There is a lot on my mind this morning.
It’s early. Montgomery was fussy most of yesterday (Sunday), and after a fussy early morning I decided to just get up.
I’ve been trying to do that. Fight things less.
Maybe it’s growth. Maybe it’s being a mom to four kids. Maybe it’s a shift in perspective. Maybe it’s sleep deprivation. Maybe it’s all of the above. But I just want to fight things less.
Stand for the things that are important, yes. But fight the details? No. No…I’m ready to let the details be what the details want to be.
For years, I thought it was important to fight the details. But what I’ve discovered is that really I was just avoiding confronting the things in me that needed changing by attempting to control the little things that I thought were easier to manipulate.
But I’m learning. I’m learning.
I have a sense that 2019 will be a year of discovery for me. I have some areas that I really want to focus on and grow. I want to develop a better daily rhythm for myself. I want to start and end my day in a way that sets the waking hours up to be the best they (and we) can be. I want to find a better balance between the ways I stimulate myself (working out, reading, watching shows, spending time with friends) and the way that I rest. I’m asking for fresh eyes to see my children for who they are as unique beings with unique needs and personalities and desires. I want to become more intentional with planning our day around those truths, rather than the copied expectations of others. I want to continue to learn how to better communicate with my husband. I want to be able to get to the heart of the matter when we discuss issues. I want us to see the thing behind the thing when we talk about life and what it is that we really want and the things that we really need.
I want to continue to be brave. To make choices that bring me and my family into alignment with who we really are and what we really want. I know that sometimes this will mean doing things that feel hard rather than choose the simple, known routes. But I also know that this means evaluating the things that feel overly weighty and complicated and choosing to simplify the things that we are making harder than necessary. We don’t need to pour ourselves into every hard thing. We only need to pour ourselves into the things that are in alignment with who we are and what we want for our lives. This will naturally include some hardships to overcome. But it will also include fun and lightheartedness and victory and peace.
Some hard things don’t need overcome. Sometimes, they just need to be evaluated to determine if maybe, you’ve been carrying around something long enough that can be set down, and walked away from.
There is a little gold book on my desk right now. Next to my 2019 agenda, in front of my gold and cream rotary phone that I bought a few years ago – not for function -just for design. The book was a gift to me on my last birthday from a friend. A friend who sort of says things to me that are oddly well placed, if you know what I mean.
One line from the book: Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.
And another: A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
I’ve found myself ready to clean up my thought life. To do the internal work that growing into the person that I was made to become will require. It’s not through carefully manicured and manipulated externals that I will grow into the fullness of who I was created to be, but through cultivating the thoughts, ideas, and false beliefs in my own heart and mind.
Actions don’t happen in a vacuum. We act out of of our thoughts and beliefs. And so if I want to choose better, I need to think better. I need to confront some beliefs I have and ask where they came from, and if I want to continue carrying them with me on this journey. Not all beliefs are truth. Some beliefs, are just that. Beliefs. Beliefs that have been formed around our insecurities and our pain and our desire to not face our insecurities and pain.
I guess it all boils down to doing some soul work.
It’s funny to write this now, thick in the middle of Advent. The season of contemplating the arrival of a new way. A new way of doing things. A new way of thinking. A new way of believing. A new way, of living.
Not a new set of rules. Not a new dictator. Not a new distinction of wrong or right. Not a new measuring rod.
A new understanding.
An understanding that the point was always to make all things new.
And when we mess up the newness with our inevitable humanness, that redemption and restoration were always the plan, and are always the point. And they are always available.
So I’m looking ahead, also, with the grace embodied by the steadfast love of the Lord that never ceases, that never come to an end, that are new every morning. (paraphrase of Lamentations 3:22/23)
What that means is that the point isn’t to get it perfectly. The point, is that we are a part of a process.
We are all part of a process, whether we like it or not. We either allow our thoughts and beliefs to carry us down a path that is in alignment with who we truly are, or down a path that is in alignment with our insecurities. Our fears. Our disappointments.
Confronting what we really think and feel isn’t easy, because it reminds us that we are flawed and that we are human and that we are making mistakes. But can I tell you something, friend? That truth won’t ever go away this side of life. The good news is, we get to start each new day over. We get to start each new day with love. Love that isn’t about judging our failures, but restoring our future.
Restoring my thoughts. Restoring my day. Restoring my dreams.
(Restoring yours, too.)