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Looking Back, Planning Ahead

So it’s 2016 and for the first time in my life, the new year didn’t bring with it any urgency for change. It didn’t accost me with feelings of shiny new or find me excited to make resolutions. I didn’t awake on January 1st with thoughts of what would be better, or how I would change this year, or what I would do more of or do better at or stop doing all together.

The new year crept past me as I sat on a couch, contented to watch a movie with family I hadn’t seen in five months and sleepily crawl into bed next to my new husband without mention of resolutions or hopes or dreams.

In 25 years of life, I have learned that the new year will always bring with it good things, and steep mountains to climb, and aches and pains and lessons to learn. It will always bring with it unexpected challenges, and immense joy. And often times, it will bring with it long seasons of contented mediocrity that we don’t think to enjoy until its gone.

My 25th New Year “celebration” was nothing special, but it was one of those beautifully average evenings that left me feeling thankful, peaceful, and hopeful in soft kind of way.

Last year my word and my goal was GRATITUDE. Thankfulness in everything and all circumstances. I feel that I can say I accomplished that in some ways and in some moments, but I also feel that I found myself a little derailed at the end of the year. That gratitude was harder to express as I found myself in a hurricane of life changes and emotions I didn’t know how to process.

As a result of that chaotic, heart-aching in the midst of joy conclusion to the year, I have found my heart calling out the same two concepts as I’ve tried to look forward to this new year.

Gratitude. Simplicity.

Like a drum beat, or foot steps, or lungs inhaling and exhaling.

Like the simplest of prayers.

Those two words keep playing in my mind.

Gratitude. Simplicity. Gratitude. Simplicity.

Gratitude. Simplicity.

If there are two things that the transition and the chaos and the joy and the ache and the hurricane of so many new things has left me longing for, it would be…

An increased focus on the beauty and blessing of life

and a cleaning of the slate.

My only plan for the year ahead is not to over-plan. Not to give into the ache for control in the midst of a season in my life when God is teaching me how to trust Him when I don’t have control. When I can’t see the outcome or the timeline or the plan. To live simply, in the moment, breathing through the chaos when needed, but seeking to notice the every day, average moments that are full of joy.

Oh yeah, and to write about them…


2 thoughts on “Looking Back, Planning Ahead

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