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,
and disappeared back inside the busy town.
But the rest -
so quiet, not even thoughtful -
are still there,