I’m sitting on the couch with sunshine pouring in through the windows. It’s a bit chilly out, but the blue sky might deceive a person into believing it’s warm enough for a swim. The days are starting to get longer now that Winter Solstice has passed; a sign that spring is not far away. I even heard birds singing this morning as a tease for what lies ahead. The holidays are officially over and our Christmas decorations are packed away safe and sound in the attic. The house looks bare without the festive colors and twinkling lights, or the happy music and smell of sugar cookies.
The void feels palpable.
My grown kids are back to their “normal” lives and it’s quiet here. Well, except for the occasional grinding of the drill. My husband is working on a project and it’s hard to ignore with only the silence to compete. Our rescue dog is sitting at my feet, napping away the long afternoon. She pops her head up occasionally to see what’s going on, she doesn’t want to miss anything.
I guess it’s time to start on January stuff. You know the “stuff” I mean; new calendar, planner, goal making, and cleansing the house of all sugary things. It’s like a dance we repeat every year. Each month has its own special moves, or you could call it “objectives” for each month. January’s dance is the salsa, February is the waltz, March is an Irish Tap Dance…see what I mean? We all know what we’re supposed to do and it’s time to get after it.
Time to dance.
January means we get our life in order and we plan it out for the foreseeable future. It’s the month I sit down and write down all the appointments in my shiny new planner and then place it in a drawer and promptly forget about its very existence. Or, it’s the month I write down my goals in my journal and then feel guilty as I lose sight of each and every one of them.
This year is going to be a little different for me.
I’ve said that about forty out of the fifty years I’ve lived through New Year’s. But, THIS year I really mean it. Well, I hope I mean it. I’m going to do my best to mean it. This year I’m not going to set any real goals for myself. I know, I know, I’m breaking the “we all know it but never speak it out loud” code. Goals are as important as fireworks on the fourth. The New Year isn’t the same without them. Let me explain…I’m going to have goals, I’m just not going to set them for myself. I want to set myself free from the burden of trying and trying only to feel like a failure when it doesn’t work out the way I planned. This year I want to live more in the moment. I want to be able to pivot and turn without the strings that go along with well-intentioned goals.
The irony is, I bought a planner. As a matter of fact, on the front it says in all caps GOAL PLANNER. I didn’t just buy any planner I bought the GOAL one. But, not all is lost. I’ve decided to use the planner for vision and insights the Lord gives me. To write down direction when I hear from the Lord. I want to learn to live more in the Spirit and not just in the spirit of the moment.
I’ve shared with you guys how this move to South Carolina turned into something way harder than I’d imagined because of difficulties that were out of my control. Those hard things have made me stronger and a lot more aware of where my hope and trust lies. That difficult season also taught me God has a plan and sometimes my own well-meaning plans can get in the way. And then when my plans fail and I’ve mistaken them for God’s plans, it can look a lot like God has let me down. But, in reality, it was exactly what He had in mind all along.
So, this New Year I’m ready to fill in my planner.
But, it will be as the Lord leads.
One day, one week, one month at a time.