Over the past several years I have loved the New Year, as I choose a word to guide my year. It is a fresh start. A chance to put the previous year behind me. As I mentioned in my last blog, it has been a hard year medically, emotionally, and spiritually. Every year, however, I often find myself year after year with regrets of all the things… NOT accomplished, NOT finished, NOT tried, etc. I started choosing a word to encompass it all, so I would not focus on the things not done, the weight not lost, the goals not met, my perceived failures, etc. A word that could steer me daily not on specific things but as a theme for my year. A word to keep me heading in the right direction.
Over the last month I have kept a list of words that have jumped out at me. At words that made me thing “that’s a great word”. Within the last couple of weeks, I have narrowed it down to a few words that I have heard or have stood out repeatedly. The past two days, I have done just enough to get my family by. I normally create a huge to do list to accomplish on days off, and generally leave most things unchecked. These past two days, I gave myself grace and no list. I have watched movies with Mary undistracted, listened to Sam’s storied and admired Sam’s creations, snuggled with my husband, and watched Hallmark movies. An honestly, I do have some things I would have done differently last year as I reflected on the previous year; however, I choose not to stay in that rut of regret. As in my last blog, I choose to be courageous and put down the mask and cape. (oh… choose and courage would have been other great words). That was the first STEP….
STEP is my word for 2018. At the end of 2017, I was facing a difficult choice, and practiced my typical coping mechanism of procrastination. It was then I decided I developed a mantra to either STEP UP or STEP OUT. The project perceived bigger than I wanted to face, so I stalled. I resolved to step up and take the next step, only to find it wasn’t as bad as I thought, and the avoidance was worse than the step. It was one small step in the right direction. The phrase kept coming up and it drew me. I am infamous for looking at a huge project and it overwhelms me, so I do nothing until I can no longer avoid it. This principal of overwhelm and procrastination applies to so many areas of my life.
There are areas I need to STEP BACK and evaluate. Areas I need to be brave and STEP UP. Areas that I need to STEP OUT to spend my time more wisely. Every day I just need to take a STEP, a movement, (and some days that step may be just a tip-toe). Lately, I have even stunk at what I use to do best – my calendar. I could look at it and feel like I had some handle on my life. Lately though, I think it has been avoidance and overwhelm of the big pictures going on in my life. The desire to do it all, to be it all, and to solve it all created avoidance. If I didn’t open the calendar, I didn’t have anything to do. I cleaned out over 10,000 emails yesterday, which built up in a short time because if I didn’t open the email, it didn’t exist. If I don’t get on the scale, then, I can pretend that my weight is okay. If I don’t take my finger sticks, then, I can pretend my diabetes is in check (which proved to be my downfall a few months ago). Procrastination led to bigger problems, and some could have been solved with little steps.
One of the areas I need to work on is my spiritual life. As I was seeking my “gut” to confirm my word, I re-listened to a sermon I remembered listening to by Kevin Queen during a series of Movement. He talked about how “Peter had no idea what would happen when he took that first step”. “Movement begins when you take a step.” And then a quote on Facebook from CrossPoint church that states “Sometimes God wants us to take a step before He parts the water.” I will never know what problem God will part, if I don’t take the step. He wants me being active partner in my own life, and not just waiting for the answer. Even more, He wants to direct my steps for all the crazy little plans I make. He would love even more input into my plans. I make plan after plan without consulting God, who has a much better view of my big life. I need to take the STEP of faith out of the boat I keep rowing alone. I can make my plans, but I need to let the Lord determine my steps. (Proverbs 16:9).
My gracefulness in real life has always been in question – I have fallen down steps, fallen while taking steps on level ground, fallen taking steps uphill, and fallen taking steps downhill. I am sure as I take each step I risk the chance of falling. When I fall, as I have so many times before, I will get back up and take another STEP.
Here is to 2018… happening one baby step at a time….