Life is often a whirlwind, and finding wisdom in the midst of each year is a great way to direct intention for days to come. For me, uncovering wisdom from 2014 is all about focusing on the time I took to exhale in the middle of it all.
It’s OK to exhale and relax. I can recall too many times through the years when I questioned or doubted my path, trudging in what seemed like the endless spinning of wheels, all along never considering how vital the path was to my future destination.
“Just that maybe … maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.” ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Failures, stalls and redirects are opportunities to move outside of comfort zones and gain new skills and exposure for what lies ahead. It is a priceless gift the moment we realize God has been sculpting through each and every detail of life, and this is the place where peace resides.
So, for the person who said I seem much more at peace than when we connected a few years ago, perhaps I finally understand that I don’t have to work so hard to find my purpose. God’s in control…I get it now!
Chai tea lattes are like drinking Christmas all year-long! Each morning finds me brewing coffee with my french press or joining the masses at the local Starbuck’s on the way to the office for the usual…a grande-two-raw-sugar, light-foam latte. I am the type of person who sticks with something once I like it.
But, how thankful I am for those people in my life who invite me into their world and encourage me to break out of my “usual” to experience something new. So, to my lovely daughter who has become my new Starbucks buddy, “thanks for opening up my world!”
And for all those who are adventurous and want to make this cup of comfort at home, try this!
The power of One Word is a gold nugget. This is the second year in a row I ventured into the realm of choosing one word for direction and focus over the span of 365 days. Although the idea seems rather vague and even silly, I am once again in awe of the grace uncovered by my one word…BEYOND. This word has inspired me to focus beyond myself and step beyond comfort levels to embrace the new and search out the unfamiliar.
This year brought opportunities and experiences which surpassed my expectations. We never really know what lies beyond our own abilities, our own vision and our own perceptions. Choosing to focus on one word invites God to break through the mundane and splash vibrant colors across our daily pallete.
While so many are crafting New Year’s resolutions, I am pondering My One Word for the 2015, and I would love for you to join me and share your experiences along the way.
I choose “perfect serendipity” over coincidence. Although I have never been big on coincidences, 2014 uncovered a number of intersections with people and places that planted me staunchly in God’s purpose and plans and perfect timing. When we least expect to find the answers to long-awaited questions or avenues to our endless searchings, He sends the right person with the right knowledge or the perfect connections at the perfect time.
And in one swift motion, we find ourselves exactly where we need to be…when we need to be. Any earlier or any later could not have yielded the outcome of such a clear and precise moment.
Perhaps one of my favorite movies, Serendipity, is a more accurate description of my year…finding something valuable or delightful when we are not looking for it. And, I like to think serendipitous is a much better description of our Creator weaving and shaping every moment of our lives.
Counting draws me away from complaining and grounds me in grace. Two years ago when I began searching out moments of beauty and grace in each day and actively logging them into my journal, it was a necessary means of finding joy in the midst of chaos. Awakening joy was just the beginning. 2014 brought a settling, but also much change.
Change is a given, but complaining is a choice. ←(Tweet This!)
Continuing my journey of counting has kept me grounded in the grace of each day, even when the challenges of threaten to disrupt peace and joy. Perhaps it’s best said by the author of 1000 Gifts, the joy pioneer herself….
“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”
“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control, let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy’s fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks. This is the fuel for joy’s flame. Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. And I can empty. I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.” ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
#1173 Soothing, rhythmic rain
#1192 New orchid bloom welcoming me to my office
#2143 Morning sunburst over the city
#1321 Afternoon ice cream cone break
#1416 Family of deer feeding by the roadside
#1437 Cooking a new recipe with my son
#1478 Wisdom to carry me into a new year
Complaining is forgetting all the good and simple gifts bursting through the moments of each day. Counting is remembering and thanking.
Counting is living in the graces of today and hopefully expecting tomorrow.