Monday, January 7, 2019

Looking Back to Look Ahead for 2019

It's the beginning of January, which is one of my favorite times of year.

I know, I know, I know . . . there is nothing magical or special about a new year and any one of us can make a change or goal or new focus anytime throughout the year. In fact, the mindset of "I'll just wait until January," can be damaging in a lot of ways.


I also believe there is some real value in evaluating where you are and where you are headed. After all, you don't want to live the same year 75x and call it a life, right? Not my quote, but a powerful one.

Choosing not to evaluate (at least on some level) is choosing to be at risk of coasting through life and that, in my opinion, is where we can get into some trouble.

I read Levi Lusko's Through The Eyes of A Lion in 2018 and it was so good. As in, I filled up 15 pages in a journal with quotes I don't want to forget. One that I think still about ALL the time?

"Most people die at age 25 but aren't buried until age 75."

Drop. The. Mic.

I never want to get to that point, guys. Thus, my love affair with New Years reflections.

(I'm not saying people who don't reflect and plan and goal-set are coasting or walking around dead, but for me, that is a real possibility because I know I am at risk of coasting if I'm not careful. Just want to acknowledge that we aren't all created equal and we don't all need the same tools to live our best lives. So this is not me judging or making assumptions about others.)

ALL THAT TO SAY, I truly enjoy the act of reflecting on different life areas (I/we use Jennie Allen's New Year Dream Guide - highly recommend!) and taking time to re-set my focus, mindset, and possibly even craft a few goals for the year. I love looking back to see what worked in each area, what didn't work, and how to practically make improvements in each.

Lots of Clara love last year, per usual. 2018 was a crazy year of potty training Clara (still working on it, long way to go but she has come SO far), advocacy work both at a local and state level, but also a sweet and FUN year watching the girls deepen their relationship and grow/mature as individuals.
Brandon and I also snuck in a few weekends away which was so nice!

Here is where I was at the beginning of 2018.

My themes for 2018 were the following. . . 

  • Dwell - in His presence, thoughts of gratitude/of Him
  • Quiet - less noise/inputs, more prayer which leads to a steady mind
  • Rest - physical and mental
  • Flow - what flows through my mind comes out of my heart/attitudes/actions

I worked really hard on my mindset all year (dwelling on the right things to truly rest) and it paid off, for sure. I even got a tattoo on Mother's Day as a reminder to always dwell on Jesus, the only source of real rest, and not my circumstances. But I still have a long way to go.

Yep! My tattoo artist came to my house!
And no, it didn't hurt as bad as I expected and yes, I would get another one. :)

So where is my focus for 2019?

I read something by Sarah Young in Jesus Calling a few months ago stating that Jesus longs for us to "live within the boundaries of today." Really, this builds on the idea of dwelling well and is a continuation of the same idea.

Learn to live within the boundaries of today. 

What does this really mean for me?

Not rehashing the past. Not rehashing people's past choices or hurts projected onto me or past annoyances and misunderstandings. Not constantly going backwards in my mind.

This also means not projecting hurts or situations or conversations into the future that haven't even happened yet (Am I the only crazy person who does this?? I will literally play out entire situations in my mind and what I will say and what they might say and how I will respond once again. OMGOSH.).

Learning to live within the boundaries of today not only heightens my joy in the moment, but goodness, it allows me to enjoy moments, people, places that I might not otherwise.

I am listing out some practical goals (like learning to use the darn curling rod I got three years ago and refraining from acting like a five year old when it takes longer than two minutes to learn said skill) and things I want to continue into 2019, but learning this skill is the overarching theme.

Learn to live within the boundaries of today. 

 . . . 

What about you? What are you focusing on in 2019? Do you set a lot of goals or just one big one? Choose one word? Pick a theme? Not into goals at all? I'd love to hear. 

1 comment

  1. I have found choosing a single word ( to be a focused way to keep my perspective refreshed given any circumstance or person that I encounter. I think I remember that Brittnie has done My One Word in the past as well. This year, I am going with AURORA … the pivot within which rest and stillness transform into energy and motion. The aurora night sky lights are the visible energy birthed from the stillness following a collision of electrons; I was drawn to this aspect of NOAA's explanation of them, "In these collisions, the electrons transfer their energy to the atmosphere thus exciting the atoms and molecules to higher energy states. When they relax back down to lower energy states, they release their energy in the form of light.” Aurora also means dawn; scripturally, dawn represents the catalyst point in time when we transition from the quiet, preparation and rejuvenation of night into the refining processes and movement of day. Genesis chapter 1 states three times – in verses 13, 19 and 23 – that evening came first then morning. So for me, AURORA is going to capture my putting into action what I have received in my quiet time. It's an added bonus that Aurora is the name of my favorite Disney Princess from Sleeping Beauty!


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