Happy New Year! I'm a little late on January's blog post, and I haven't even been writing! My part time work at camp has been taking up a lot of my time, and that's okay because I really enjoy that work too. I love being a part of the ministry my husband is in full time. It's as much of a dream come true as writing a book! There are definitely two sides to the Emily coin.
So, 2020. I love a good even number. It already feels better than 2019. I'm not a big resolution setter when the new year comes around, probably because I know my own limits and failings. But my husband and I do have one goal for this year: no hospital visits or stays, unless we're visiting a friend. Yes and amen.
Instead of resolutions or goal setting, every year I pray for a word from God to focus on and grow in. Last year, my word was fire and it was a year full of just that. Especially the last half of the year. It was hard and the flames licked at me, but there was also a lot of good and beautiful things. And I grew.
"Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn." - C.S. Lewis
As mentioned in my previous blog post, I grew (and continue to grow) so much deeper in knowing who God is. I grew to understand who I am and some things about me that may need to change if I'm going to be a more compassionate and loving person. By the end of December, I was able to express deep gratitude for all the experiences I went through. This was surprising to me because I still didn't understand why all that had to happen, and I still don't. In that first moment of gratitude, I realized that understanding the why, or even knowing the outcome, is not necessary for expressing true thankfulness.
Suffice it to say, when the new year rolled around, I was ready for a fresh start! A new word. A gentler word. . .
While I don't make plans for the whole year, I do like to make monthly goals. These goals are more attainable. My goal for February is to finish the first draft of the sequel to No Way but Through. It will be my own NANOWRIMO. In fact, I will be following their schedule. Having a daily word count to hit is so helpful to me. Since the surgery, it's been so hard for me to find the discipline and routine I usually have when writing. I look forward to enforcing this schedule and falling under the discipline again.
I love this Gloria Steinem quote, "Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel like I should be doing something else."
That's powerful and true for me. That tells me I was created for writing. What's the thing that makes you feel this way?
I have to tell you about the insanely vivid dream I had last night because it presents a picture of the glory and peace I hope for this year. I started out in a chaotic, loud place, like an arcade, with a bunch of high school youth. (Something I used to do a lot in youth ministry). Through some weirdly detailed events, I found myself outside.
Snow was falling from a dark sky.
The thick silence of a snowy winter night heightened all my senses.
The air smelled cold and crisp and fresh.
I stood in a parking lot, in the middle of a small, old-fashioned town.
Light from nearby street lamps lent a sparkle to the falling snow.
From across the street, singing filled the air, issuing from a quaint, white church.
The sound was holy, reverent, and haunting.
They sang, O Come Let Us Adore Him.
Pervading all this was something I can't put words to.
A feeling of pure magic, deep delight, holiness.
The whole moment touched a deep part of my soul.
Something straight out of eternity.
That's an image I'll hold onto this year.
First thing this morning I did a Buti yoga workout (it felt SO good) and the last song they played, as I settled on my back, was breath-taking and recalled the music from my dream. And the snow was falling thickly outside. It took me right back to that moment. It was like confirmation. A sealing up of a prayer. Tears may have leaked from my eyes.
Now, I hope you're wondering what word God has given me for 2020. Abundantly more.
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." - Ephesians 3:20