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trust

Last year,  I spelled out the word “Steward” with our  Scrabble letters and set them upon my kitchen windowsill to guide my intentions throughout 2014.  When I chose the word “steward” as my focus, I remember thinking that I really needed to be a better steward of my time at home, as I had lots of aspirations for my creative business, but often became derailed too easily.  This was the year that I would not allow things like Facebook and internet surfing to steal precious time.  I would set business hours and art hours and stick to them!  I even bought Julie Morgenstern’s book, Time Management from the Inside Out, to give myself an added boost.

By mid-January; however, it did not take me long to realize that God had a different vision of what it meant for me to be a good steward of my time last year.  The power struggles between my girl and me had reached an all-time high and I was failing miserably at being the calm, loving mom that she needed me to be.  The anger I felt inside felt a little scary some days and I knew it was time to ask for help.  My time this past year was meant to be spent in healing.

I spent a good 4-5 months working with a counselor,  just healing my spirit.  Allowing myself to grieve parts of my life journey, my boy’s autism diagnosis, and my girl’s unique struggles.  As I released the trapped feelings from my brain, their physical grip on my heart loosened, as well.  With a new found sense of calm, I was then able to move on to other aspects of our current situation that needed attention.

As a preschooler, my girl had been diagnosed with sensory processing difficulties, an anxiety disorder and ADHD.  I often describe all these diagnosis  as the “leftovers” of autism.  While we sought interventions for my girl when these things first became apparent, the symptoms lessened over time and I guess I just pushed those very real struggles to the back of my mind, as we were still heavily in the throes of addressing my boy’s autism. That said, it was now time to better understand and address my girl’s needs.

So, my husband and I began meeting with a counselor together to hone our parenting skills.  While we share a number of strengths in our marriage, we also made the realization that we needed to communicate and be more assertive about our own individual needs.  We both felt like “martyrs” for our family, working somewhat independently to survive.  Recognizing the importance of validating and supporting each other so that we can function better as a unit has been big for us.  And, as you can guess, a happier, calmer Mom and Dad sets the tone for a more loving, peaceful household.  Apart from our counseling, my girl is now receiving occupational therapy each week to address her sensory needs and we are in the process of completing some educational evaluations to see if there are any other areas that we might be missing.  Lots of hard work going-on here!

As our family continues to heal and move forward together, I have decided that my word for this year is going to be “Trust.”  Trust the process.  Trust that life will reveal itself and unfold just as it supposed to.  And while I keep dreaming and setting goals for myself, I will hold these things loosely, allowing God to gently guide my path.  He’s got this.  I just need to trust Him.

If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment.  Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace.  Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My Presence.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             -Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

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steward

I am dependent.  Dependent on a God I cannot see, but who shows himself to me in a million little ways.  And so, when I started thinking about a word that I might focus on throughout the New Year, a word that encompasses the areas of my life that I feel the need to work on, I was reminded of all the ways that God has loved on me when I finally sat at his feet in surrender.  The really really big and the seemingly small, but not unnoticed  ways.  The big things hold stories all of their own, stories that are too long for this post;  however, the small things are those to which I bring my attention more recently.

For instance, in the aftermath of the holidays in my household, I just felt mean.  Plain mean.  My boy and girl, bless their hearts, were just being kids with an extra helping of intensity, but their behaviors just really started getting to me.  If I were in a contest where giving “the look” and throwing-out words of sarcasm were being rewarded, I  surely would have won.  I am, in no way, proud of this tendency of mine when I am a mama worn-thin.  This stubborn streak.  A reminder of my humanity.  A reminder of a mama in need of God’s strength when hers runs dry.  At the same time, if I don’t find myself down on my knees begging for a clean heart every so often, I might be convinced that I can do it all on my own.  A lie that almost always leads to discontent and despair.

All that said, I have done a fair amount of soul-searching and stepping out into the unknown over the past several years with my writing and art.  If I had to describe this journey, I’d say it has been a bit like riding a roller coaster.  Peaks, valleys, fear, and excitement all rolled into one glorious ride.  And while I’m not wanting to step-off the roller coaster all together, I find myself needing to establish more balance along the way.  Along with my stubbornness, I also become distracted easily.  Being a stay-at-home mama who gets to make her own schedule is a gift.  A gift that my husband has afforded me and one that I do not take for granted.  So, when I sit at the end of a day or week and wonder why I haven’t made time for art or why the house is so dirty, I have to consider how I am using these gifts that I have so generously been given .

For the most part, if I am committed, I really do have enough time to do what needs to be done on a daily basis.    But here’s where my humanity kicks-in again.  I sit-down to check my e-mail which then leads me to check Facebook and from there, I go off on some tangent watching a You Tube video that someone posted.  Before I know it, I have allowed what could have been a 5-10 minute check-in to steal an hour away from the time I could have been finishing a few chores and enjoying a long stretch of creating in one form or another.  I am totally aware of this tendency and yet I still fall prey over and over again.

So, this year, my focus word is “steward.”  I want to be a better steward of my time and talents.  Just because I like to have all my bases covered, I did order a copy of Julie Morgenstern’s book Time Management from the Inside Out. I imagine that a lot of what I will read is already inside me;  however, I sometimes need to be reminded of what I know.  Past that, I am counting on God to help me surrender my time and talents to His plan each day.  I am dependent.  Beautifully dependent on a God who created me to live for his glory!

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