I don’t really know what to expect of you. I mean, I guess we never do with a new year, but I am especially unsure about you. 2017 was a big year for me. It was the year I had counted down to, been excited for, and been a little bit afraid of for a long time. Now, it has come and gone like a summer rain. With your arrival, I feel exactly where I should be and completely lost all at once. 2018, I can’t wait to figure you out.
As I enter into this new year, I have some promises to make to you. I know lots of promises are made right now, some are kept and some fade by February. I’m not going to promise anything crazy, though. I know that I’m still trying to figure out my new rhythms of life so I doubt I can devote hours and hours to a rigorous exercise routine or vow to give up coffee, nothing that extreme. But I know a few small changes would be good for me.
For one, I promise you that I will talk to God a little more. I love reading and studying the Word and even writing my prayers. But sometimes raw conversation with someone I can’t see feels awkward to me. I hate admitting that. I wish I could easily close my eyes and talk to God like I was looking him in the eye, but sometimes the most important parts of faith aren’t easy. Faith requires that we become uncomfortable. In 2017, I became a lot more at ease in these conversations with my Creator. I’m excited to see how this intentionality will continue to draw me deeper into His love. 2018, I promise to walk and talk with the Lord more deeply.
I also promise to give myself some grace. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. If I lose sight of what is true, I find myself living in fear of imperfection. Maybe its because I’m an enneagram type one (another great discovery of 2017), but I leave no room for flaw. 2018, I am letting go of perfection. I will give life my best effort and I will expect my best work, but I will not expect perfection. I will leave myself space to learn. The Lord has been showing me that I am terminally incapable of living without flaw, but He alone makes my imperfection as white as snow. When I don’t measure up, He does. When I am not enough, He is. I want to believe that Christ’s power is true. I want to try new things and be okay with not meeting my expectations. This year, I am going to believe in the promise of my Savior’s grace over the shortcomings of my flaws.
I promise to live a healthy year to keep shaping a healthy life. Even though this may be the first year I don’t have the motivation of a cross country season, I will keep running and setting goals to remind myself of the joy of finish lines. I will try new things, even if it means going to a class where I have no clue what I’m doing. I also want to make the small choices count. I will listen to my body’s humbling reminders of the necessity of sleep. I will choose to take an extra five minutes at lunch for the better option on days that feel busy if it means that I will feel happier and healthier in the end. I will fight the crippling weight of stress by resting in the peace of the Lord. I will love the body God has given me and be confident in who he has created me to be. I have found that health is found by honoring the vessel God has given me to complete the work he called me to. Busyness shouldn’t have the power to rob my health. 2018, I promise to choose the best by chasing goals and making wise small choices.
I promise to be spontaneous, have fun, make friends, and love well in this precious season. I will turn off my phone a little more to be fully present in the moments I am living. I will worry less about embarrassing myself and focus more on having fun. I will spend less time color-coding my planner and more time creating memories. I will take more pictures and remember more silly faces. I will compare myself to others less and choose to believe in the me God is shaping. I will run from the lies and run towards truth. I will spend less time watching Netflix and more time reading good books. I will leave the chains of fear behind to live more freely in faith. I will devote more time to serving and loving others and spend less time absorbed by my own worries. I will choose to see the importance in conversation and smiles instead of being distracted by busyness. Joy is found in these small, daily decisions that hold great weight. 2018, I promise to choose joy.
2018, I think you are a good year for me to be present. God was faithful to guide me here and I feel like I can just breathe in where I am this new year. I don’t know my next step because it’s not quite time yet. So I hope you’re okay with me just standing here for a little while. Of course, I won’t be still. I hope to look around at where I am to find your beauty. I hope to love the people standing with me well. I hope to kneel down in the dirt to serve well. And most of all, I will look up to the Lord who led me here and will be sure to lead me to my next step when it’s time.
Pictured: Hearth & Hand with Magnolia 2018 planner from Target