not being able to solve everything for everyone (I say this out loud and it sounds silly, but it is a real struggle for me).
I am going to embrace the poverty of limitations.
I am going to continue to make time and space for the people and genuine friendships in my life.
I am not going to take responsibility for other people’s poor decisions and the ramifications of those decisions. I am not going to make time and space for unnecessary drama. I am going to walk away physically, mentally, and emotionally (why is this SO HARD sometimes???)
I am going to work on taking care of myself (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically). “Secure your own mask before helping someone else with theirs.” We hear it on every single flight we’ve been on and yet I am so incredibly bad at the real life version of this. I have been known to bend over backward to help someone else with their problem (dilemma, project, etc) while my own things are left to languish. (Not that it is always a mistake to help a friend in need, but I think some really good deliberation before volunteering for such projects is important). I need to take an honest look at what is going to give on my end before I commit to solving someone else’s life (and once I again, I have to be at peace when I can’t or shouldn’t get involved).
I am going to trust the good Lord to hold on to me and guide me on this journey. Because it is all part of the journey, baby steps in our walk to eternity. I know that I am going to stumble and fall and probably get a bruise or two in the process, but I know that the One that I am seeking is faithful in all. He will give me the grace and wisdom I need to follow him.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15: 4-5