So you may already know that the trend in New Year's resolutions right now is to simplify by choosing just one word to use as a theme, a mantra, a keystone.
I had a word for 2013, and it was grace. Gracia. Ekisa. Neema. Gratia.
I had come to a point in life, through some really difficult circumstances that I hope to have the guts to write about here one day, where I needed to cling to the sufficient grace of Christ more than anything else in my life. Grace for those around me. Grace for myself.
It wasn't a perfect exercise by any stretch of the imagination but it was a powerful focus word. I treasure what God showed me about myself and relating to others during that time. One of the translations above is engraved into my skin and will be with me throughout this earthly life as a remembrance stone of this dark and beautiful valley.
My word for 2014 is satisfied. Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books, and there is such a distinct emphasis on how all the busy-ness of life can simply amount to nothing, or "striving after the wind." There are hundreds of fascinating cross-references throughout Scripture with the pervasive theme of being satisfied in life, and the wasteland a person's heart can trod in the desperate pit of never finding satisfaction.
As a very driven and goal-oriented person since high school, I have spent the past 15 years or so feeding the urge to accomplish more, do better, go higher, learn everything. The desire to go everywhere (everywhere!) read up every book (every single book!) in the world, the tendency to pursue every degree or extra certification I could and quickly, volunteer for every committee that sounded meaningful or even remotely interesting, tackling of every fun thing or outing or activity with my girls, agree to every request to teach a class or session or study, sign up for every travel opportunity that is even remotely possible to pull off, yearn for every concert or play or musical possible, and to just generally make work for myself in the name of trying something new...has been how I live my life. Go. Do. Read. Push. Learn. Be. Forge. Absorb. Give. Press. Pour.
Is it all just chasing after the wind? Or is it making the most of every opportunity?
It's a tricky bit, that is.
There are a lot of vapor-like things up there in that paragraph. Yeah, for sure. And there are plenty of wonderful blessings I have received or been a part of through this method of living "the big life," as The Captain and I call this way of filling up our days to running slap over...lots of God-honoring things that I know for a fact weren't in vain. The time we spend pouring out to individuals through the busy-ness of life (and maybe in ways that most folks would never see or know about) hasn't exactly been a horrible way to go about it.
This season in life, though, this one right here, cries out for a focus on being satisfied, with who and what I have and in what we do. To stop volunteering for or agreeing to do and go too much. To be content with our station in life. To stop gulping and chugging and start sipping instead. Savoring. Being satisfied.
It isn't about fatigue; it's beyond that. I think.
Like the person in the image above, if I feel as though the pushy life has been my journey, now it's time to stop and be still for a minute (not forever, just take a beat) simply to be sure I'm taking it all in, this life, for what it is and what God would have it to be, not Michelle Wilson's incessant drive for the moreness of it all.
If it's possible, I think grace will have a lot to do with it.
Care to share your one word (or resolution) for 2014?