Thursday, December 31, 2015


Always a girl who enjoys lists, goals, reflecting, and pinching the most meaning out of every moment... it is no surprise that New Year Resolutions are an important part of my annual calendar.

Mark isn't always so eager to join me in (yet another) five hour conversation about the meaning of life and if we're living intentionally enough, and plans for setting practical goals daily to get where we intend to go 15 years from now....and so on and so on.  I don't see why he doesn't leap at the opportunity to discuss these things weekly with me. =) But the beginning of the new year, he's always ready to indulge me at this goal-setting time.

Last year we spent New Years in Burma. We shake our heads still in wonder at that vacation-it was so beautiful and perfect, a wonderful culmination to a wonderful year. When we returned we spent some time thinking about our goals. We decided to do it a bit differently, and chose only five things for the month of January. Five things to pray about, intentionally work on improving, five things to focus our attention on. The intention was to come together monthly with new "5 things", but when February came around, we both felt that we needed to keep praying about and working on the same five things. And in March, April, May, still we were not ready to change our focus. And, a whole year has passed now and it was these five things that we wrapped our year around.

We chose one overarching phrase for 2015, and we wrote it on our walls and in our hearts."May Love Abound".  I whispered it to myself when I dreaded another day of giving, giving, giving. We said this phrase to one another when we struggled to make a decision. Sometimes love did abound and it was beautiful. Sometimes we chose more sacrifice and more love and it was hard and we didn't want to. Sometimes I did not choose love, and my husband, and friends, and kids bore the brunt of it. Love did not always abound this year, but we tried to lean in to this idea-to open our hearts in bigger ways and I believe we grew and were blessed because of it.

I am blessed to think of our years' goals and see so clearly how God has moved.

1.  Grad School for Mark

Last year we began praying about if and when Mark should pursue his masters, at what university, and with what program. At the close of 2015, I am incredibly proud to report that Mark has received his first two A's in his first two classes.

2. That our house would be used, and the rooms filled up

Our house has been a constant source of joy and frustrating. It is just... big. And empty. And we have often wrestled with the choice we made in moving here as it doesn't align well with our values of simplicity. So we prayed and prayed and prayed that our house could be used. And we have been blessed to have friends, and a missions team, and family, and couch surfers in our house on temporary occasions, but it did not seem enough to warrant the extra rooms. But for several months this last year we had a great friend live part-time at our house, which gave them the opportunity to pursue a job and broaden their world. And we are so happy that we got to be apart of that in some small ways.

3. Friendship

We prayed for deeper connections and friendships. And then an amazing couple joined the ICS family this year and we "clicked" instantly. We are incredibly thankful for them. We continued to be intentional with prioritizing our church community, and our relationships continue to grow and grow. It has felt a whole lot more like home this year as we continue to invest in this community.

4. Abiding

We prayed and sought to abide in Christ. We read books and the bible. We had talks and we prayed. This year has been a hard year for me spiritually. Sometimes God does not seem so good when the world shows all its bad. But other times it is the truth that he has and will overcome that allows me to start over every morning.

5. Baby

Beginning last January we started praying for a baby. And, well, baby comes in May. I'm sure many more prayers will be uttered. =)

Mark and I have a few days "off" together this next week. And we are talking again about our resolutions. There is a lot of unknown ahead, a lot of ways we will need to grow, a lot of things to prepare for. 2016-bring it on, we are excited for all that you will hold!

No comments:

Post a Comment