Welcome Back! …I think.
It means I must not have offended you when I spoke my mind concerning the oversupply of new years posts about change and refocus and new “things” and “stuff.”
It means you’re back to see what a year all about “me” is really going to look like..
It means that HOPEFULLY I’m not a selfish person and you just want to make sure.
…or something. (if you have no idea what I’m talking about start here.)
So here it goes: 3 Reasons I NEEDED to choose ME!
1. 2016: It is what
you I make of it.
I was stunned at the amount of posts and letters I read identifying 2016 as CRAP. Pure diarrhea crap. Like the really stinky, burn your nose kind. please excuse the detail if you have a weak stomach. My apologies.
Grief is a real thing and it’s not just experienced when someone dies or when we go through trauma. Hence “Good Grief” when something bad happens. The 5 stages are a real thing: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The skinny on me is that I struggle with these on a daily basis. I haven’t addressed it much here and I know that needs to change. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I refuse to take meds because I convince myself that I can handle life without them (that and the last time I took meds it ended really poorly–another story for another day). Ask my husband he may disagree and say I need them from time to time, but he is also my biggest supporter, soooo… yeah. BTW– this decision is not one I would ever encourage for everyone or just anyone.
Ask me about denial– “How are you?” asks a friend on Sunday morning. “I’m fine!” “We’re great!” “Doing well.” Oh! And ask me about how I’ve turned from an extrovert into an introvert.
Ask me about anger–no wait. Ask my husband because my anxiety manifests in anger aka no. patience. for. anyone.
Ask me about bargining– “If only I’d done _____ differently!!”
Ask me about depression and how my anxiety will throw me into bed for days because I just give-up life until I can conquer something to be proud of.
Ask me about acceptance. OH WAIT! That’s what this post is about.
2016 had me walking away from school counseling.. you know, that degree that cost me tens of thousands of dollars that I don’t regret one bit, but will probably not use anytime in the near future. It had me revamping my photography business. Entrepreneuring with Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields. Seeking fertility treatments. Taking care of my parents who take turns going in and out of the hospital. Supporting my husband and his family as we grieved the deaths of Aunt Carol and Papa. All things that I won’t lie, came with EXTREME anxiety, but things I wouldn’t trade for anything because God was and IS moving!
And that’s when I discovered that 2016 is what you make of it because for each crap-filled day I laid in bed, I can now go back and pinpoint at least one joy that accompanied the bad, the awful, the stinky.
Moving forward, everything stems from this one decision: 2017 will be what I/(ME) make of it!
I can’t claim to know or understand what God is doing in the moment, but this I know, “at the right time, He will lift me up,” (1 Peter 5:6). Always has, always will.
Isaiah 41 (from the Message translation) is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Why? Because I think it’s a brilliant metaphor of rising from the ashes aka a bout of anxiety when it strikes depression like a 16 pound bowling ball.
Things like “Sit down and rest. Recover your strength” or “Gather around me, say what’s on your heart!”
Parts like “Who did this? Who made this happen? Who always gets things started? I did. GOD. I am the first on the scene. I am also the last to leave.”
“I’ve picked you, I haven’t dropped you.”
“I, God, want to reassure you.”
“I’m transforming you.”
“But I’m there to be found.“
My beef with #oneword is this: Though chosen, to view life through the lens of one word, is limiting. And I APPLAUD my friends who are able to do it. Just like 2017 will be a choice to be what I make of it, it’s a choice to BEHOLD (see what I did there) the “beauty,” “peace,” “joy,” “simplicity” in every.single.thing when maybe the moment isn’t right for it yet. MAYBE God hasn’t started the transforming yet. MAYBE God isn’t leaving yet.
And I think that when we label our year ourselves, we’ve done a great disservice to the transformation God is doing inside of us now!
FYI I’m talking to myself there… and FYI I know this won’t apply to everyone, but this is about ME.
I feel like in that great disservice,
we’ve I’ve also made it more about me and less about HIM! There’s something in scripture about that too…
This is the assigned moment for Him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines. (John 3:30, The Message)
Without question, I believe that it’s in the sidelines where we experience the good, the bad, and everything inbetween, that His greatest work is done. It’s our job to watch these “problems” that 2016 threw at us and that 2017 is bound to chuck our way too, and turn them into opportunities (for the transformation).
3. Dream big
Our AMAZING Worship Director Bryan preached last Sunday… his sermon served as inspiration for this post, but also as a call to rise to 2017 bigger and better than I might have otherwise. Through what he spoke, I was also reminded of a term that a college professor used that I’ve never forgotten.
Don’t be a FAT Christian.
Don’t go to church on Sundays to be fed the Word and then spend the week not exercising it. We’ve got to take what we learn “in there” and live it “out there;” but do it with the intent that God has bigger plans that will be revealed in their own time. Believe it. And here’s where I caution you:
Don’t limit the work He is doing based on current circumstances.
school counseling. Bigger plan. photography. Better plan. children. In His time.
Go bigger. Go better. Expect bigger. Expect better.
Here’s one example: We had a beautiful wedding documentary to go along with our wedding video. The closing words had “me” talking about a home with a big open porch and land that we could look out at as we watched our family grow and play… God transformed a lot quicker than we ever thought and here’s where we were on the sidelines of 2016: I’d like you to meet our newest roommates beginning in May.
that’s my dad and mom… standing on our 2.5 acre lot in Fredericksburg where we are building our dream home complete with an in-law suite.
We have an opportunity to take care of my parents in their golden years, to spend time with my dad hearing his hundreds of stories about his days in Korea and his experiences installing power lines throughout Montana. We have this opportunity to have my mom help us with the grandchildren she is dreaming up and praying up for us! We have this opportunity to love on them like they have us.
we I wouldn’t have EVER seen the circumstances of 2016 as “gifts” to bring “me”/us to this triumphant time where God is allowing ME to recover my strength.
and I know that in this we have a bajillion things in store for us… packing up our home, packing up their home, Dad’s continued cancer treatment, Mom’s unexpected and sporadic health crisis, our infertility, leaving our church community, leaving Trey’s family, selling both homes…so. much. in. store. …but the me in “us” is dreaming so big because of how God is using this time, the here and the now to transform me during every trial- the good trials and the hard trials.
Behold: 2017. A year about ME.
It’s an exciting time for us this week… we break ground on Tuesday!! Check out this video (and watch as I almost eat dirt) explaining what will happen on Tuesday.