As most people do when a year is coming to an end, I’ve started to reflect on the year that has passed. And I’ve settled on one overriding theme.
Different is hard.
I’ve never been much for change. And for much of my life I didn’t deal with it. The last 25 years have pretty much shifted from that normalcy and consistency, but that didn’t make 2017 any easier. A year ago, I never imagined the twists and turns that this past year would bring.
…leaving full-time work to come home.
…starting a blog.
…beginning a work-from-home career.
As I’ve explained before, I always thought I’d be the working mom with a full-time career and a family. So the turn that my life and work took in 2017 was unexpected, to say the least. And it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, it’s been more difficult than I ever imagined, and I’ve worked harder than I ever did before. It’s not that I ever thought working at home and being a stay-at-home mom was easy…but it’s given me a new-found respect for those who have done it for years.
I’ve had to learn to give myself grace. And I think that will be my “word” for 2018: grace. I could choose a more active word, something more ambitious or exhilarating. But I’ve realized that a lot of the stress I’ve experienced in the last several months stems from the one thing that I most withhold from myself: grace.
In the middle of all the faults and failures and the bad days that make me want to give up…I tend to be harder on myself than I am on others. Eventually, I forgive the mishap by my son or the misunderstood words between my husband and me. But I beat myself up for days, even weeks, for things that many times aren’t even in my control.
That needs to stop.
Because if the King of the universe, the Almighty God, the Ruler of everything can forgive me, then I need to be able to forgive myself, even when it is my fault.
And not only do I want to extend more grace to myself, I want to do so for others – especially my husband and son. Because doesn’t it seem like those in our own household are the ones to whom we give the least slack?? It definitely is that way for me. I don’t ever want to treat a stranger better than I treat my own family. But I find myself doing that far too often.
My phrase for the year is “Be better.” It kind of goes along with the word for the year, but even beyond that, I want to try harder, not give up, be more disciplined. Nowhere is this more crucial than in my spiritual life. My faith grew exponentially in 2017…I want to continue that growth in 2018 by knowing Him better, digging deeper into His Word, and being a better light to the world.
(One of the ways I’m doing this “digging deeper” is by following a chronological reading plan through the Bible that I’m pretty excited about.)
I do have those usual goals of getting healthier, improving our finances, the usual “New Year’s resolutions” that people make. But I know I can’t do any of it, even the seemingly non-spiritual stuff, without some help.
Not diet plans or budgeting tools.
It’s all in my verse of the year:
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” – Matthew 19:26
Because try as I might, I can’t do this alone. Pssst…neither can you.
I fail and fail miserably. But HE never does. So why wouldn’t I rely on Him?
What about you? What are your goals for this year? Or, dare I say, resolutions? What’s your word for the year, if you have one? How do you plan to accomplish your goals?
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty stoked about 2018. I feel that God is going to do something amazing.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19
Love in Christ,
All Scripture is from the ESV.