Saying Goodbye to 2017

It’s hard to believe it’s the end of another year.  Time seems to be speeding up as I get older.  My boys are growing like weeds.   Sometimes I want to beg them to slow down a little.  This has been a tough year for our family.  There have been a lot of changes happening,  and I’m not one that gets excited about change.   One thing I’ve learned about change though it that it pushes us out of our comfort zones.  It’s easy to get almost complacent if nothing ever changes.  Things can even get a little stagnant without change.  There is no room for growth without change.  And so sometimes I think God thrusts a little change on us whether we like it or not.  This has definitely been a year of growth for me, and with growth comes growing pains.  Anytime true growth happens, I think there is a certain amount of loss involved.  Growth means movement and going forward, but to do that, you have to say good-bye to the things you leave behind, and that is hard.  It’s a very interesting mix of grieving for what we leave behind and hope for what is ahead. 

Throughout this last year of change, God has really opened my eyes to what I want to do with the rest of my life as far as vocation goes.  I decided to go back to school to get my Masters Degree in Counseling.  I am very excited about this and the way that it has come to fruition.  As part of that long-term plan, I started back to school to finish my bachelors degree.  I also started a new full-time job back in September working at a counseling office.  I love the job and the people I work with.  These are both very good things that have happened in the last year, but even so, I find myself grieving for some of the things that have had to change to make room for these new things.   Now that I am working full-time and going to school, I can’t go volunteer at the boy’s school whenever I want to.  I’m not readily available to drop the boys off at school or pick then up almost everyday like I used to.  I am not available to babysit for friends during the day like I used to, or go meet them for Bible Study and fellowship on a weekly basis like we used to.  I sometimes feel like I am going to give myself whiplash by the constant looking back and forth between how things were and how things will be.  I guess that’s when I have to just be in the present and practice being grateful for where I am right now.  It also gives me the opportunity to be so grateful that I had a number of years when the boys were little to be home with them without having to work, and for the chance to build strong relationships with my girlfriends that won’t end just because I don’t see them as much.  It takes a little more coordinating and scheduling now…something that is not my strong suit, but it makes the times when I can pick the boys up from school that much sweeter, or when I can get together with friends that much more special.  The boys are older now, and seeing me working and going to school can be a good opportunity for them to see me being responsible and for them to learn to be more responsible too.  

I love Truth Bomb Mom, Kristina Kuzmic.  She posted this great video about embracing the new year and choosing to look for something good every single day.  She suggests every night, writing down one good thing that happened during the day you just lived.  My own spin as 2018 is upon us it to write down one thing I am grateful for every day.  This is not a new idea, but why re-invent the wheel?  Choosing to embrace and seek after gratitude and activiely finding the good can only bring more gratitude and good.  So here’s to 2018.  I hope you will join me in seeking gratitude and good!

 

Yesterday

(Imagine Dragons)

Here’s to my future
Here’s to my yesterday
Here’s to change
Oh, here’s to my yesterday
No tomorrow without a yesterday
Here’s to my future
Goodbye to yesterday

All these years I’ve been searching
For who I’m supposed to be
All this time I’ve been wasting
‘Cause I was right in front of me

Oh, it’s a crooked old tradition
By a masterful magician
But in all this trouble I’ve met
I haven’t got one single regret, no

Here’s to my future
Here’s to my yesterday
Here’s to change
Oh, here’s to my yesterday
No tomorrow without a yesterday
Here’s to my future
Goodbye to yesterday
Yesterday

Oh, I’m a hopeless crash collision
‘Cause I’m a hostage to my pride
And by my own volition
I’ve been a saint, I’ve been the truth, I’ve been the lie

Oh, it’s a crooked old tradition
By a masterful magician
But in all this trouble I’ve met
I haven’t got one single regret, no

Here’s to my future
Here’s to my yesterday
Here’s to change
Oh, here’s to my yesterday
No tomorrow without a yesterday
Here’s to my future
Goodbye to yesterday
Yesterday

A new day you can go, you can do
Anything you wanna
It’s your play, swing low, go high
Anywhere you wanna
You can reach for the moon
Anywhere your dreams could take you
Go astray, fade away
Just leave it to yesterday

Here’s to my future
Here’s to my yesterday
Here’s to change
Oh, here’s to my yesterday
No tomorrow without a yesterday
Here’s to my future
Goodbye to yesterday
Yesterday

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year!  Time to say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016.  Out with the old, in with the new.  I’ve never been big on New Years Resolutions.  They seem to set people up for failure and disappointment.  As Brené Brown so eloquently puts it:

January 1This resolution is going to be awesome!

January 5I’m awesome.

January 10This sucks.

January 20I suck.

I know I have fallen into this trap many times, and not just as it relates to New Years Resolutions.  I find myself working throughout the year to be a better person.  I strive to be a better mother.  I say to myself, “I’m not gonna yell at my kids today.  I am the adult and they are my precious children. I have this awesome job of raising them to be responsible, respectful adults.  What a great thing it is to be a mother. I am awesome!”  Then I get out of bed.  In the hour it takes me to get them up and out the door to school, I hear myself slowly losing my cool.  By the fourth time of me asking them to brush their teeth, my patience is slipping away.  My voice gets increasingly louder, and before I know it I’m having an out of body experience as I hear myself yelling, “HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH?!?  GET YOUR BUTT MOVING!”  This sucks!  I suck.

I find myself striving to be a better wife.  What an awesome thing to be someones help mate.  I have these moments when it comes easy, and I say to myself, “Look at this  opportunity to clean up the dishes that this man of mine has left in the sink.  I can show him how much I love him by cleaning up after him.  I am awesome!”  Until I’m not so patient and loving anymore.  I have this tendency of making it quite obvious by the way I slam the pots and pans as I put them away that I want him to KNOW that I’m cleaning up his mess and that I’m doing him a huge favor.  There may or may not be muttering under my breath going on as well.  I’m not the maid after all.  It sucks!  I suck.

When I set resolutions for myself,  I tend to get stuck in the trap of basing my self worth on how well I perform said resolutions.  If I fail, then by default, I must be a failure.  When I yell at my kids, it means I have not succeeded in my quest to be a better mother.  I may say to myself, “Tomorrow I will do better!”  But I’m not perfect, and chances are, if I succeed in not yelling at my kids, I will fail in another area.  This can easily lead to me throwing my hands up in defeat and saying, “Why even bother?”  I have decided that my solution to breaking this cycle is simply Grace.  I will start by giving myself Grace in those moments when I am not being the person that I would like to be.  Circumstances may suck, but I don’t suck.   I may fail at the task at hand, but that does not make me a failure.  I am human and I am imperfect.  I will refrain from beating myself up.  I will be gentle and compassionate with myself.  I will still set goals and strive to be the best that I can be with the realization that I will fail.  I will fall.  But I will pick myself up and continue to Dare Greatly every day.  I won’t throw in the towel in self defeat, because how good I am at fulfilling my resolutions does not define my self worth.   I will accept God’s Grace and the Grace of others as well because I am worthy of Grace even if I don’t always deserve it.  I will turn my Grace outward as well to those around me.  I will give my children Grace, especially on the days when I have to tell them to brush their teeth 5 times.  They are little humans, and they are not perfect.  They are learning and growing and I want them to know Grace on an intimate level.  I want to teach them by example that they can mess up and it’s alright.  Their mistakes don’t have to define them.  They will fail, but the failures aren’t as important as what they do after.  I want them to learn to look at their failures as a chance to grow.  Their circumstances in life may suck sometimes, but they don’t.  I will show this man of mine Grace as well.  He is the person I have chosen to spend my life with.   Sometimes he leaves dishes in the sink.  Sometimes I feel like I’m not as high on his list of priorities as I think I should be.  But he is human and he is not perfect.  He has helped me to grow as a person and I want him to see Grace in my eyes, especially on the days when I would rather throw the dishes away instead of clean them.

I know that there will be times when I will fail even at this. I will fall back on feeling like a failure, or resort to being too tough on myself and those around me. But as I continue to offer and recieve Grace even in those moments, it will become more than a resolution or an attempt at self-improvement. It will become a new way of living. 

Grace be with you as we venture into this new year!

2016