where has the time flown?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

My last post was dated 2021. I only wrote four posts that year. Covid had arrived on the scene, then after a few years of causing chaos, slithered away backstage. Much happened in my life and family – isolation and travel, moves and new jobs, losses and new discoveries, challenges and joys – each has taken its turn as the leading player. Writing about all of that was less of a priority than surviving through it. However, my domain is up for review, so I can either write or stop paying for this space… so write I will.

I am wondering how you are doing. How have the last years been for you? So many have suffered, lost, and grieved. Others are still trying to determine what this future life will look like. And some are moving along well, in a groove, content, and thriving. I find myself living in each of those three modes, depending on the hour and circumstances, which I have decided is very normal and ok for me.

I have entered into 2023 with more energy than the years past and with enthusiasm for projects and travel that will fill the months ahead. I picked a word for the year – OPEN. I felt like God whispered it in my ear to give me peace and hope for all that is to come. I want to be open to opportunities, changes, new people and experiences. I want to choose my roles with God’s direction and discernment and leave fear a very bit part in my life.

So, I have my strong, black coffee in hand. I am awake early due to jetlag from a recent flight and enjoying the quiet of a new day. I am reflecting and dreaming… and writing. Writing helps me think – whether I put thoughts in a journal by hand or put them up in public for others to see. These next months, I hope to keep up a rhythm of posting, and I hope to find you following along. We have lots to learn and process together.

“You don’t need to have everything figured out. Try new things. Experiment. Mess up. Start over.”

– Anonymous

How do you best reflect on what you live through?

starting the new year

Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash

I have so many thoughts swirling around in my mind. I struggled with what to write about today, but I’ve landed on sharing my “word” for the year. It seems my word needs to exist “out loud” to be real and garner the power I want it to have in this next year. (Have you heard that? When you want to significantly increase your chance of following through on a next step or commitment, share it with someone else. The simple act of vocalizing the goal gives you more accountability and drive to achieve it.)

So, here I go… making myself accountable to you – however that may look in our virtually connected world.

My word for 2021 is HOPE.

I want to be a person of hope. I feel like I have lost hope in some areas of my life. I’ve become more cynical and less trusting. Not in such an obvious, out-there-visible kind of way (unless some of you tell me you’ve experienced me differently), but rather in that internal, down-deep-consistently-nagging, shallow-breathing-anxious sort of manner.

When I thought about this more, I discovered that I had lost some of my willingness to trust God with my whole heart. I recognize I am afraid of the disappointment I will experience if I ask for something I deeply desire and then do not receive it. More intense digging revealed that I doubt His sincere concern for my wants and desires. And I’ve connected this to my childhood experiences with my dad. Although he always met our basic needs, and I believe he loved me, I don’t remember feeling that he delighted in giving me something. I don’t remember him ever asking me what I wanted.

So, this next year, I want to face the reality of how those emotions battle for my soul and do the intentional relationship work with God to recover my ability to dream and anticipate and ask. Hope can resurface despite the inevitable – and sometimes many – unmet desires and seemingly-unanswered prayers. I want to re-grow my ability to believe and trust and hope.

Secondly, I want to be a purveyor of hope to others. Our company is going through organizational structure changes, which can shake confidence and security foundations for some. When future direction and role clarity is uncertain, people can feel lost and fearful and without hope. I want to engage with these challenges and struggles and find places where I can listen or help and offer hope. Just as in my situation, I can bring wise words, to-the-point resources, or an elaborately detailed plan, but my most valuable contribution may be to encourage a more in-depth look at the heart to uncover the in-the-shadows hope-resisters that operate there. I am learning that when we unveil those truths, they lose much of their power, and we can re-kindle life-giving hope.

How are you starting your new year? Do you have a “word” or specific focus or desire for this next year?