My anchor word (focus word) for 2015 is WELL. (Do you have one?)
This may be a tiny little word but it’s packed with such big themes.
Two thousand fourteen was an interesting year for our family – a year not remotely resembling one we’ve ever had before, and likely very different to any that will unfold before us.
It was a year of intentionally putting on the breaks to so much of what had previously consumed our time and energy and exploring as a family where our heart is, what our priorities are, and where we’re headed into the future.
It was a year of some incredible surprises like getting to celebrate Ryan’s 40th in New York City in what felt like utter extravagance for us and then me being invited on the Tuscany Writers Retreat in Italy, which felt like even more ridiculous amounts of extravagance. (I’m still processing all that those trips meant – they were so rich and full.)
It was a year of soul-searching and truth finding. A year of relief and joy as we finally got pregnant and then anger and devastation as we lost another baby. A year of discovering what community is and isn’t and grappling to find it when it didn’t present in obvious ways or in the form we expected.
It was a year that contained some fairly major disappointments. It was also a year made up for them with some incredible encouragement and affirmation.
It was a year of finding clarity, of letting our bodies and minds and souls rest, and of releasing expectations that were too rigid – sometimes self-imposed, other times lobbed on us. We’re learning more than ever that we’re the bosses of our own lives and we don’t have to live by the (often well-meaning) expectations set out by others… or even by what we think others might think.
It was a year of repenting for where we’d gotten off track and circling back around to what we know to be true (that’s true repentance, you know – coming into alignment with God’s best).
It was a year of contending with what it means to be a writer and how my blogging and online presence and writing both hinders and compliments/bolsters my offline writing. It was also a year of beginning to more ruthlessly attack all of the doubts and insecurities that most writers and artists battle in private, and coming to terms with the fact that I am certainly not exempt from the struggle. (I still have a long way to go.)
As I look to the year ahead I do have a measure of oh my goodness, what are we doing? thoughts that make semi-frequent unwelcome appearances through my otherwise peaceful mind. We have a thousand unknowns as we learn how to navigate birthing a new ministry in a new city and we’re well aware of the challenge of finding community to “do life” with in this next season. I’m still trying to discern how to best approach my writing projects in a way that makes sense with what we’re doing as a family and develop that aspect of my life in a way that’s cohesive and strategic and inspired. (Thankfully, Ryan is my biggest cheerleader and pushes me—nicely—when I get discouraged or overwhelmed.)
I’m also asking God how to move forward with our Love A Mama Community as I’m continually sought out for involvement in projects to empower women and bolster maternal health in the developing world.
How does it all fit together?
Honestly, I’m not sure.
We’re also beginning a new family adventure of living small in a tiny, renovated vintage caravan and although most days I see the wisdom of our decisions, I have moments where I reckon we must have been absoutely crazy to move forward with our unconventional lifestyle plan.
One thing I do know for the year ahead is that the word God’s given me as an anchor is WELL. Within that tiny little word is a great big loaded slew of implications for me – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There’s ammo there for my relationships, for community building, for my marriage, for parenting, for educating my children, and for the way we go about planting our urban missions work in Sydney.
And perhaps the less obvious significance of the word WELL is how God is calling me to draw from him and let my source of strength, refreshment, inspiration, motivation, joy, and even power come from him.
How will I LIVE WELL and also draw water from the LIVING WELL this year?
I have a few ideas for how WELL will play out in my life and in my family in 2015, but no doubt I’ll understand more at this time next year when I can look back and reflect on one more year of seeking Grace, being led by Jesus, and letting WELL become my anchor.
How about you? Do you have an anchor word (or a focus word) for 2015? What is it and what does it mean to you? I’d genuinely love to hear.
It is well with my soul,