As a planner, a big dreamer, a goal-oriented, A-type(ish), first-born “go-getter”… I’m all over New Years.
In early January of this past year, I wrote about a few resolutions I had and some goals for the year. I also shared a reading list (that I didn’t exactly stick to, but it definitely helped me to have a list to turn to when I was ready for a new book — and I sure read a lot in the last year!) among other things.
I love planning and goal setting and list-making and especially list-item-crossing-off. The days between Christmas and New Years have always been thrilling to me, as an opportunity to dream (and write) of great possibilities and challenges and opportunities in the next year. Awesome, right?
This year I am experiencing something completely different.
Goals? New challenges? Growth?
No thank you.
The thought of a new year overwhelms me right now. Writing lists of things to accomplish in the next twelve months is (mostly) devoid of the usual appeal it holds. I feel tired thinking about tomorrow. Next year? Puh-lease.
I want to be open to whatever God has in store for 2012. I want to be used by Him. I want to be a willing servant. Yet even as I type this I am gripped by something in my spirit …(fear?)…“Lord, I’m so tired of being stretched.”
Facebook’s new timeline format has really brought to my attention how dramatically life has changed since I first joined in 2007. It’s truly incredible to me how much has happened and how different I am. That is all wonderful! I am so happy to have done the things I have, to be married to the man I love and to be the mother of two beautiful babies. But part of me just weeps over all the change. I feel a bit behind, a bit confused, like part of me is still “back there” and hasn’t caught up yet.
In less than 3 years of marriage I have experienced and learned so many things. The joy and stress of wedding planning, the elation of family gathering and vows of love, honeymoon bliss, finals, morning sickness, unexpected and unwanted pregnancy, learning to live together as husband and wife, learning how to fight without breaking things, ministering together to youth and other families in our church, learning the very basics of household management, meal-planning, budgeting, cooking, experiencing the constant learning curve of being a new and young mother (I literally didn’t know how to put a diaper on properly), GIVING BIRTH ohmy!, doing what was the “unthinkable” to me and actually nursing a baby, incredible body changes from pre-pregnant to post-natal and back again, figuring out how to relate with both my single friends and older married friends, being among the first of my circle of friends to enter the “uncharted territory” of marriage, meeting in-laws and finding my place in “his” family, studying for finals, putting school on the back burner, adding a second baby to the family, praying my husband through difficult months in seminary, enduring times of financial hardship, transferring my dependence from my father to my husband, learning how to discipline and train my children, being humbled in a million ways, and this list could go on and on.
I feel like I’m back in Geometry class in high school. Something crazy just happened up on that black board and I’m going to need it repeated a few times until I get all that.
Maybe in the next few weeks I’ll be ready to set some fun and ambitious goals for 2012. Right now I just really hope that life will be a bit softer to me – at least for a while.
Somehow I seriously doubt that possibility.
I hope and pray 2012 brings some refreshing from the Lord, and that He will give me strength to lay my own life down, give me the faith I need to trust every day. Because I simply don’t have it in me.
I do love these lines from John Greenleaf Whittier, and I think this will be my prayer for 2012:
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Whatever you require of me, Lord, I am willing.
Please help me to be willing.
P.S. While I’m not up for grand resolutions right now, I am starting the New Year off right with a read-thru-the-Bible plan. Join me? Here are some great ideas for getting started.