For the past few years, I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect during the last weeks of December. With the robust colors of the holiday season whirling by I speculate on a single word to encapsulate my goal for the 12 months ahead. I am driven by nature, the fact that I select action verbs is not lost on me. Verbs that inspire me to act; words to value in action.
The past 24 months – neat, compact, concise capsules of time.
I value words. Words with their nuances, power, personalities.
As I contemplate 2016 and the power this word will hold, I consider cautiously, carefully, thoughtfully.
A word big enough, packed with power, to carry 365 days. A word that will expand over the months ahead. Fluid. Matching my steps as I take several forward then a couple more back.
I am many words. Christian. Mom. Wife. Director. Volunteer. Writer. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Leader. Coach. Photographer.
My life is full. Blessed beyond measure. To contribute meaningfully in any of these capacities I recognize I need to do something differently this year as my time is filled. No seconds left each day.
As 2015 came to a close, I lost my balance at my Dad’s rehab and fell. Sprained knee. Bumps and bruises. Nauseas. With only one good leg, when the other is out of commission my only recourse is a wheelchair or stay off my feet. I’ve had enough of wheelchairs.
So much to do, holiday decorations to take down, put away. A house to clean. Work. Kids out of school. Yet, there was no other choice. It had to wait.
Life went on. We read books; we watched movies. We let the house stay a mess. We ordered Chinese take-out.
Life slowed down. Work still blew up my phone every 3 ½ minutes and I responded. With solutions, kindness and insight because that is my role; who I am expected to be. In sickness and in health it’s just a different type of marriage the one we share with our employer, our clients, our colleagues. My associates moved on in their day not realizing the effort it took to engage, to lead. Instead of making me annoyed, I was grateful to finish the year as I aimed. Impactful.
The word pirouetting behind my eyes moved into focus. To be refreshed. To become a vessel of refreshment. I can think of no better aim for 2016.
As the door to 2016 lies open before me I walk through anxious to discover what it is to be a soul refreshed and the impact that has on others. To look for opportunities to be refreshed, seek how to spread this light around.
As I was reading on New Year’s Eve waiting next to my daughter for the countdown, I randomly picked a page in the middle of a book on my nightstand. The gem that followed confirmed my chosen path.
Come now, little man,
turn aside for a while
from your daily employment,
escape for a moment
from the tumult of your thoughts.
Put aside your weighty cares, let your burdensome distractions wait,
free yourself awhile for God
and rest awhile in Him.
Enter the inner chamber of your soul,
shut out everything except God
and that which can help you in seeking Him,
and when you have shut the door, seek Him.
Now, my whole heart, say to God,
“I seek your face, Lord,
It is your face I seek.”
- Anslem of Canterbury, in Theology for a Troubled Heart
“The presence of God calms the soul, and gives it quiet and repose.” – Francois Fenelon, Spiritual Progress, Or, Instructions in the Divine Life of the Soul.
2016 it’s going to be a wonderful year.