A NEW year, a NEW focus, and a NEW outlook…a new year is always full of anticipation and a bit of trepidation for me. December was (and always is for me) a mad dash of activity- Christmas gifts to create, Christmas programs to organize and attend, family gatherings, acknowledging so many people who make my life so rich and full and not nearly enough time in quiet reflection.
This year God seemed to make a way for the quiet and reflection. I spent several days slowed down from my usual pace because I was not feeling well. Frustrating and yet probably exactly where I needed to be. I can get so lost in the “doing” that I forget the “being”. I’m becoming better at this but it is extremely difficult-totally against my programmed Dutch “work ethic”. And, now I find myself beginning the NEW year. We had the privilege of attending the beautiful wedding of my brother-in-law Jason and his new bride Kallie over the New Year’s holiday. The time with family was so good, the time away from normal responsibilities so refreshing, and the time to talk and relax together so rare.
But, now I am back at home-faced with the responsibility of running a household, creating a calendar for the NEW year and returning to relationships and tasks to do. Last year I decided I couldn’t create an entire list of goals and objectives for the year so I just chose one word to focus on-that word was NEW. Well, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This past year was one of dramatic growth and change for me. I went places I never dreamed of going- places far away geographically and places very close to home and deep within me. I couldn’t have imagined it if I had tried. I think I will always look back on this past year as a pivotal time in my life and work.
But, now where do I go from here…that is always the question. So, what? I had a NEW year full of surprise and challenge, what could I now dare to pick as a word or direction for this upcoming year? I have always been a woman with a plan. I had 10 year plans, 5 year plans, 1 year plans, 3 month plans, plans for the week and plans for the day. I had lists of goals-personal and professional in journal after journal. I’ve read and studied business plans, visual goal setting, detailed creative “to do” lists, vision casting and on and on. What I have learned this year is that I’m throwing them all out. It seems like a very “anti-American” thing to do, very unorganized and well, down right heretical. But, I have finally learned that my plans are not always His plans, and my ways are not always His ways. I’ve turned over all my goal-setting habits. I’m striking out on a new and much riskier path-one not of my own planning. It is a terrifying and yet wonderfully exhilarating way to live.
So…there is no “list of goals for the year” and no “word of the year” in sight. But, I do have hope and peace and passion that this is EXACTLY the way I want to live my life.
Copyright 2008 Melynda Van Zee