I never really saw New Year’s as a big deal. I have a feeling that my disconnect is buried in the past. A child virtually overlooked and forgotten by parents buried in booze and occasional drugs. I’ve done my time in the party zone, but I never wanted to live there. New Year’s Eve vacations in the party zone. I have no fond memories of parties of the past. Drunken fun always turning to drowning sadness and epic madness. Anger tucked away in sewage and waste, triggered by spirits and inhibitions. I want no part of it. But then there’s the fact that my birthday is exactly one week after Christmas. Yep, that’s right New Years Day.
As a child, the running joke was that my Mom would hold back a gift from Christmas to give me on my Birthday. My birthday was never a big deal, honestly, almost always an afterthought, but I never cared. Hiding behind hopes of acknowledgment, never seeking attention, but craving it just the same. I never needed the birthday parties, a learned expectation indeed, but I have often dreamed of this one day a year allowing me a few hours of specialness. A day when I can fully be myself, doing what I want, when I want, without fear of judgment or disappointment. Sadly, most years, expectation outweighs specialness – New Year’s Eve dictating social norm.
I never really understood the need for “new beginnings” and hitting the reset button. I certainly never followed the belief that life starts at the first of the year, or at the first of anything. I have always known, that life starts now. So why do so many people prescribe to New Year’s resolutions? I see nothing wrong with goalsetting and living a life of purpose, but resolutions in their rawest sense, are vehicles for disappointment. I think it’s the execution of it all, waiting for the perfect day to start, tripped up by the simplest of slippage. If January 1st is the only time we must/can set, and reset, then we are overwhelmingly screwed! What if you falter the first week? Will you wait 51 weeks to hit the reset button? Will you throw all purpose and self-control in the gutter?
2017, more than any other year in my life, has been my biggest year of growth and change. Internal growth and change. Spiritual growth. Personal change. I’ve seen glimpses of what my life can and should be. So, this is me setting intentions and making proclamations over my life. I will be setting and resetting all year long. The fact is, every time I set goals, I falter, fail, and fall flat on my face…. But, when I allow myself to reset, and refocus, I open myself up to the progress and potential of the beauty that is, growing in God. When I’m going through, I almost never see it happening, but when I pause and review, I see every moment. I see the gifts of grace and timing. I feel the awe of quiet contemplation and unanswered prayers.
2017 In Review
Comfort Zone Moments: #wholeselfliberation on Instagram – Child Inside FB group – Writing groups FB – Blog – Writing & Photography shared online – Improv – Danced like a Maniac – Karaoke
Creative Moments: Free Writing – Prompts – Poetry – Blog – Journaling – Photography
Paradise Moments: Concerts with the people I love – Hillsong (Sharon) – Mercy Me (Geralyn) – Kari Jobe (Ed) – Time spent with Tristan – Game Grumps Live with Tristan – Beach trips with Ed (Juno, Stuart, Clearwater, FL.) – Soccer game with Geralyn – Cruise with Ed – Sharing classic movies with my boys – Our Christmas before Christmas gift exchange and photoshoot.
Learning Moments: Learned to do things “afraid” – discovered self-acceptance – learned to embrace my imperfections – leaned into God’s word – learned to not let food control me – learned to listen to my body – faced my fear of disappointment and my need for control – led a bible study – faced my fear of hurtful words – put it all on the page to Mom – left all the garbage in 2017.
Giving Moments: Discovered #hashtaglunchbag on Instagram – joined the cause to feed the homeless and less fortunate – giving wherever God declares I should – the poor and homeless, single-Mothers and Fathers, the broken and displaced, those who struggle with the darkness, and those who are too proud to ask for help.
How did you grow? I’ve grown in my faith in God. I’ve grown in self-acceptance, the acceptance of the person God intended me to be. I’ve grown in mindfulness and understanding. God has shown me an inner strength I never imagined existed. A strength of heart and spirit – a knowing deep inside. An awareness that no one is free from the darkness, no one escapes the trials and tribulations of life, but there is hope. There is always hope in the Light!
Where was God present? God was present in every moment; the Holy Spirit ever-present in every move, and subtle gesture. I see the love of God in the smile of the lady at the Publix deli. I witness the love of God swimming through the atmosphere when we feed and clothe the homeless. I am immersed in the love of God during worship at City of Life. The Holy Spirit rumbling within, itching to be released and seen. I feel the warm embrace of God every time I watch the sunrise and sunset. I sense God’s embrace, God’s touch, in every bird soaring through the sky, every animal seeking refuge in the warmth of the sun, every cloud formation, and breaking wave – I see God in it all.
2018 In View
Word for the year: Grace
Intention for the year: Surrender
Bible verse for the year: “Surrender yourself to the LORD, and wait patiently for him. Do not be preoccupied with [an evildoer] who succeeds in his way when he carries out his schemes. Let go of anger, and leave rage behind. Do not be preoccupied. It only leads to evil. Evildoers will be cut off [from their inheritance], but those who wait with hope for the LORD will inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:7-9)
What are you grateful for? God – Life – Family (Plain and simple)
What makes you smile? Laughter, smiles, and the sparkle of an eye – especially Ed and Tristan’s.
Guilty Pleasures: Old School (real) gangster rap – 80s & 90s Dance/Trance – Kid Cudi (currently)
Fond Memories: Watching Tristan manage his anxiety and crush his comfort zones; allowing us to have an amazing evening out at Game Grumps Live.
What do you want more of in 2018? Beach trips – day trips – exploration – fellowship
What are you leaving behind in 2017? All the words I’ve ever been afraid to say – I said them all – I put myself out there – left it on the page – released all fear and anxiety – I leave behind the fear that I may hurt someone with my words, feelings, or purpose. I am me, and I need no one’s acceptance or understanding. Just as I need not believe I am required to accept and understand other’s. I leave behind my need for understanding and control.
What are you embracing in 2018? I am embracing grace and compassion – I am embracing trust and surrender – I am embracing God’s glory and timing – I am embracing LIFE!
“This is the year I fully surrender to God. I proclaim that I am relinquishing control, no longer needing to manage myself or others. Allowing God to guide my thoughts and actions, embracing a life of love, compassion, and grace. Treating others with the same kindness God has shown me. I welcome every gift and lesson brought about in my life. I forego worry and anxiety over things I cannot change. I abandon the notion that I can control anything outside of myself. I proclaim I will be still and listen; allowing God to extinguish the critic inside. I surrender it all to God – every worry, problem, cause, concern, pain, and wound.” Aub – 2018