As 2017 dawns, I want to share my thoughts on the goals I set for 2016 and how they were met well beyond my own ability. I am hoping each of you take some time to ponder your own 2016 goals and then commit to at least one for 2017!
The beauty of a sunrise, like a new year, is that it is followed by a sunset and we are meant to move forward. Things we wish we would/could have done better are over and sometimes we DO get a second chance with a new day or year!
Many people that viewed this sunrise called it a sunset. As with many things in life, it is all about perspective!
I had a few special opportunities in 2016 that created a set back but were still worth it! Looking at this picture, do you see blueberry being invaded by a worm or do you see a delicious opportunity taken by the worm?
My goals for 2016 were to become wiser, more content, love more, and have less stuff! What were yours? Did you meet them?
The year began and all was calm, all was bright and stable. A new grandchild was to arrive in June, parents, children and siblings were all stable.
February brought a call from my son asking for prayer for Gyovanna’s pregnancy. She was just 21 weeks along and the doctor wasn’t very optimistic, ordering bedrest. Off I flew! See my Peru/Texas posts for more details but suffice to say, I ended up driving with hubby to Texas to blend into this Mexican household, drive around the suburb of Fort Worth and be a caregiver for a 2 and 3 year old. He flew back to ND. During that time, I found out my job was being replaced AND my publisher wasn’t going to do any marketing for my book! I became wiser from both!
Yes, I became wiser in 2017. I gained wisdom on culture differences and bias. My bedtime reading was a Sunday school book from years ago called “How People Change”. I was reminded there are right and wrong ways to deal with change. Becoming wiser on driving (and braver)was also a result of my Texas adventure. Watching the excellent parenting of my son and daughter in law (and dealing with two cultures of inlaws living with them!) was amazing. I also witnessed their solid marriage at this difficult time and was so blessed. AND to think, my plan for 2016 was to read another ‘science/philosophy’ type book and gain ‘wisdom’. HA!
I also prayed a lot for wisdom to know how and where to market my book. July and August were fruitful planning times and I have made many more business and school contacts!
I have learned to be more content! Since leaving Trinity, I have really appreciate each day and the opportunities and life style that I have. The moments of deep breathing now are not to calm myself as much as it is to inhale the peace and contentment I feel. When tossed in a situation so ‘over the top’ and out of my control like the Texas Adventure, I really needed to work at being content – knowing God was in control and I was but a pawn being put to good work!
Since returning to ND, I needed to readjust to a new normal. It was now unemployment and focusing on writing and marketing. I relied on prayer for direction as I developed classroom contacts, vendor shows and find my way in retail and wholesale. Learning to be content with learning brand new skills was/is difficult but, with prayer, I was able to see little encouraging pieces enough to be content. I also applied to be speaker for Stonecroft Ministries (the national organization that provides speakers for Christian Women and I was accepted. Now I can share with others how I have learned to be content – even after a flood!
I choose ‘love more’ as a goal for 2016 from I Corinthians 13:13 ” And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. When this goal ‘popped into my head’, I had no idea what this meant but I was faithful to list it as a goal. Certainly my Texas Adventure provided ample opportunity for me to ‘love more’ my son’s family now that I lived with them 24/7 for months! And such joys to love more – my son, daughter in law, two grandsons, and then new baby grandson! I learned to love more the Mexican culture, food and people.
Being apart from my husband and Minot family for 3 months also revealed a lot about love and the work it takes to keep in touch, sharing, and staying part of each other’s lives. I certainly appreciated and loved even more the love from family and friends that supported me while I was gone! My prayer warriors worked overtime!!!
I started simplifying my life after the flood in 2011 including reducing possessions, activities and relationships, I did end up with less. See my previous posts called “A Simple Life” Parts I and II. Some of my 2016 reducing of stuff was pretty easy with taking armloads of clothes to the consignment shop that were too big:) I then started a notebook (I know, young friends, this is old school) and went through closets and cupboards and wrote down every single thing in them. While doing that, I found not only outdated things (literally) but also many other things I don’t use or need. The three pile method works really well and I’d love to help anyone who asks:)
I will admit to still having a 1/2 tub of ‘mementos’ from my past 57 years but this is down from 2 tubs! Life, and all that we carry with us, should be simple! If you are struggling to reduce your ‘stuff’, I’d love to come and gently help you! The one area I did not get to was reducing the 3 tubs of pictures I have from the past 38 years. I will tackle those soon…
So, for those of you who have read this to the end… I am announcing my first ‘give away’! All you have to do is to email me or respond here on the blog with one goal you made for yourself in 2016 and how you accomplished it. If you didn’t accomplish it, let me know how you feel about that! I won’t publish your response. One name will be randomly drawn from those that respond and that person will win a $25 Amazon gift card! I will email the winner for your snail mail address. You all have until January 15th, 2017!
My favorite verses from 2016 have been Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, “Declares the Lord”, plan to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” and Psalms 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light for my path.”
I have a feeling that I will cling to these verses also in 2017:)
Have a blessed 2017 and let’s keep in touch!