That’s the word I heard as I was going about my weekly cleaning routine, pondering and praying, and wondering, if I were to choose a “word of the year”, what would it be?
Relax . . .
Hard eye roll.
You’re funny God.
Relax . . . it conjures up days of laying on the couch, watching endless movies, and doing little else. And there is nothing wrong with any of that (seriously, absolutely nothing wrong with it at all). It’s exactly what some people need . . . it’s how God made them, but it’s not something for which I’m totally hardwired. I do my best relaxing while moving. My ability to be physically still is very limited. And leaving things undone is anything but relaxing to me. At the same time, I’m learning that I need to learn to stop. To sit still sometimes. To not constantly be in motion.
I was raised with a strong work ethic. “Work first play later” is something I often can be heard saying to my own kids. But like any good thing, a good work ethic can be twisted and distorted into being an obsessive, workaholic (can a stay at home mom be a workaholic?) with a never ending, ever growing list of tasks. In other words, my work is never done so I rarely stop to “play”. And this is something that God has been working on in me, literally, for years.
As I’ve said before I almost never set goals for the new year, and that’s because I’m always setting and adjusting and resetting goals, but going into 2021, after this especially challenging year that 2020 has been, I decided I needed to take the time to get my head on straight. So I prayed about what God wanted for me going forward and decided to set general goals for this year.
- Relax . . . “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. “ (Psalm 91:1) . . . dwell . . . rest . . . relax . . . it’s not just a physical thing . . . although sometimes a little physical stillness is something I need to learn to embrace . . . but relax . . . mentally, emotionally, and spiritually . . . stop striving for perfection . . . rest in God . . . it’s a never ending lesson that I seem to be continually learning. There’s nothing wrong with getting things done . . . there’s nothing wrong with discipline . . . with structure and order and schedules (and cleaning everything all the time . . . am I right?), but if it doesn’t happen, if it all comes crashing down, can I let it go? Can I trust God and relax knowing I’m not in control, I never was, but He always is, and because of that, it’s all going to be okay? Can I live out Psalm 91:1?
- Continue to develop my spiritual health and growth . . . to get in the word and pray on a regular basis, but also, expand my studying, writing, and journaling.
- Continue to make my physical and mental health a priority but not an idol. There’s such a fine line, but I do believe that God calls us take our health seriously and do our part to take care of our bodies while trusting Him to do what we cannot.
- Physically, the goal is to work out four times/week with at least two strength sessions, but if that doesn’t happen every single week that’s okay too.
- Mentally (and emotionally), I have already drastically cut back on soc. media . . . particularly on Facebook . . . but I plan to continue to spend far less time on Facebook and Instagram. Not because I have any problems with the platforms in and of themselves, but I find that Facebook disrupts my peace so much, and Instagram is a time suck that interrupts my focus. As someone who used to be an avid reader, I want to read more (open ended goal) and spend far less time on social media.
- Stop with the low key judgment . . . I’ve said this before, but most on which we pass judgment has zero moral or ethical implications. Basically, someone does something differently than we (read: I) do, and we are quick to get super “judgy”. God made us all different. So embrace that. You do you, and I’ll do me, and let’s be cool with that.
- Priorites . . . keep them straight:
- First, God – not church, not ministry, but my actual relationship with God.
- Second, Patrick & my marriage – always working, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, on being a better wife, and second only to my relationship with Christ.
- Third, Kids – asking the Holy Spirit to teach me and lead me as a mother.
- Fourth – Church, Home, Extended Family, Everything Else . . .
And those are my 2021 goals. Documented for posterity (and mostly, for myself).
Happy New Year’s Eve y’all. Let’s make 2021 the best yet!
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