December 31, 2017.
How did this day get here so quickly? Where did 2017 go?
I’ve been reading and following some others who have reflected on this year and I’m seeing a mix of reactions to the past year. Some had an incredible year, and others had difficult years but what I have noticed is that regardless of how the year was everyone has been grateful. Some grateful for how wonderful their year was and some grateful for the challenges and lessons they brought.
I am definitely in the latter category – the year was difficult, far more difficult than I was anticipating yet I am so grateful for 2017. We welcomed a beautiful baby girl who is our miracle girl. She is feisty, determined, stubborn, and so so sweet and she fits perfectly into our family. It’s safe to say she is so loved and so adored by us all. We watched and followed as our now four year old grew and matured and learned so much. His deep desire for knowledge is inspiring, his drive to learn is what spurs me on daily to live as a present parent and teach him what he wants to know. Truly our schooling has been 100% led by him and he has advanced leaps and bounds. Every goal I set for our homeschooling journey has been hit and it’s only because he has so desired to learn. Carlos finished his schooling despite so many obstacles that would have stopped many in their tracks and made them quit. His perseverance in the face of trials has always been inspiring for me. Truly, he is incredible and if anyone can inspire you to chase your dreams and crush your goals, it’s him.
As I watched my family have an incredible year I tried so hard to follow in their footsteps. I had so badly wanted to reach so many goals, to accomplish so much and it seemed the harder I fought the less I accomplished. Last year at this time I felt the Lord was asking me to use REST as my guiding word for the year. I honestly didn’t anticipate just how much rest I needed. I didn’t realize how broken and worn down my body and spirit was. I didn’t realize how much I needed to stop and rest. Quite literally I spent this year in deep rest – almost like a hibernation. The first part of the year was spent resting, having a baby and resting more. The second part of the year was me feeling like I was ready to go, to accomplish, to be productive and being shut down every time I tried. I fought hard against REST, sure that my body was ready to GO. Maybe my body was but my mind, my heart, and my soul needed more rest, more reflection, more intentional attention.
When I look back at the year, I’ll be honest, it’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s hard not to be disappointed, and not to dwell on that disappointment. It’s hard to not feel like it was a “year wasted,” but I know those are lies designed to make me feel inadequate. The truth which I’m reminding myself of minute by minute is that my year was EXACTLY what I needed. The truth is that my year was orchestrated perfectly to give me what I needed – time to REST. I’m thankful for the challenges of parenting two children, for the joys of watching those children grow and learn (even when that means more challenges for me). The truth is I was stretched in ways I wasn’t anticipating, I discovered parts of me that I wasn’t proud of. The impatience, need for perfection, the struggles for control – all things that came out and tried to rule my life. I struggled to fight against those things, I struggle(d) to know my worth and adequacy. I struggle(d) to mother in the midst of being faced with my worst self.
Yes, 2017 was hard for me, but it was necessary. I was forced to rest in the hands of my Father, to search for and know His truths in my life. I was forced to cling to a God who knows and loves me and I’m going into 2018 with the knowledge of these deep truths:
- I am worthy
- I am adequate
- I am beautiful
- I am enough
The beautiful thing about my truths, is they are your truths as well. So whatever your year brought I hope that you can also cling to these truths.