I turned 29 at the beginning of December. Mix all the emotions of that with all the thoughts that go into entering into a new year, as well as being someone who takes time to process things, and here I am finally bringing all my thoughts and emotions to some sort of summary. I need time to appreciate the holidays, process the previous year, and think about what lies ahead. So, we are nine days into the new year and I'm finally collecting those thoughts and emotions into goals, resolutions, one word, a direction (whatever semantics you like...I kind of think they aren't too different).
I am pretty excited to be in the final year of my twenties, and I am pretty convinced my thirties are going to be great. I know hard things will happen and trials will come, but I also know what I've already gone through has prepared me for whatever I will face. And the me that I am now is much more mature and much less insecure, much more focused on grace and much less focused on striving than the me I was when I walked into my twenties. I really am a different person. (And praise Jesus for that!)
As I thought about what I'd like to focus on and accomplish this year, the same theme kept coming to my heart and mind.
At first I didn't know what that meant. But then I realized it is a word to arch over all of my life to help me love better and live well. It is word to help me exhaust myself over what matters instead of exhausting myself over what will fade away.
This year of less means:
Less to-do lists. More gratitude lists.
Basically, this year of less is a year to refocus, to get things done, and to play a whole lot. Of course, if there's less of something, then there has to be more of something else to take its place. I'm excited to watch the lesser things fall away this year as the things of importance and of my calling take precedence.
Some things on my less and more list are a bit more concrete and have specific direction attached to them. But for most of them, it will just take a daily diligence, a daily remembering of what matters and of who I am in Christ. This year of less isn't rooted in legalism, but actually in a deeper sense of the grace I've been given which has resulted in desiring to live out my calling with more urgency, realizing more and more how short life is, and wanting to better address the dire spiritual and physical needs around the world.
2017 is going to be a good year. We are walking into this year as a family of four not knowing what is in front of us, but knowing for certain the God has gone before us and walks beside us. So I can take the courage I learned last year and carry it into this year knowing God is already at work for His glory and my good. And I have a feeling this year of less is going to end up being more than I could ask or imagine.
There are two resources I love to help navigate through entering into a new year:
Jennie Allen's Dream Guide
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017 from Lead Stories Media (Jo Saxton and Steph Williams)
Do you use a course or a resource to help you figure out your goals? Do you pick a word for the year? Do you come up with resolutions? I'd love to hear!
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.