A new year has arrived and brought with it a fresh new theme for my website, my writing and my life. At the top of the screen is a visual metaphor—a leaf floating along, being carried by the current, its beautiful color barely visible.
For me, 2014 was a good year. Larry and I traveled to Ireland (amazing!), my dad got a new heart valve (even more amazing!), and I stayed incredibly busy. My full-time job, freelance work, involvement in our church, and other activities kept my schedule jammed.
But so often, I found myself like that leaf, carried from task to task only by the momentum of the current. While 2014 was a good year, when I look back on it, I picture just that stream of tasks.
Enter the theme: Emerge.
In this new year of 2015, I plan to step out of the current of daily busyness and emerge to be more fully the person I was created to be. It doesn’t mean that I am walking away from my life, but rather that I intend to be more present in it. I have identified five goals for 2015 to help me emerge.
- To actively pursue Jesus and His kingdom.
As a Christian, my central focus should be on Jesus Christ. Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” I spent a lot of 2014 focusing on me and working very hard to accomplish a lot. It made me tired.
In 2015, I want to rest in Jesus who promises “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). I plan to emerge from the blur of my life to step into His light. I pray that His light will then be reflected through my life and my writing.
- To practice gratitude daily and perform acts of kindness.
I have been abundantly blessed—from a great family and a loving and supportive husband to a great job and great friends. There is so much in life to be thankful for, and yet it is easy to feel discontented or dissatisfied. Madison Avenue tries to convince us that we need more things to make us happy. I believe instead that I need to focus on how much I have been blessed, to enjoy the relationships in my life, and to do all that I can to show love to those around me. It’s a popular (and admirable) trend to perform random acts of kindness to strangers, but this year, I’d like to make sure my kindness is a little less random.
- To practice self-care.
The goal with this one is not to return the focus to me, but simply to take better care of myself. This includes not only the standard New Year’s focuses—to exercise more and drink more water—but also the idea of being kinder to myself. I have a tendency toward negative self-talk and discouraging myself. I try not to treat others that way, do I deserve less?
- To write.
When I think about the concept of emerge, one of the scariest areas for me is in my writing. Yes, I am aware that I have a job in which I write for a living. Yes, I know I’ve been writing professionally for close to 25 years. But that term—writer—is a scary word. In 2015, I am working to emerge from my fear and embrace my writing. [Did you notice I was brave enough to use it as the only descriptor on my website? That’s a big step for me!] I have scheduled writing into my day. I’m getting up early and writing for at least 30 minutes. I’ve found that this discipline is helping me accomplish more during my work day and feel more energized and alert. I have a couple of projects brewing and will share more about those down the road.
- To move toward being debt-free.
My final goal includes working toward financial freedom. Thanks to some bad decisions and student loans, this will not be a short journey, but I am making strides in the right direction.
So, there you have it: my plan to emerge. Anybody out there care to join me?