Each January, I feel like I am anticipating the new year. I just flourish with the idea of setting goals and making a plan for the upcoming adventure that the next few months hold. I spend hours daydreaming, imagining, and predicting what life could be… the what-ifs, but in a very good, good way.
However, this year was a bit different. I am not really sure why but the idea of goals and a new year just overcame me like a rush of water. It felt like I was literally drowning. It brought more anxiety than hope and more worry than wonder. It paralyzed me and the unexpectedness of it numb me a bit if I am being honest.
I went through the motions. I checked on my last year’s goals and thought about the why behind them. I had so many successes and so much of God’s grace that was sprinkled throughout the year, which posed the question even further? Why am I so anxiety stricken and why is my heart not feeling the blessing that have been bestowed upon our family? It just did not make sense on paper what was happening in my heart.
I have been dealing with some fairly severe anxiety through this entire pregnancy and have been blaming hormones and such. While it may be some hormones, as I worked through my aspirations for the new year, I realized that it was something so much more. I needed to work on myself more. I needed to prune, tend, and ultimately, nourish my life more.
In 2016, I strived to be present through the changes of the seasons. With Ollie being added to our little family, I wanted to learn how to be more in the moment and not attempting to be in fifteen places at once. I think we are all still striving to do better at this but I feel like I made some great strides that year. In 2017, I pursued the idea of savoring. Savoring the moments and not letting them pass by without fully experiencing them. Saying more yes’s to friends, family, Ollie, Dusty, experiences, travel, opportunities… There were so many moments this year that I sat in the moment and allowed God’s grace to consume me during the simple times, the moments on the front porch learning how to kick a ball or the never-ending summer with a splash table and bathing suit.
But with both of those things, expectations also crept in. Expectations of showing up. Being present. Saying yes. Expectations of what our family should look like as leaders in our church. Expectations of what our marriage should be. Expectations of what pregnancy should be like, what a fit pregnancy should look like to other. Expectations of motherhood. Expectations of hosting and being a good friend should look like in the midst of motherhood. Expectations of having it all together, overcoming sorrow of a miscarriage, of having a stay-at-home career, travel and being still a good mother, serving others, being flexible, generous, grateful, hospitable, listening, loving… I feel like the list could go on and on.
I wrote in my Powersheets this past month about this.
It has been so obvious through the past months that we have been giving as a family more than we have been receiving. This is nobody’s fault but our own. We have responded to false expectations, expectations that we fabricated on our own. Expectations that we allowed to be present in our home. We have give in to expectations, comparisons, and guilt. We have neglected our values, souls, bodies, friendships, marriage, community, and finances and replaced them with others’, attempting to mimic theirs — assuming their way was better or we would be accepted more by mirroring their attributes. We have diluted our identities in these fabricated expectations and have withdrawn from the self-care and quiet that fills our souls. We give into connections and communities that our outside of our calling and we are not being patience in God’s providence. We need to reflect more on ourselves in the mirror. We need to make our soil at home rich again. We need to tend to our minds, bodies, and souls as a family, couple, and as individuals. We need to rediscover our purpose, remember who God made us to be as a unit and nourish that. We need to say “no” more and define better who we are so it is more clear on who we are not.
I know that for everything there is a season, but my goal of “be everything to everybody” has worn on me. My eyes and expectations for myself have been wider than my bandwidth. And I am often too busy when I long for simplicity and quiet. It has led me to be discontent, unhappy, sad, anxious, and more with the new year. As I started to write out all of the things that I wanted to do for others… well, I kept asking the same question “what about me?”
I know this may sound selfish at the surface, but I am honestly at the point where I do not know who I am anymore without taking some time for self-care. Self-care is trendy enough but when we look at the actual doing self-care, many folks don’t because of all of the expectations. Well, not this year. Not for me.
2018 is the year to NOURISH
Nourishing our health, wealth, spiritual life, emotions, physically, our home… everything. I want to work towards fostering a life-giving home that has a table full of stories, healing, and hope. I want to raise up a family that yearns to learn something new everyday. I want to nourish my mind, body, and soul more with self-care and quiet. I want to travel more, invest in music and reading, get outdoors, and tend to us as a family so that when others need us, we can give our full selfs to them. I want to cherish, foster, keep alive our family and our souls, and live in a healthy state that is provided by enough good food and nutrients (fitness, finances, creativity, health, learning, etc.). I want to nourish more.
Whoa, that’s a lot. I hope that is helpful to hear more of the background of my One Little Word for the year!! Now time to share, already picked your word for the year? Share below!!
Also, if you have not been able to sit down and figure out your year yet, I strongly recommend Val Marie’s steps to how to figure out your word for the year and tap into some of Lara Casey’s Powersheets. Both are magical and ideal take an afternoon and make this your best year yet.