(My friend, Jamie at BlondeMomBlog, posted this cartoon with her year-end post.
I had to borrow it for mine. I love it.)
It’s a new year—the perfect time for reflections and fresh starts.
I’m a real sucker for cliched rituals like that.
And so, I look back and look forward.
I started this blog one year ago with the greatest of aspirations. I wasn’t completely sure where it would take me, but one thing was foremost. I was devoted to being intentional.
Intentionally, Chris and I set goals for our family surrounding faith, family, and finances.
And unlike most New Year Resolution Resolvers, I actually held to a state of intentionality for much of the year. In fact, I consider it somewhat of a triumph that I was at least still considering intentionality as I closed the door on 2011. I was intentional enough to at least assess my success with goal-setting.
Drum roll, please.
You know what? Most—if not all—of those “goals” I set about faith, family, and finances were not reached. In fact, most were woefully missed. As in not just “come up a little short” but more like “the target was way over there.” And I’m not being negative, just realistic. You know what this tells me? That simply having intention isn’t enough to cause change.
I have a theory. I think that most (if not all) “success stories” are “accidental.” (And by accidental, I actually mean God-orchestrated.) Hard work? Intention? Determination? All of those are simply by-products of calling and God-given talent.
I think everyone has something (or a few things) that he or she is created to do. As imagers of God, we are creators. I think everyone comes hard-wired to do/be a unique something/someone. Period.
My particular temptation (for whatever reason) is pursuing everything under the sun. I see the possibilities in all things and try to fit my square peg in a round hole. No amount of “intention” or “determination” can change or improve something that doesn’t exist.
This fall, I attended the PCA International Women’s Conference in Atlanta. My friend, Nancy Guthrie, was the speaker and was absolutely fabulous. Anyway, one of the most important things I took away from the weekend was the idea that God was calling me to a special place. (And that wasn’t the topic of Nancy’s talks but was something I found to be kind of a residual effect of my learning and listening.)
He is calling me to a posture of reception. Of listening. I have always been praying and seeking his guidance about what to do. I believe he now is calling me to simply be. To watch for his moving. To identify his signs. To become still in order to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit.
So, I enter 2012 with one word: Receive. And I’ve got to say that we’re only a few days in, and it’s tough. My mother is dealing with some health issues associated with recovery from breast cancer, and our family is navigating some sticky relationship issues. And yes, I still need to address faith, family, and fitness, just like last year.
But I come to 2012 in place of cautious expectancy with no agenda except to wait, watch, listen, and receive.
Important RemindersPlease note: this blog features affiliate links. Should you make a purchase using my link, I will receive a small commission in exchange for my referral.
Latest posts by Mary Bernard (see all)
- How God Gets Our Attention - July 7, 2013
- Competition Is Irrelevant When You Follow Your Passion - May 30, 2013
- Mission Field or Mopping Floors? Following God’s Call - May 22, 2013
Thank you friend for the link. I’m guilty of overdoing it, too, and looking for the “next project.” Maybe God just wants us to sit back and receive. I love that. I have a busy mind/spirit and last year I really tried to say no to a lot and to let go. I think I did a pretty good job of it but I can always improve.
Hope to see you soon! (maybe next week?!) 🙂
Thanks, Jamie. Yes. I watched you do a good job of saying “no” in 2011. Here’s to more declined invitations in 2012! LOL. Hope to see you soon, too!
Thanks for this helpful post, Mary. Receptivity is a beautifully feminine quality–to be receptive, in tune, expectant–there’s power in this kind of passivity. And when we tune in to what we’re called to, we recognize more easily the distractions and rabbit trails. I’m devoting this year to tending what’s already been planted. Who knows what 2012 will bring? I’ll be right here with you, whatever it is.