Happy New Year! Rob, Josiah and I just got back from a wonderful trip to Nana and Gramps for Christmas! It was a very special and relaxing vacation and a long overdue one. We hadn't seen most of Rob's side of the family for three years so it was very fun reconnecting with all of them. We truly couldn't have asked for a better Christmas!
While we were gone, I meditated on 2011 and envisioned our family's 2012. I started to think about my new years resolutions, however I eventually decided I would take a different approach in 2012. I have decided to pick one word to focus on my character and vision in 2012 versus a whole laundry list of things I hope or want to accomplish. You can read more details about this exercise at One Word.
My "one word" that I have chosen for 2012 is "restore." Let me explain why...
Our family's past couple of years, three years (to be exact), haven't lived up to our expectations, goals, dreams or desires. And in 2011 our lives became more chaotic, frustrating, dark, depressing, messy and more out of sorts than anything Rob and I have ever experienced before in our lives.
I truly question how we were able to find any sort of peace in 2011 when so many circumstances spiraled out of control to achieve any kind of peace. Storms constantly raged throughout our lives in 2011---broken relationships/friendships, failed business attempt, losing our family pet, child rearing struggles, and serious financial struggles top the list. At one point, we thought we were moving across country, so I started packing up our house in anticipation of a new beginning, only to be sorting back through all those boxes almost daily because we are still here and the seasons keep changing. We more or less have been hanging by a thread but we are still hanging on!!!
Despite our stormy circumstances, we celebrated many good things throughout 2011--God protected our health, Mom and Dad sold the store and retired, a special visit from Vikki, Austin and Phoenix to celebrate Josiah and Phoenix's birthdays together, a special Kindergarten year for Josiah at Christian Center Education, Camp Cousin Week, God's provision in many unexpected ways/resources, new friendships and new opportunities, and I was able to stay at home throughout the entire year. And most recently we enjoyed our first family trip in three years!
Throughout most of 2011, I confess I was truly lost about what God was up to in my life/our lives. Because we encountered one roadblock after another in 2011, my eyes have become zeroed in on my imperfections and flaws causing myself to be riddled with guilt and fear. I won't lie, at times the guilt and fear suffocates me. Therefore, in 2012 I need to restore myself....thus, my "one word" for the year.
In 2012 I will not allow my days to be defined by failure, messes, stress, busyness or everyday difficulties. My life is hidden in Christ and I know he wants to restore my peace and joy. So, in 2012 I intend to find myself again and let God find me again!
I desire to be more patient, flexible, joyful, etc... But, I also want to discover what He desires me to be. For three plus years, I have focused on Rob's desires, dreams, and goals. I wanted to and was happy doing that for Rob, but throughout that process, I lost myself and my identity. I know God has a lot of unfinished business in my life that is hindering my future. So, I desire for Him to restore my soul. In 2012 I want to soak in his love and acceptance and discover what He desires of me.
I need to return to work, but I do so with a heavy heart. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a stay-at-home mom. But, like most families, we need the extra income so I am contemplating taking a couple of classes to renew my teaching certificate. But, maybe there is another plan? Substitute teaching, waitressing, etc... I don't know... I would covet your prayers about this decision.
All I know TODAY is that I desire to be transformed and restored by God's grace. I want to put the voices of failure, condemnation, doubt, fear behind me and begin to embody my "one word"-- restore. I need a spiritual makeover to smooth out the rough edges and touch up my life.
I deeply desire God to restore me in a fresh anew as it says in Colossians 3:3: "Your old life is dead. Your NEW life, which is your REAL life-- even though invisible to spectators- is with Christ in God. He is your life."
Only God knows how He is going to use my "one word"-- "restore"-- in my life in 2012. Who knows all the ways He plans to restore my being? But, I will keep you informed of my vulnerable journey.
I would love others to join me on this "one word" journey. Check out the One Word website and think about it!