Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Anti-New Year's Resolution...

Tonight, I told my son that I was starting work on my blog.  (Actually, I'm picking up my blog pen again.)  As you can see, I've written ONE previous post. 4 years ago.  Cade's 1st comment this evening was, "Is this your New Year's Resolution, Mom?"  My answer to him, to myself, and to you is NO!   I have been an anti-resolution setter for many years.  Still am.  However, the end of a year is an appropriate time of reflection as I think about what has occurred, lessons learned, skills gained, goals reached, and everything in my life that does not look like I expected at this point, yet still hope and strive for.

Wow.  As I sit here reading that 1st post on being "Schooled," I am chuckling, knowingly and dryly.  This girl thought she was getting schooled then?  Wait until you hear about the 4 years of life that has occurred between then and now!  My struggles, hopes, and desires then were real.  Not teaching due to chronic pain was a hard blow; a big adjustment.  My heart hurt over it. Desperately, when I began this blog 4 years ago, I was searching for a purpose.  Now?  My chronic pain is better managed--because I don't work outside of our home.

I haven't just been schooled during the last 4 years, the books and manuals have been thrown out. I'm not even sure what course I'm supposed to be showing up for some days! The rules of this game changed, and someone forgot to tell me. Blindsided. Completely.  I have been in the fire. Without much of a break.   While I hope there has been some refinement in this process and deep, deep wisdom gained, there are definitely some deep wounds not yet healed, purposes yet to fulfill, wisdom yet to gain.

God has been stirring some things in me and around me lately.  He is speaking through His word, through a couple of precious friends, several blogs I regularly follow, my journaling, promptings in my heart and spirit, and even in some hurtful situations we've been dealing with in the last couple of weeks.  He is hitting me in all of these areas with the same messages.  So, while blogging feels like an emotional risk, taking this risk seems worth while at this time, as I continue to work out my own story, my own faith, my own relationships, and my own gifts and skills.  My prayer for years, as we have trudged through hardship after hardship, has been that God will use me to help others, to truly walk along side the hurting, to speak up for those without a voice, to speak into situations few are able to, and always to bring Him glory.

Now a different chronic pain screams for the most attention. I live out the real and crucial purpose of taking care of myself and my family, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.  Yet, there is still a calling and a yearning for a community and relationships and an outlet with people willing to walk with me,to dig deeper and be authentic, to actively use my experiences to empower others, and to leave the world different, better than I found it; to reach and touch those most often misunderstood, ignored, shunned, and stigmatized.

Now, back to New Year's Resolutions...NO!  I am still NOT setting one.  I have, however, chosen a word for this year of 2015 as my focus.  This word God gave me is another layer of bricks to build on top of my foundation, my Rock, and is all that I hope my life will be and how He can use my various, and unique, perspectives over the next 12 months.

My word for 2015 is LEAD.

I have to tell you that this is NOT a word I would think to choose on my own, and definitely not at the place I find myself at this moment.  While I know I posses leadership skills, up to this point I have only thought of these as skills I used/could only use while working in Gifted Education, as I wrote curriculum, taught students, managed a department of GT teachers, lead professional learning communities, and presented to parents and other teachers.  This word feels like a ginormous leap for me, because although I am beginning to see other areas of life, ministry, advocacy, training, and mentoring in which my skills are applicable and needed, there is no person, place, organization or church body in my life that is currently tapping into me or what I have to offer.

So, picking up this blog again, making my word public, and sharing openly becomes an exercise in listening to and trusting God.  God has already given me quite a list of topics to explore, brainstorm, write about, and educate the masses on, should anyone find this little blog o' mine.  I choose to trust God is going to continue to grow me, to lead me in my LEAD, to take some risks, learn some lessons, and positively affect some lives.

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