It is absolutely WILD that we have 2 days left in 2019. I continued to hear people talking about the New Year. But I quickly realized this is a whoooooooole new decade. 2019 was ok…just ok. I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted. Everything wasn’t perfect. It was a year of some of my highest highs but also delivered some of my lowest lows. All in all I learned a lot and am not ungrateful in any way for God’s blessings. I am constantly reminded of the love He has for me and the incredible community around me. I know that God has been faithful to me and I purposed myself to be faithful to Him!
I typically take some down time to reflect on what has been, what I’ve accomplished and what I hope to achieve going forward. I am not much at all for resolutions but I am really big on goal setting. My best friend and I have a nearly 20 year habit of asking one another “what do you plan to leave in [insert year]?” We realizes as much as we look forward to the excitement of a new year and talking about all that God will do, there are certainly ways that we complicate our lives by carrying things we really should let go. We stand before an open door. It is literally a fresh chapter that is filled with potential and amazing opportunities. It is important to take the right mindset and right Godly guiding principles in with us.
Excuses serve one purpose at this point in my life…to keep me from getting all that God has for me. I understand these next moves in my life will continue to be great faith moves. The human mind will cause us to rationalize ourselves from taking the next move. Excuses are anchored in my own desire for comfort and predictability. Faith moves most often require some level of change. Life requires change. At times in my life I have also allowed facts like I am not married, I don’t have children to stop me from being open to growth opportunities. I had somehow convinced myself that others would discredit for these reasons. No way! God sets up in us the experiences and developmental moments needed to shape us for the work He has uniquely designed us to complete. Excuses unnecessarily insert my overthinking God’s plan. They are a bunch of nothingness and will not be the blocker of the next blessing in my life. I believe in my God and I believe in myself. I am set up for greatness and great things!
Being apologetic for things for which I don’t need to apologize is exhausting. Sometimes the apology isn’t in words but in the ways that I modify my existence of presence to accommodate others. Other times the apology is to justify not fitting into another’s expectation. Example…most people don’t realize that I am an introvert. And when I am not traveling or serving I can be a bit of a homebody. To friends who enjoy activities, I know that seems boring. I find myself trying to create something just to appease the other…when the truth is…it is THEM looking for entertainment…not a perfectly happy at home me! Doing great things also comes with the cost of others critique that you think you’re better or exempt from difficulty. It’s not true. But I am confident in God and I know that HE called me blessed. I won’t apologize for it. LOL! My attitude…sorry not sorry.
3. Being ok with “ok”
Something crazy happened in the last couple of years. I was working hard, pushing and pursuing my personal goals but didn’t guard the gates of my environment. Looking back over a short space of time I realize that I started setting with “ok”. That has NEVER been my speed. I am firmly convinced that God has designed me to experience His best. I believe in His promises and rehearse them regularly. He doesn’t’ just want me survive and be ok…He want s me to thrive…in fact to prosper and be in good health even as my soul prospers! Ok may be ok for someone…but it’s not ok for ME! And I won’t apologize for being driven and never settling.
I am not a person who loses sleep at night. I haven’t gained or lose any weight from worry. But I have spent a lot of time doing something that is not my job…trying to figure things out. The me in me KNOWS that God has taken care of me every step of the way in this journey called life. And yet I tend to want to know the details and the how. I do fight a constant need to manage all of the pieces. Truth is…on my own even with any degree of intelligence, I couldn’t begin to carve out the path God has designed for me. It has turned into an incredible journey but I will trust Him implicitly!
Is it just me, or is there always something to do? And it’s not really even always your own stuff. It is also crazy the amount of guilt I feel when I can’t stop to make everyone else’s needs, whims and dreams come through. Most of the time I KNOW I don’t have capacity but I hate to disappoint others. I hear people say “you’re always so busy”…and then those same people ask me to do something. The comedy….the irony! LOL
I do have a bad habit of saying “YES” when I should say “NO”. In exploring my most honest space I think I have used being busy as a way to prove my value and worth to others. It is how I have “earned my seat” if that makes sense. Coupled that with the fact that I confess to some perfectionist ways and I now admit that sometimes I run my self ragged. It is a never-ending constant proving ground. Well that’s changing. I practiced in NOvember and will continue with my newfound empowerment of saying “NO” and being ok with it. I will do a better job of sorting out nice to do vs. necessary things –what is urgent vs. what is important (but can likely wait). “NO” does not make me a mean person or a non-contributor. I want to be free to deliver my best where I choose to be invested AND to reserve some time for myself! J
6. Not Making Myself a Priority
No question about it…I stay busy. One thing I have never wanted was to simply be “busy being busy”. Looking back over my calendar I have been moving – work, ministry engagements, church conferences. I'm happy and enjoyed myself. But I can’t account for the time that I have truly made myself a priority. I am not talking about sneaking few hours away. I mean where I really put myself first and created an experience that was just for me and makes me happy. About 13 years ago I told myself “church conference and conventions are NOT vacation”. I did not want my life to become nothing but that. And the last 4 years I admit other things have dominated my schedule. Time to revisit the schedule! And I will take time to do things that matter for ME annnnnnnd I look forward to 2 amazing vacations in 2020. Cruise already scheduled and I am watching for something European! A lot of fatigue and frustration has been my own fault for not taking the time. Not having time will not be a justification. I will PLAN time for me. Making me a priority not only makes me better for myself, but also allows me to give the best of my service when Ire-engage.
7. 15 Outfits in my closet
We needed a little humor right? Am I really wearing all of these clothes? I haven’t lost any weight in hour years and clearly am not altering things that are now too roomy. And I am not creating a collection of aspirational pieces. LOL! But seriously, a full cup or closet leaves no room for anything new to be experienced!
Leaving things in the passing year/decade is actually a pruning process. We know from scripture that every branch that does not bring forth fruit, God cuts off. Leaving certain things behind really is a pruning process that actually positions us to begin to grow. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am still growing and seek to be the best and most fruitful version of myself. I want to grow. I want to move in positive ways. I really want to lay aside weights that hinder me.
Is there something or some things that you want to leave behind and let go of before the New Year? I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this. Here’s to a great 2020 and an awesome new decade!