Out of the Fog

So, for three years now… three years! I have been trying to write a post in the new year about resolutions. About starting the year off with a bang. About setting out on the right foot. About starting well and finishing well.

Well. I never finish that post. I start it. I muddle through it. I re-read it… it leaves me feeling yuck. It’s not quite right. And I think that I finally figured out why!

January can be a bit foggy.

Here in Sylvan Lake we get some good fog. The kind of fog that rolls in off a body of water and looks a little muddy, almost like you should be able to scoop it out of the air.

That is what January ALWAYS feels like to me. We ring in the new year with all sorts of amazing expectation… this one will be better than the last. This one has promise. This one is THE BEST! But then something strange happens, doesn’t it? By the end of the first week or so (usually about the time the kids have been back to school for a few days), that January feeling sinks in. The foggy one. Like it might never end (and for goodness sakes, I was AWAY for part of January this year!).

I think that I understand the fog a little bit better this year. I think it is all those expectations!! We put all this pressure on ourselves to stack up to some imaginary score-board that doesn’t even exist. It’s not reality!

At taekwondo this week, the masters asked the boys to repeat this mantra:

“A Goal Set is a Goal Met”

That got me thinking.

I do want to set some goals for myself this year. I do want this year to be a year of growth, learning, fun, and LIFE! But, I don’t want planning those things to suck the life out of me!!

So, in the spirit of simplicity, love, and gentleness that I hope you read in all my words… here is what I propose:

January might remain a foggy month. I will not put pressure on myself to re-invent the wheel each and every January. Instead, I will intentionally say “No” to anything that makes the fog more dense and “Yes” to anything that allows a bit of light to shine through. By February, I will set some clear, realistic, and flexible goals for the months ahead that give me purpose, direction, and put a spring in my step.

Here’s a few that I have already put in to action:

  • I will attend one month of Taekwondo classes to see if it is a good fit for me.
  • I will unapologetically go to bed at 9:30 every night.
  • I will devote 5 hours per week to beginning my own business as an Arbonne Independent Consultant.

And there. That feels doable. Those are not resolutions. They are goals. I can meet them. I can reevaluate to determine if they are working for me.

Fog is lighter. I can breathe.

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Munday Funday: Family Holiday Style

I went on a family holiday… and I survived.

In the aftermath of our trip to Costa Rica, and after many wonderful conversations recounting our many adventures during our travels, I thought I REALLY needed to clarify one very important detail.

Namely: There is a DISTINCT difference between a family holiday, and a vacation, at least there sure is when your kiddos are 8 and 10 (I am open to the possibility that this improves over time).

Family Holiday: A time away with the fam which is likely to include hours and hours and hours and hours of exhausting fun with your kids, musical beds every night (somehow beds which are only a few feet apart are all the easier to climb in to each and every night), very little restful sleep, and exactly ZERO alone time.

Vacation: A refreshing, relaxing time away which leaves you feeling rested and rejuvenated.

Dear friends, we went on a family holiday. It was fantastic, amazing, a dream-come-true… but I am just now recovering. Just now. Three weeks after the fact. No joke.

Soul Food Sunday: February 7

Getting to church on Sunday morning can seem like a challenge (some weeks are better than others, right?!), so for those that didn’t make it this morning, I thought I might share my take-aways from Alliance Community Church this morning.

Here’s how Pastor Kevin started us off:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge or controversy.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

We were asked to decide how we, as Christians, conduct ourselves at such times. In particular, we were asked to consider how we are currently conducting ourselves in the political climate we are living in.

I think for many in the room, this was tough medicine to swallow. There are many Albertans that did not choose our current national government. There are many Albertans that did not choose our current provincial government. There are many that are extremely frustrated as they watch these new authorities make choices on our behalf that they would not choose.

So, what are we to do? What does the Bible say we are to do in times such as these.

Pastor Kevin pointed us to some very relevant scripture written by Peter in a time of extreme political and cultural upheaval. Read 1 Peter 2:11-17 and decide what stands out to you.

Here’s what I took away:

  • We are aliens and strangers in this land, merely ambassadors of Christ in this life, meant to represent our heavenly home with justice, righteousness, and peace.
  • No matter what we are called to in this world, and particularly in those instances where politics and justice are concerned, we are NEVER to choose any kind of evil in the service of our cause. Loving God and loving people ALWAYS comes first.
  • We are called to pray for and respect our leaders. ALL our leaders. Those we agree with and those we don’t. We are called to promote peace.

Our human hearts become so easily entangled in webs of anger, frustration, and controversy, that we can easily forget our true mission. I intend to go in to this week trying to remember that even as I speak out against those things that I do not agree with, I must temper my words and my actions with grace and love.

Have a Simple, Sweet, and Special Sunday everyone!