I have done a word of the year the past two years. You can read about them here and here if you so desire. I have to admit, I am feeling pretty uninspired and unmotivated to either write about or implement a new word of the year. There are a number of reasons for this, some of which I have no intention of delving into. One reason though, which I think is pretty valid, is that I really loved my word of the year for 2013: joy. I felt like it really resonated with what the year brought with it. I felt like it was really coming into its own down the stretch here-like a teenager who just broke out of the awkward Junior High years and is starting to “find himself”…in the good way. I feel like if I pick a new word I will be giving up on joy, breaking up with the geek turned hottie just as he made his dramatic appearance at the junior prom. That is silly of course, but in my often too distracted mind and often too weak will, I find myself having a very hard time focusing on more than one thing. I could never have juggled more than one relationship in high school. I also (along with most of the rest of the world) am not a huge fan of change. I stuck with my awkward high school guy, so long in fact that I married him. So, yeah. I struggle to focus on more than one thing. I mean really focusing, like heart transformation focus. And I don’t quite feel ready to get rid of my heart focusing on joy.
So with that being said, I wish I could say I have come to a concrete conclusion about my new word of the year. I wish I could write saying with gusto just how pumped I am about 2014, just how ready I am with all my resolutions and just how ecstatic I am to reveal (with a proper drum roll of course), that my new word of the year is _______. Honestly though I began this post undecided on my word and here I am nearing the end of my second paragraph with no better idea than when I began. humph.
The truth is I need joy. I need to seek hard after it. I need to grab onto it and not let it be ripped from my fingers by the dark thoughts that enter my head or the dark clouds that hover over my house or the joy-zapping events of this world. I am not ready to stop figuring out joy. I am holding on to it…assuming it is cool with me “courting” a new word too… for the sake of keeping my commitment to a new word every year.
I know now I am stalling. Hold on because this is where the rambling is really going to start. If you want to fast-forward to my word of the year reveal you should probably scroll down to somewhere near the end of this post.
I have played this over and over in my head the past couple weeks, with no real conclusions that resonated with me, nothing I felt like encapsulated what I wanted this year to be. I see people all over social media putting up inspirational quotes-you know, the “go get em”, dream-chasing, super-woman, girl-power kind. I suppose some people find those inspiring, but not this girl. I find them kind of deflating. I think it might be because I don’t see myself as a go-getter. I am really more of a “bring it to me” type of girl. I have lots of ideas, lots of aspirations, but so often I fall short of achieving or finishing anything. There are plenty of logical (and true) explanations for this, which my husband likes to remind me of when I start self-deprecating, but however realistic those explanations may be, at the end of the day I can often feel like I don’t have much to show for my efforts…or worse yet, like my efforts were really a no-show. I see so many people using their creativity to make a name for themselves or money for their family. I see their life and I fluctuate back and forth between feeling envy and pity. I know I could do that too. I know I have the ideas and the creativity and the means. I see so many people using this new year as a way to turn over a new leaf, pursue success, start a new venture.I would love to open a business of my own, at least part of me would. We could use the money. I could use the outlet. I feel like so much of my creative energy goes un-tapped, yet so much of my life is spent feeling tapped out. But yet there is something holding me back. I feel as though God is telling me “not now”. And I know He is right.
The truth is my “work” right now is not about pursuing my dreams-in the sense of creating something new or marketing a new business. I have a bigger dream, and I am living it. My dream has always been to have a family and to be able to stay home with my kids. Voila! My life is an almost instant dream! My dream, better said my heart’s desire, has always been to raise kids who love God and want to honor Him with their lives. I feel like this end goal requires quite a bit of sacrifice on my part. Right now I think that sacrifice means not pursuing my lesser dreams. I don’t mean to be a martyr. I don’t want to be condemning. There are plenty of woman who I admire and respect who are pursuing their lesser dreams while balancing their greater dream at home. But for me and my family I have come to realize that this is not in the cards right now. How do I feel? I love it and I hate it.
I think it is very noble to model for my children a woman who uses her God given abilities for His glory. I think it is beautiful when children can watch their mother as she pursues her dreams. I think it is very valuable to show children how you can fight for something and accomplish it. And I plan to do these things, with God’s help -just not in the arena of a small business or in the social media. I plan to model for my children a woman who relies on God and uses my God given abilities to be their mother and a wife to their Daddy. I want them to watch me as I painstakingly and sacrificially pursue my greater dream of raising them to know and love God. I plan to show them that I will fight for their hearts and fight to strengthen my marriage and my relationship with God. It won’t be easy which I why I want to pour as much of my energy into it as I possibly can-which all too often feels like very little.
So for my word of the year…I think I will choose patience. This is something I need moment to moment in so many ways. I need patience as I interact with my kids-reading the same stories over and over, listening to the same arguments over and over, reciting the same mantras over and over, answering the same questions over and over, needing every ounce of my being to not just scream and sometimes not to just walk away. I need patience as we find ourselves in the same holding pattern which we ended the year in as it relates to family and health issues. I need patience as I look around my house and see unfinished projects, unvacuumed rugs and so many legos. I need patience not to get down thinking I am accomplishing nothing. I need patience as I wait on God for when I can pursue my lesser dreams. I need patience with myself as I try to work towards sanctification and it is 3 steps forward 2 3/4 steps back. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I am a bit of an impulsive, I want it now (or as I said before “bring it to me now”), type of girl. Maybe as I cultivate joy I will have more patience. Maybe as I strive to be more patient I will cultivate more joy. Either way, I am feeling these days that no matter how it happens God is pressing patience onto my heart. I certainly can use a whole lot more of it…right now please. No but really, is it going to take a whole year?
So, patience. I need to prayerfully learn how to live it. And I have misspelled that word 3 different ways throughout this post. Maybe by the end of the year I will learn how to spell it.