If someone asked you to sum up 2013 in three phrases, what would you say?
I think I would say slightly risky, family-focused, and shifting paradigms.
It was a good year for learning. I learned how to take a positive step forward instead of thinking my motivation to death. I learned to love people who were hard to love without sinking. And I learned a bit more about how God likes to work—one.thing.at a time. I learned patience with myself (a little). I learned about having a vision for my family. I learned to appreciate how quickly my kids are growing into the people God planned for them to be, and how quickly obstacles to their growth crop up.
But it definitely wasn’t all shining happiness. In some ways 2013 felt like a lot of growing pains. It wasn’t tragic, but it was hard. I saw my progress in life and struggled to accept that my hopes are still a long way off. I saw my ugly sides and struggled to chip them away rather than obsess over them. I saw where other people failed me (don’t we all) and the choice to be gracious or hold a grudge. I saw the minutiae of my daily life—clean up the spill, stop the bickering, make the food, change the diaper, make the food, read the baby book AGAIN—and I saw how it builds the foundation for my family now and the family to come… I saw big responsibility in the tiny moments and felt intimidated. Had to move past that. Still working on it.
All of this has been useful, some of it was inspiring, and I am grateful for 2013’s lessons. But I do have one regret. Just one. Not too bad for a whole year, I suppose.
My one regret was crowding out my time to be creative. I had little moments, but I didn’t invest in making things, whether it be crazy projects with my kids or a drama for church, or just writing in my journal.
So now it’s March of 2014.
If you asked me what phrases I would want to see this year, I would say this:
Creating at every turn
I’ve been training myself to embrace the joy God gives me so freely and I want this to be he year that I dive into it. That’s a risky move.
I don’t like risk; I don’t like that rush of adrenaline, the possibility of messing up or being ridiculous, the responsibility that comes with success. It’s twisted and a little weird, but I’ve lived with it for so long. Last year, I took some definite risks. I didn’t think my way out of them. It was a good beginning. I want to build on that foundation and leap into the void, knowing God holds me up no matter what the outcome.
God made me to create. In some sense, I think He made all of us to create and it just comes out differently for each one of us. That’s a topic for another day. For me, it’s an artistic kind of expression, something to pull us out of the everyday moments and realize He made something beautiful. I have so many ideas, so many plans, so many hopes. I have dreams that would take me years, even decades to accomplish. I have dreams I don’t see how to reach yet. And there are plenty of dreams that are within my reach, if only I would carve out the time to get there.
So it’s time to make goals. I’m not confident with making goals. That’s probably why this blog is so stuffy. :p But I want to give in to the dreamer in me, be filled by the joy God gives me, and dance my way through space.
Here’s to the unknown!
Oh… Maybe I should list some concrete goals?
Well, I guess so. Although that feels terribly final and—
Okay. Compromise. Baby steps. Here are some IDEAS of goals I’m playing with. I can’t have too many or I’ll give up.
- Write a certain amount (1 page, 500 words, 15 minutes worth, etc) of whatever EVERY DAY. I’m terrible with “every day” goals. But hey, shoot for the moon, land in the stars, right?
- Write a complete fictional story (short, children’s, novel chapter/arc) at least 3 times this year. Baaaaaby steps, remember?
- Streamline blogs format and invest into content.
- Do what it takes to gain followers. Within reason. I’m not mercenary.
- Get at least 4 articles published.
- Invest in writing with a budget—magazines, conferences, a class or two, etc.
- Choreograph a lyrical dance/drama for church. I have several roughed out but I need to actually do them.
- Look into starting a children’s choir.
- Take kids to art museum to explore. Bring drawing pads.
- Take a dance class!
- Explore poetry.
- Read new authors. I don’t like doing it because I am a little picky about the books I read. But I want some new books!
- Crochet. Anything. Just re-learn how to do it.
- Get a garden going for the first time ever. I saw this really cool method where you put the seeds and some topsoil in a bale of hay or straw (forget which) and just let it do it’s thing. No weeds, no digging, and hopefully no epic waste of money. I’m thinking potatoes, attempting tomatoes, maybe bell peppers. Easy stuff.
- Practice, actually PRACTICE, singing. Maybe even try writing a song. Maybe.
- Craft with the kids once a week, via Pinterest.
- Print pictures of my family and friends of my kids so I can help them scrapbook.
- Bake more with the kids. Step away and let them make mistakes.
- Epically decorate at least one cake.
- Lead a group study.
I cannot do all those things. But I can pick a couple that really mean a lot to me and do those. I can’t pick right now because that is just too much pressure, but I WILL. 😛
I will. I have to. I want 2014 to be better. I want to be better.