Today is a writing day. Up to now, 2018 has been largely devoid of words. I looked back a bit at 2017, wrote a few pieces for a community I love, but otherwise, I haven’t had any Deep Thoughts, at least not any ready for public consumption.
But today, for some reason, I have ALL the words. I have a neat little stack of posts lined up for publishing or for writing in my “Drafts” folder.
But first, I want to talk to you a tiny bit about light.
I had thought, going into the year, that “connect” would be the word I focused on. I’ve come to realize that it’s both my highest value and my highest need. But, sitting down on the first of the year, going through my Powersheets and a variety of other goal-setting/journaling materials from around the interwebs, something else materialized.
Similar to Present and Wonder, the word is resonating on a few levels.
“…let us throw off everything that hinders…” I am TIRED.
2017 left me weary and burdened. It’s time to let that go.
Oddly, one of the primary ways that’s working itself out is in the physical realm. I’ve written many times and many places about how weight loss is never again going to be a goal for its own sake. Currently, weight loss is for *my* own sake, rather than *its* own. Most nights, I haul wood from the garage, up the stairs, and to the hearth. We happen to burn wood pellet logs as our primary source of heat, and they come in packs of five 4-lb logs. We burn (usually) either three or four 20-lb packs a day. So I heft either 60 or 80 pounds of wood up the stairs every night after the kids go to bed. (Do you think I take more than one trip? No. Obviously not. Do you even know me???) When I get to the top of the stairs and set that business down, I feel MUCH BETTER than I did hauling it up the stairs. I want to feel better, and 60 to 80 lbs is what I need to lose. (That doesn’t even get me in “normal” BMI range, but, as I’ve mentioned before, BMI is a load of crap.) When I’m pregnant and breastfeeding, I’ve learned my body doesn’t release any extra weight regardless of my efforts, and I’ve been in one state, the other, or both for EIGHT YEARS without break. I’m just about at the end of that season, and it’s time to set down the weight. I actually started a side blog to log the daily progress and struggles. (That’s actually probably part of the lack of “real words” here. My 100-word posts there are taking some of my writing energy.) Anyway, if you’re curious about it, you can read more at Going to Health in a Handbasket. My approach is small, incremental lifestyle changes. No weird products. No psychotic workouts. Just tweaking my life for slow and steady health improvement.
Light: Brilliant. Luminous.
I want to bear light to others and see it in people around me. Most of all, I want to focus on the One who called himself the Light.
So I’m back on a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. I’ve been subsisting for the last year or few on a verse or two a day in my devotional plus the odd gospel or epistle binge. That’s not enough for me to make it through, let alone grow in knowledge and love of Christ. In order to focus on the Light, I need to be immersed in His word. My hope is that like Moses whose face shined after spending time with God, and like Peter and Paul who were unschooled and ordinary (raises hand and waves it wildly), I will bear light both in my actions and words as I spend time listening and talking to Him.
I want to notice light in others. We’re all created in the image of God, and I need to look for that in the people around me. Yes, we’re fallen. Yes, we’re all bent by nature and action toward sin. No one is righteous. But neither is anyone exempt from the Image. In my life, this means looking for it in my children, which means making time for one-on-one time, rather than constantly trying to manage them as a horde. I’m a hard-core introvert, so one-on-one is always better, but most of all, it’s better when it comes to a loud and fighting pile-o-children. (Yes, I had a bunch of kids in a handful of years, and that was all on purpose and perhaps not planned out very well. Whatever. I love them and wouldn’t trade them, so I work with what I have.) I do much better even remembering to look for the fingerprints of God on my kids faces and hearts when we’re interacting as individuals, so I’m making a point of doing that more regularly.
Also, I want to allow my husband to shine light on my life. That’s part of how marriage works and I love it, but also I’m a BIG FAT CHICKEN. So sometimes I hide. For instance, I started the aforementioned daily blog in mid-December and didn’t tell him about it for more than a month because I was scurred. I didn’t know how to talk about it with him without it becoming a discussion on calories (our thoughts on weight loss methods are vastly different) and I was mostly afraid I’d fail, and then he’d know about it. So I hid. And I wrote kind of furtively every night, tilting my screen ever-so-slightly out of his view, and it was stupid. It became a thing. I don’t want to hide from him. He’s a good man and he loves me, and I’m making a point of telling him things. The more nervous I am about it, the more I need to say something. I can’t think of any time in recent years where that’s gone wrong. (The blog was the same—he was as loving and kind as I know him to be, though baffled at my hesitance.)
So… Light. In all the ways, with all the people.
I know we’re like a sixth of the way through 2018, but did you pick a word? What is it?