I mean don't get me wrong. I always have really good intentions. I always tried really hard to listen and obey and go in directions I felt the Lord leading me.
But at the end of the day, I'd look back and feel exhausted. Stretched in a million directions and like a hamster spinning her wheel going no where. In fact I am pretty sure I used that metaphore with Brandon many nights as I unloaded my stresses on him. Bless him.
I would look at it all and try to eliminate the things that weren't life giving for me or for my family, but I'd always go back to feeling like it was all supposed to be there. So confusing right. So what was I doing wrong? How could I fix it? What did I need to do.
Meanwhile my grip on it all tightened and my headaches kept coming and my feelings of failure wouldn't leave and my annoyance with people and obligations grew even more.
But then something changed right around the end of June. I woke up the morning of June 26th and very quietly made my way into our bathroom while the rest of the house still slept. And I took a pregnancy test. I watched as it turned positive and then picked it up and walked upstairs to the little corner of my office where my chair and bible were, and I sat down. Test in my lap, I just stared at it. An overwhelming peace filled my heart like never before that morning. There was no sense of panic, or even nervous excitement. Just peace.
I opened my hands up wide as that positive test sat in my lap and I prayed. I gave it all to the Lord. The next few minutes, few days, few weeks, few months. This baby was His. And every bit of control I ever thought I had, I surrendered it. I knew no matter what happened or didn't happen in the next few weeks and months, was out of my control. And from that moment everything changed.
I feel like a freedom came that I hadn't had before. A freedom in those moments of release. And for the next few weeks and months and even now, that peace that overwhelmed me that morning, has never left.
I look back on the second half of 2014 and I realize just how much this baby slowed me down. In the best way. Everything I was doing, or trying to do, or hoping to do....none of it mattered any more to me. I knew in my heart as I laid in bed many days from complete exhaustion and nausea, that I was doing what I needed to be doing in those moments. Growing this baby.
Time slowed down. My hamster wheel stopped spinning, because I stopped spinning. Long mornings spent with my kids piled on my bed telling me their dreams from the night before, afternoons in the back yard with popsicles and the water hose, and early evenings in bed.
Slow and good. And so unlike me.
My laundry piled up, my house wasn't neat and tidy 24/7, my kids probably got away with more than I'd normally let them....I let go of some of the things I commited to, and I put my shop on a long break. Also, I gained like a good twenty pounds. Haha!
So going into 2015 I wanted to keep that pace. I had no desire to run full speed ahead, or pile things on to my plate or fill my calendar with goals or big to-do's. Not that I think any of those things are wrong. Because I do still have them. But above every thing else, there is just one thing I want to focus on most this year, and that is to love.
I get that that sounds super simple. But for me it's bigger. When I look at what I do want to accomplish for this year, I see that none of it can happen without love. I want love in my heart, and in my actions and in my intentions. Love is what fuels and propels us. Love covers all. When we seek to do things in love, it comes from a real place and a place that doesn't run out of energy or motivation. Love fuels our passions.
I want to love my husband and my kids in the little every day things. Making lunches, coloring, laying out clothes, studying for spelling tests, sitting in on meetings to plan out our Sunday services, give input and insight and attention. Because these are the ways my people feel loved.
And I feel like as I seek to love first, everything else will come. Not by my own "do-ing" but by my own love fueled actions. I want to lay down at night and reflect back on my day and know I loved people well. That I reflected Christs love through me. That I didn't make beds or fold laundry or answer an email or help plan an event or sit in on a meeting or have a conversation with someone that wore me out because I HAD to, but because I wanted to. Loving these people, my people...it is an honor. A ministry in itself. And I don't want to take it for granted.
Does all of this even make sense to anyone else? I hope it does. I write all of this and share it all not for any reason except maybe there are others out there right now who are feeling drained and exhausted and we are barely through January. I pray you're encouraged by my own honesty and shortcomings and experiences. And I pray God pricks something in your heart to fuel you for 2015 in a new way too.
My husband spoke a message at the beginning of this year on this idea of "ONE WORD" and something he said stuck with me:
"IT’S OFTEN THE SMALL THINGS THAT NO ONE SEES THAT RESULT IN THE BIG THINGS THAT EVERYONE WANTS."
These small things and small ways of loving my family and friends and neighbors and our church family...maybe no one will ever see them. Maybe no one will notice them. But I'm confident if I continue on in them, when I look back at 2015, I'll feel more accomplished than I ever have before.
Have you thought about your "One Word"? I would love to hear it if so and pray with you to seek out ways you can see it through for 2015.
Here's to our best year yet y'all.