Confession? If you’ve recently posted on FB or Twitter, “what are your 2013 resolutions?” Then I have quietly and systematically ignored you. (Chances are I am offending everyone here, cause my news feed yesterday was nothing but that resounding question…) The truth? I am not really a resolutions type of girl. It is either the slacker in me or the perfectionist. Too many goals left undone. Too many made at the height-of-emotion, that during the ensuing year were impractical. I love check lists, to-do lists, bucket lists. I love the idea of them. But not the reality. Cause the reality is, very often things are left unchecked. And that drives me crazy. 🙂
But a few years ago a yoga instructor challenged us to pick a word for the year. One word. I liked that. The writer in me loved it. The linguist in me loved it. It helped me set an intention for the year without committing to all sorts of insanely energetic things. So I took on the challenge. That year, long ago, I chose the word:
TRANQUIL- (adj) serene, peaceful, quiet, still, calm, placid, unruffled
I especially like the “unruffled” part. Here were my observations after a year of “intending tranquility”:
Was this a life changing experience? Um no. But it did tie some sort of unified theme to my year. To have a ‘quiet spirit’ when our moving van was buffeted back on forth on I-80 by intense wind. To take a deep breath when my 3 year old came out of his room for the 8th time in a night- for 6 months straight. To calm my breathing while peering out onto the mirror-like rock face that I needed to move onto to complete my first multi-pitch climb. It helped keep me centered.
Last year? I choose the word:
GRATITUDE- (‘GRAETI, TJU:D) – N.-A feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts or favours.
I extended the definition in this way: “Gratitude seems like more than just being thankful. It is looking around you and seeing bounty everywhere. No matter the circumstances.” This came at a time in life when my emotions weren’t exactly aligning with my circumstances. When I stepped back, I saw so many blessed and beautiful circumstances… circumstances that I missed daily by being busy, frustrated, entitled, and to speak plainly, un-thankful. I wanted to see. To see bounty. To see beauty. And to acknowledge and embrace my situation in life while not being defined by it.
More than the year before, I can honestly say this last year has been a gratitude journey.
- I’ve learned being thankful is work. I have to be intentional. Some people are naturally thankful, but I am not.
- I’ve learned to speak my gratitude aloud.
- I’ve learned gratitude is found in being “all-here.” Present in the moment. To stop and see the beauty in my mundane mommy times.
- I’ve learned that gratitude leads to right belief in God, yourself and others.
- And I’ll still be on this gratitude journey, hopefully for the rest of my life.
This year? This 2013?
So, for the last few weeks I have been chewing on my new word for the new year. And here is where I landed:
STIRRING [STUR-ING] adj :1.rousing, exciting, or thrilling. 2. moving, active, bustling, or lively.
noun: 3. a mental impulse, sensation, or feeling: stirrings of hope. 4. a small movement.
I especially resonate with “active” or “lively”. I don’t mean “busy.” Busyness is one of my biggest enemies. But lively in the ALIVE sense. I want to be all there. Do you know what I mean? Be all there for my kids. All there with my husband. All there, honest, real, energizing, and sometimes raw in writing with you folks. All IN when it comes to fitness, running, camping, hiking, skiing. Invested in my role as teacher. Devoted in my role as Christ-follower.
But this doesn’t just happen. I need to be stirred. Stirred.
Stirring up truth:
My hope is to move forward with focus and an intention, to believe what is true, and reject what is not. To feed the mom, the athlete, the wife, the woman in me things that promote those roles, not tear them down. Hosea 10:12 “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”
Stirring myself to action:
While I hate resolutions, I do have goals. Commitments. Like running my first half-marathon. Or backpacking though new territory and summiting new fourteeners. Like learning to backcountry ski. And becoming stronger, and faster and Lord willing, lighter. 🙂 In fact, I find that unless I commit (like signing up for a half-marathon) then I will never actually pursue accomplishment. I want to be stirred to adventure. To run. To climb new and harder routes. To push my limits in ways I’ve not before.
And a lot of this means allowing myself to be stirred up by the people and stories and examples of those around me. So while I blab away on this site, I certainly hope you’ll join me, cheer me on, and share your stories. Here is to a brand new year!