So far 2019 hasn’t started off the way I had hoped. In December I had spent time setting goals, reflecting on what worked and what didn’t. I wrote out goals in hopes of a calm routine, with motivation to eat well, write more, organize my house and generally wrestle some things under control. I wrote it all out in my planner, so it really should have worked, right?
And somehow today is the 19th of January, one child has the flu and I feel more behind than I did before. I have not yet experienced that calm routine of my imagination. Where has the month gone? Setting goals and making lists is part of who I am. It gives me something to aim for, a map to follow, a next right step. I think best by writing it out, putting words to the aches in my heart and seeing it all laid out. It all looked really good on paper, and it was encouraging.
The trouble I get into, when discouragement sets in, is when I hold it all too tightly. I can get panicked or stressed when I “fail”, generally because I set myself up with ridiculously high standards and expectations (hello, enneagram 1 anyone?). I forget that I am not a robot, but a person. I forget that some days I have more energy than other days, or fewer interruptions. I forget that I am an HSP and become overwhelmed easily.
What I really forget is that I want God’s will for my life and then I am somehow surprised that my day goes off schedule. And I shake my head at myself and remind myself of truth. I want to be interrupted if that means caring for someone I love, or offering an encouraging word to someone. I want my days to be filled with trusting God to direct my steps. But doing this often feels like a contradiction to my carefully laid plans.
I don’t know where you are on this January 19th, if you are knocking your goals out one by one, or if, like me, its a bit of a struggle. Here is what I know is true: we can make our plans, fill in the dot grid of our planners, but we fight discouragement by holding our plans loosely and offering them to the Lord.
Allow the interruptions. Ask the Lord for the next right step. Hold it all loosely. I’m pretty sure that my carefully laid plans will follow more of a squiggly line than a straight one, and that’s okay. And remember, always, that every day is the chance to breathe and begin again. There is no magic to January 1st. There is magic in today.