I love almost everything about January: It’s my birthday month, so between that and the decorations not down yet, it’s like Christmas is still here. It’s a new beginning. Fresh and clean. A whole year stretched out in front of me, full of possibilities. It’s the month of goals/resolutions. I love me some lists, and now is the time to make a big one, or multiple ones. Bring on the pretty notepads!
Some people find that aspect of a new year depressing. They look back over the lists at the end of the year and see what all didn’t happen in their perfect plan. But much depends on perspective.
2016 could be one of those years for me. A few weeks ago I glanced over my list of goals–writing ones especially. I’ve failed miserably. Last year went a completely different direction than I’d planned for. The regular coffee shop writing dates I’d been blessed to have in 2015? Didn’t happen. The inspired hours after my toddler went to bed? Yeah…no. Nap time muse? Not that either. No conferences, no writers’ group, no ACFW. I kind of had an unplanned writing fast.
At the end of 2015, we purchased and moved into our first real home, and the fixer-upper needed–needs–demands! a lot of time and energy. And money, which meant I went back to work, and also worked with my husband on some side jobs. Oh, and we potty-trained our son. Kind of. Fun times.
If I look at my list from last year–all the stories I was going to finish, all the other projects I was going to complete–it could be disheartening. But what if I choose to be content? Not that I won’t go back on a diet again and try to do better this time. Not that I won’t aim to be more disciplined and deliberate with my use of time. But what if instead of focusing on everything that didn’t happen, I look at the blessings of 2016?
The job that was basically dropped in my lap, that’s within walking distance of my home, that involves tasks I enjoy and working with people who are kind, a joy to be around, and who love on my family.
My growing-too-fast son who may demand a lot of time, but who is loving and funny. Who calls me Wonder Mommy. Who gives the best hugs and makes me laugh daily.
This 100 year old home/DIY project, with its quirks and space and good neighbors and fireplaces and slanted floors and big porch and tall ceilings and did I mention SPACE? Oh, it’s not a dream home, but it’s cute and quirky and, well, home.
The book that did come out and has done well, thanks to a group of lovely fellow writers. It was fun to write my first western! (You can learn more about it here.)
The husband who is still with me, still loyal, still loves me, still dreams with me, still fills the car with gas always, still does funny voices and tells crazy stories for our kid (and for me!), still is my best friend. Always.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
I’m learning–and my aim this year is–to ask what God has for me to do each day. Which story, which task, which relationship, which connection would best glorify Him? Because His plan is the best, most-fulfilling plan, and that’s the one I want my life to follow.
So Happy New Year, and at the end of this year, may our steps–wherever they lead–draw us closer to Him.