wrapping up 2014

IMG_1231I have a fun hangover.

All of our grown children came home – plus extras – for two weeks now. People slept in every room of our small townhouse. Imported belongings invaded every counter and every inch of floor space. We saturated days with fun and laughter, adventures, deep conversations, and delicious, not-necessarily-good-for-you food. We delighted in long-standing traditions and created new experiences this first Christmas in our new home. We connected at mind, heart, and spirit. It was an incredibly rich time.

My energy level is a bit low now, but my heart is full.

That seems a fitting condition for the year I christened last January with the word “fulfill”.

These family days together were a dream fulfilled. So is living in this new home and the purposeful work I get to do with my husband. One night at dinner, we all reflected on the past year and answered questions about our greatest challenges and biggest achievements and how we grew or matured or changed through both. I am satisfied with the responsibilities and goals I fulfilled last year and by the choices I made to feel fulfilled personally at this stage of my life. It has been a great year.

There have been hard times too. Death, pain, and poor decisions by loved ones crushed my spirit and drove me to my knees. The aching desire to be present in two – or three or four – places at once has weighed heavier than ever. Community, country, and world conflicts and tragedies have burdened my soul.

And so I consider my word for 2015.

What are my passions? What do I want to do? Where will I prioritize?

I’ve read many a great post about end of year reflection questions and have re-worked some of them for us here.

  • Where did you thrive last year?
  • Where did you struggle?
  • If you had to describe your 2014 in three words, what would they be?
  • What was your biggest time waster this past year?
  • Where did you best invest your time?
  • What, or who, are you most thankful for?
  • What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could?
  • What one thing would you do differently and why?
  • What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What was a favorite compliment that you received this year?
  • What is one thing you can do next year to add meaning and relevance?

Maybe you’d like to take time to answer these  – and any other favorites you have – and choose a word for 2015. Find a quiet place, your favorite beverage, put your feet up, and enjoy the process.

I’ll post my word next week. I’d love to hear what you choose!

fulfill – a word for 2014

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. The last two years, I have picked one word to represent how I want to focus in the next year. It is a great exercise to consider what is happening in my life and how I want to grow. I encourage you to try this too!

dream!
For 2014, I have picked FULFILL.

The verb fulfill means to fill a need or want. To fulfill yourself personally means to follow your inner passion no matter who thinks it’s silly.

There are various aspects to this definition. The first idea is to bring to completion or reality; to achieve or realize something desired, promised, or predicted; to carry out a task, duty, or role as required, pledged, or expected. I believe God has created me for a specific purpose, and I want to fulfill that role.

“The place God calls you to is the place
where your deep gladness
and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
― Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

The second idea is to gain happiness or satisfaction by fully developing abilities, potential, or character as much as natural ability or gifting makes possible.

“What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else
is to be known in our full humanness,
and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else.
It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are . . . because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are
and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth
in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing.”
― Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

Too many times I have let other people control what I can dream or what I can do. I have allowed others’ opinions of me determine who I feel free to be.

This year, I want to believe in and act on all that God has created me to be.

I also want to do all that I can to encourage, empower, and resource others to be all that they are created to be and do. No holding back. No limits. Just fulfilled.

I sense a great adventure coming on… 🙂

What word will you pick for 2014?  I’d love to hear about it!

(** For other ideas, feel free to check out some of my words from other years…
2013 – Courage or 2012 – Authentic.)