For the last few years I have picked one word to try and focus on. One word to steer my choices and actions. One word to strive for.
Last year I picked EMBRACE. I wanted to learn to accept who I was and what I was capable of. I desired to be more in the moment and embrace more of what God had in store for me. I started a blog with my sister focused on uplifted our readers. I embraced my identity and have much greater hope in my ability to step up to what I am meant to be. I am not where I want to be. But I am much closer now than I was.
A year ago I sat down at my kitchen table with my pen in hand and a prayer in my heart. “Heavnely Father, show me where I should be focusing my efforts. Help me to see what you want from me. And then I wrote. The words came quickly and easily. It was time for me to embrace who I am and what my life has brought me through and to.
Admittedly the year did not go as I thought it would. But in reality it was exactly what I needed.
I found healing that was 30 years in the making through embracing my trials and sorrows. I came to have a much deeper relationship with my Savior by embracing His sacred offering on the cross and in gethsemane. I felt utter disappointments that ended up becoming beautiful blessings by embracing change.
Embracing myself has been a year long struggle and yet in the final month of the year I began to see how to better do that. Skydiving was a pivotal moment that changed how I had been looking at myself and the world around me. (That will be a future post)
I had no idea the opportunities I would have to embrace the agency of others. Allowing others mistakes to be part of their journey and let go of the hurt that can come has not been an easy task. But I am on the road to understanding this one a little more.
And oh imperfection, how difficult you have been to embrace. You have mocked me and taunted me. But most importantly you have taught me how to be ok with my journey, bringing beauty and pleasure I had no idea could be found when embracing the less the perfect.
Many times this last year I have come to my knees with gratitude and heartache. Coming to a deeper understanding of how aware my Father in Heaven is of me. Embracing his nearness and his deep love has filled my cup to overflowing.
Taking this time to reflect on the last year has caused me to open my eyes to the change that really has occurred for the better and it also gives me tremendous hope for 2016.
Yesterday as I read a book to Jacob about two frogs who wanted to fly a kite my little boy taught me a valuable lesson. One frog wanted to quit. Nothing they did seemed to be working. The other frog was determined to make it fly and kept trying new things. At the end of the story I asked why the optimistic frog kept trying and his answered was profound “the one frog had hope”.
As I look forward to this new year I think on hope and its relationship to success. For many years I have let my fears overcome me, letting that fear, at times, be much bigger than my hope. And so I would never begin something I truly wanted. What if I fail was a question that seemed to pop up its ugly head more often than I care to admit.
For 2016 I wanted a word that described my desire to move forward inspite of that fear. To hope for things that might be and then be willing to go forward with a strength and vigor I have not been willing to do in the past. To truly embrace imperfection and accept that on my journey I will make mistakes. And that things won’t always look the way I want them to but that I can keep moving forward.
Just like the optimist frog in Jacobs story I want to see the failed attempts simply as stepping stones to the desired outcome rather than as failures. I want to dream bigger than I have been willing to allow myself to dream expecting a journey filled with ups and downs that lead to a destination of higher proportions than I could have dreamed.
I want to fly. Letting my dreams and hopes have wings. Soar through this life with wind in my feathers. Expecting that sometimes the weather will be rough and other times a breeze. Hoping and dreaming it will carry me to through the life God has in store for me.
I could not settle on one word for the year. As I strive to find joy in the journey this year I will…
Dream. Hope. Fly.