Reflecting on 2020–Preparing for 2021

My 2020 word was breathe. It was just the word I needed to come back to time and time again. I learned to breathe through uncomfortable postpartum changes to my body. I learned to stop holding my breath while I sat and worked endless hours on the computer with a newborn on one arm. I practiced meditation as one of several ways to treat new blood pressure issues. Breath prayers became regular parts of my day as I nursed, fed, diapered, managed remote school and regular school woes, and more. I even started to gain some breath and stamina on our pandemic exercise bike before I fell off the fitness wagon. Something as fundamental as breath was not taken for granted in the midst of a global pandemic due to a virus attacking our respiratory system. I’m so glad the Lord put the word on my heart. It was much needed. I wish I had documented more, but I’m satisfied with the way the word stayed with me both as an encouragement and challenge all year.

Before launching into a new year, new goals, I am working through my reflections on 2020. I’m working through “Hello Goodbye Redefined”–Jo and Steph’s annual review over at Lead Stories Media. I’m also loving and writing some notes on Becca’s 40 questions over at Memoirs of a Girl. So far, a number of lessons, old and new, are emerging on my year. Still in process but here are some themes I’m finding in my reflections:

  • I am a daughter of the King. This abiding truth sustains me through all circumstances and is sufficient to heal the wounds left by my failures and the failures of others.
  • I am not wonder woman, but I am a woman capable of wonderful things given the needed resources, time, and space.
  • I am an introvert. I thrive in space and quiet. I must be gentle to myself in seasons when it feels like we are all constantly on top of each other.
  • I have a wonderful family. Despite what felt like a disruption when it happened, God moved us close to home for such a time as this.
  • I love my boys. I love their passion and physicality. They need my tenderness and gentleness more than my structure and order.
  • I love books, especially fantasy books. I need more balance in what I read so that reading isn’t purely escapism.
  • I must be patient with my writing.
  • I understand why administration in higher ed is considered the dark side by faculty. I am indeed the dark side, but I prefer to see myself as a double agent.
  • I need prayer, hugs, the Bible, and creativity in my day. Every day.
  • I need consistency and balance when it comes to food, water, and exercise.
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made and a woman in progress.

As I continue to dig through my notes and Bible and brain, I know this list will grow. There are lessons about God and each member of my family that can be added. So many lessons about mothering, administration, health, wellness, and relationships with friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Each reflection will hopefully point me to Him and remind me or teach me anew of ways I can address my new word for 2021: Joy.

Joy was put on my heart as my word for this year way back in February. I’m excited to embrace this next part of my journey. So far, I believe embracing joy will mean:

  • digging deeper into an understanding of what brings God joy,
  • seeing how the joy He provides surpasses current circumstances,
  • focusing on what my life looks like when I bear this fruit of the Spirit,
  • finding greater joy in my responsibilities,
  • (re)connecting with the people who bring me joy,
  • enjoying more time in with my family in new ways,
  • getting back to regular rhythms–spiritual, physical, and creative, that bring me joy.

I know that a calendar change is not magical, but I love this season to reevaluate, reset, and reprioritize. I’m ready to see what God has in store. What are you ready for in 2021??

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