So… Let me just preface this:
I have no intention of making this a good, polished, life-changing post.
I just set my timer for 10 minutes and we’ll see what comes out. Edit later. Publish. Share? We’ll see.
This year on vacation with my family was goal-setting time once again. I made a point of spending some time thinking about it most days. For a lot of days, I had nothing. Just a lot of swirling ideas and good intentions. No “one word” coming up, no overarching direction. Then, toward the end of it, something clicked.
My time with Jesus has been comfortable, but not especially… vibrant, I guess. It happens pretty much every day, but it feel like what a lot of marriage writers talk about as “drift.” I read His words for a few minutes, then talk to Him for a few. I thank Him for a bunch of things, pray for my babies, my husband, sleep… frequently a lot of other things, but always those things… and then I go on with my day. It’s kind of rote.
It’s time to get back to my first love.
Seeking first the kingdom of God.
So my word for the year is first.
First in chronological order, first in importance.
I frequently find myself having conversations (at least in my head) with friends about things that I’m doing or processing. Or things they’re dealing with. Sometimes, I’ll even tell them what I’m “praying for” without actually doing said praying. What?!? It’s not on purpose, just sort of… happens. (If you’re one of those friends I’ve said those words to, I’m sorry. I promise I do actually pray for you, but sometimes it takes a little longer to remember that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.) So my commitment here is to stop myself when I’m about to text a friend (or, again, more often when I’m composing said text in my head) and actually… I don’t know… talk to God about it? Writing that, it seems pretty basic. But that’s where I am right now, and it’s time to make some steps back to where I want to be. That seems like the first one. (First! Get it? Haha!)
With that clear, a whole lot of other little things began to settle in my head.
The conversation I’d been having with Jesus suddenly became a lot less confusing. The things that were important came to the surface (complete with reasons and mini-goals!) while the rest just kind of… fell out of my head. I sort of wonder if this is just example number one of the way “first” works.
…and all these things will be added unto you.
If you’re curious, here are the other areas that I’m working toward this year:
Writing clears my head. Makes me feel… real? visible? like I’ve done something relatively permanent? It’s a way to encourage people using words I can think through thoroughly during a season when both other people and coherent thoughts are otherwise a little scarce.
Photography increases my appreciation for beauty and preserves some pieces of beauty from my little corner of the world. (Like this picture. I was at a lavender farm on Maui, and was absolutely transfixed by water. On grass.)
Singing is good for my soul. I was blessed with a chance to help lead worship this fall for the first time since I had kids, and it was amazing. I can’t quite put into words how vibrantly alive I feel when I sing, but I have no question that it’s part of the way God made me, and my whole being resonates when I live within His purposes for me, so I will be doing more of that. I can’t wait another four years.
Exercise improves my mood and energy. It burns off stress and makes me feel strong. My body’s been good to me, and I’d like to keep showing it love. Also? I’m way more fun to be around when I’ve exercised recently. Just ask my husband. Or don’t.
Connecting with others needs to happen in an intentional way. My world feels like it’s gotten very small in the last four years. It’s time to come out from my cozy little baby world and invest in some women around me.
Organized environment saves my energy for more important things and preserves my sense of calm. I fairly recently became acquainted with the concept of the “highly sensitive person,” which has given me permission and ideas to work with a part of my personality that I’ve fought against for a long time. This is part of that.
“Quiet” is kind of a catch-all, but I dearly want to be able to take my thoughts captive and calm my busy mind. (This had a wildly diverse set of action steps which included, among other things, eating mindfully, a few minutes of quiet meditation per day, deleting facebook from my phone, and going outside regularly. It’s all related, at least inside my noisy head.)
So why am I telling you all of this?
Pretty simple. Falls under “writing.” I promised me I’d try hard to make time to post a couple times a month, so here I am, showing up. (And the writing of it actually took me ten minutes on two different days. Because I’m sure that matters.)
Thanks for joining me here! Any thoughts? Do you have a focus this year? Things you want to bring into your life in a more intentional way? I’d love to hear them.
I found this just has helpful as Ann Voscamp's list! Our passions don't overlap completely (though, there definitely is a fair amount) but these kinds or concepts transfer pretty well. It is good to hear you ruminate, because it gets me processing. And, of course, your writing style is engaging, which also stimulates my thinking. Well done, and thank you!
After chewing on this for a couple days, I have been reflecting on how intentional you've been and continue to be, in general, but also with specific goals and action steps. This blog, coupled with events of the past few weeks, I've come to realize that “intention” needs to be part of my practice and vocabulary. I'm sure this will continue to develop, but thank you for a good start. I so appreciate that you shared this!
How did I not manage to reply to this a month ago? (And did I just get mentioned in the same sentence as Ann Voskamp?!? Eeep!) Thank you! And you're welcome! I'm glad it was helpful to you.
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