Monday, July 25, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about my next year. It starts in 14 days.

I have loved observing different friends and acquaintances celebrating the end of their thirties (or beginning of their forties) in really unique, special ways. With big goals, a check-list of experiences and things to do, running amazing races, doing something significant with friends... lots of inspiring ideas and changes that I think are exciting.

My decade of my twenties had one specific theme - and surprisingly (to me, at least) as I've thought about it lately, my thirties have had a remarkably similar theme. And, honestly, it has been a bit painful. So I'm not so keen on picking a theme for my next decade right now. And I am not even sure how or what goals I would make. But I still want to do something special this last year of my thirties.

I just haven't been sure what.

One thing for me that is still very much on my heart is learning to live life one day at a time. I tend to find security in planning, being purposeful, setting goals and looking ahead, making check lists/to-do lists and knowing what to expect.

But I don't want to do that this year.

Another thing that is very much alive to me right now is listening for God in my day-to-day life. I hang onto His whispers and they feed - they are - my life. They are my favourite stories and lists. I have a zillion unfinished journals full of alternately neat writing and squiggled-snatched writing, trying to record things I've seen, heard or experienced that are oh-so-precious; messages from Him of His love and care:

The way the light filters bright orange through the trees on a run. A mama seal and her pup playing in a cove as I paddle by. A post-it stuck to my lamp that says "thank you for being pashent, mama."

Those are my unforgettables.

And that gave me an idea. What if I wrote stories about His Happy Birthday gifts all year long?

Taking life one morning at a time necessitates looking for His new mercies, His kindnesses, His love - and it also flowers into developing in me the strengths of enjoyment and gratitude. Something I would love for Him to continue teaching me.

So you are going to be noticing some changes around here in the next couple days. The focus is going to shift a bit and my theme for this next while is this scripture that honestly is blowing my mind a little:

"...[don't put your] hope in wealth [things, accomplishments, goals, your to-do lists], 
which [are] so uncertain, 
but put [your] hope in God, 
who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."

~ from 1 Timothy 6:17

If you'll pardon me the stretch in my blog title - I am going to be putting the emphasis on His kind words this year, not mine. (And I would love nothing more than if you felt free to add in the comments ways you have seen Him in your life, too.) I may not post every day, I may only post a few times... I'm not making a to-do list for myself. : )

Instead it's going to be about watching and listening for God's daily, beautiful presence in life.... all 39 years of it and counting.

There Is A Place Beyond Ambition

~ by Mary Oliver

When the flute players
couldn't think of what to say next

they laid down their pipes,
then they lay down themselves
beside the river

and just listened.
Some of them, after a while,
jumped up
and disappeared back inside the busy town.
But the rest -
so quiet, not even thoughtful -
are still there,

still listening.


erinn::haley said...

that verse from 1timothy is one of my favorites.
looking forward to all that the next year holds for you!
and looking forward to hearing how you decide to ring in the next decade... ultra perhaps?

Jessica said...

This is beautiful- I love your reflections and the verse and the way that you are approaching this year! Looking forward to what you will write here. LOVE the Mary Oliver poem too!

Cottage Mommy said...

Oh, I love this idea! And I love your shoes! Happy almost birthday are always inspiring to me. I turn 35 in about six weeks and to me it is a big birthday as well. I have been thinking big things I could do but this is a great post for me to see right now...some things to think about. Can't wait to read along and be a witness to the beautiful things God shows you this next year!

Anonymous said...

Dear Misha,
I don't usually comment but I am always just so encouraged and blessed by your thoughts and what you share, you are so real and I just love it, just wanted to say it to you this time, though I think it with most every post I read :)

Chelle said...

Your shoes make me so happy.
Not to mention your heart + words in this post, my beautiful friend. And that poem brought tears to my eyes, it's just so beautiful. Really excited about all the precious gifts that Jesus wants to surprise you with in this upcoming year and decade of your sweet and wonderful life.

Hannah said...

Yes! Learning to thank Him, to see the gifts, in such specific ways is a (the?) secret to joy, I believe. It's such a process. Go forth and celebrate!

Misha Leigh. said...

Thank you to all of you - and a funny story behind those shoes. They are dansko sandals I found at a local consignment store. I love how danskos make my feet feel and there is no way I could've bought them full-price. They were a surprise find on a not-sunny day. : )