I’ve always been a big goal setter. New morning, new week, new year–it doesn’t matter. I love the new. Opportunity and possibility are intoxicating to me, and so the end of December (my birthday AND the beginning to a new year) is basically excitement central for me.
This December, though, instead of thinking and praying and journaling and talking enthusiastically about my goals—I mostly find myself quiet.
This year didn’t really pan out exactly as I pictured it. I actually have accomplished a lot of the goals that I set last December. That part isn’t surprising; I set good goals. But the context in which I’ve met these goals is so different than what I thought it would be.
Last December, I shared with my family that I would become a mother of two in 2014.
That is true. It happened about five months later than planned, and with a different baby and set of circumstances.
Last December, I set some business goals.
I met those goals, but with a different line of work than I had planned on.
Last December, I set goals—picturing how I’d live them out in my daily routine, house, neighborhood, schedule, life.
My day-to-day life looks completely different now. We moved, had an extra child, and both changed jobs. I wash my dishes in a new sink, walk my dog in a new neighborhood (and less often…sorry, pup), mother one child with less attention than I could give her in the past, somehow meet the needs of another too, work for a new organization, and feel a different weight and responsibility from my husband’s job than before. I went from feeling like a confident mom for whom mothering was easy, to a mom who has to ask Jesus daily for wisdom and patience and ability and energy because being the primary caregiver for these two little lives is the hardest job I’ve ever had. I’ve implemented the spirit of those goals into my new life and situation, but I certainly didn’t picture all of this last December.
Honestly? After a few great years in a row, this year held many struggles for me. Most surprised me. What got me through was the knowledge that “I the Lord do not change…” (Malachi 3:6) and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Nothing was a surprise to Him. Nothing changed His goodness. And I trusted Him.
2014 wasn’t my favorite year in history, and it certainly isn’t what I pictured—but on the eve of 2015, I find myself at peace with the struggles, journey, and joys the year held for me.
And maybe it’s because of that peace—a peace not dependent on my circumstances being easy or happy or predictable, a peace drawn only from the Lord—that I feel no need or desire to set goals this year.
I don’t need to improve dramatically at anything; I just want to continue growing in general in the roles I have been placed in. I don’t want to get passionate about new things; I want to choose joy in the current things. I don’t need to start anything new; I need to keep going with what has been started for me. I have less and less need for MYSELF to make changes and more and more desire for the Lord to increase in me instead.
My mom took a few photos in August that sum up my desires (and challenges) for the year ahead.
My hope for 2015? That I can savor and embrace what I already have—the challenges, the joys, and the unexpected moments. They are all gifts from God. And I want eyes that see and a heart that says thank you.