Happy New Year, Friends

GoalsToday at lunchtime, my family and I sat around the table chowing down on our black-eyed peas, chips with cheese dip, shrimp cocktail, and “little smokies”.  Our conversation evolved to one regarding our goals for 2015.

“I want to try something new,” I said.  “What, Mommy?”, my children exclaimed.  “I think we should write down our own goals and then some family goals for this year.  We’ll seal them in an envelope and open them up one year from today to see if we accomplished them.”

They were super excited to do this.  Well, at least our older children were.  Our two-year old seemed to be too busy playing with the food on his plate!  We went around the table and spoke about our personal goals, and this is what I was reminded of.

If you give your children the silence and time to speak about their goals and hopes, you can learn so much about them.

My son and daughter both set goals that, if achieved, will benefit them both in a personal way, in a way that benefits our family, and definitely in a way that affects the greater good.  My husband and I told them our goals as well.  Then, as a family, we talked about goals for the new year.  My children exclaimed,

“I want to fill the Blessing Jar up to the very top! “

“I think we should clean up trash in the streets to help keep our environment around us clean.”

“We need to help each other more.”

“We should use calm voices more often with each other.”

As I wrote the goals down, a flow of those endearing little nudges of goodness showered me.  It seems, despite my many unending flaws as a parent, our children are precious little souls who yearn for opportunities to do good.

After lunch, we departed in our various tasks of the day.  Our daughter went to play with a friend at her house down the street.  Our two-year-old ran circles in the living room.  My husband started helping out with the daily chores involved with taking care of a family of five, and my oldest son went to his bedroom to look through a stack of books he wanted to donate.

I locked myself in our bedroom and started going through our closet.  As I pulled things out to organize and donate (if desired), a funny thing started to happen.  I realized that I get frustrated at the amount of “stuff” my children want to keep, and yet, there I was sitting in the middle of my bedroom stuffing trash bags full of gently used clothing, unused jewelry, and items I once swore that I needed.

Five trash bags of clothing, toys my children decided to rid themselves of, and other items, started to take up the space of my bedroom.  And then, my soul was stirred about the many things I carry in my heart that the Lord wants me to rid myself of.

I know there is more space in my life to donate to intentional parenting with my children.  I know that this vessel of life can do so much more.  At the same time, I also know the things that pull me away from the Lord’s wisdom.  I need to stick away these things in a trash bag, and let go of them.

With my children’s words of our family goals today fresh in my mind, here are my thoughts as I enter into 2015:

“God,I want to fill others…other jars of clay…with words that bless them.”

“Lord, I know there is a lot of trash in my life and in the streets of my thoughts that I need to clean up to keep this incredible environment of life clean.” 

“Father, help me to help each other more.”

“Savior, I pray Your voice will calm the waves of contempt in my life, and in turn, will create moments that I can be used bring peace to others.”

Here’s to 2015!  This is a wonderful time to be living on this side of Heaven.  My hope for this upcoming year is that we will all be drawn closer to Origin of Love.  

Now, that is a New Year’s Resolution we can all attain.

Happy New Year, Friends.

 

New Year’s Road

Taken with my iphone as I rode my bike in a 150 mile ride.

This past year was one full of discovery for me.  Through blogging, I have been reminded that everyone truly has a story to tell.  We are all story-tellers in our own ways.  Art, in its purest form, also speaks volumes of insight and revelations about the world we are living in.  Some speak through poetic ramblings and short-stories.  For others, the lens of a camera captures images that their eyes first took notice of.  Each photograph tells a story.  Writing really has become my therapeutic release, my story-teller, my window to the world, my humbling remembrance of how blessed I am, and an extension of the yearning to live out my faith in Christ.

I continue to learn that  parenting is an art form.  Like most artists, parents don’t just figure it out with one stroke of a brush.  Mistakes are made, and often, we are our own worst critics,  Parenting is also something that love and passion is poured into.  I have yet to meet an artist who is not passionate about his or her masterpieces.  Children are the masterpiece that we are always working on, and for that, I am grateful for “do-overs”, grace, and the simplistic forgiveness of children.

Throughout this year,I have been made keenly aware of the tightrope we all walk when it comes to protecting children in our own backyards, and around the world.  Not to sound cliché, but they really are our greatest resource for the future.  Through this blog, I have been able to express my deepest desires for my children, and for others as well.  I have also been able to connect to the child I once was.

I began this road of writing because I felt I had a story to tell.  I felt I needed to speak of infertility.  I knew there were others out there suffering from the sadness that comes when the desire for children is not fulfilled.  I also felt that my story of barrenness includes the incredible journey that is adoptive parenting.  I may stray from time to time from the topic of infertility with the posts I write, but it is never too far from my thoughts and my heart.  I am deeply compassionate about others who continue to search for answers, and who live daily with the unfulfilled longing for children.  I hope my words will encourage each of them to believe in joyful beginnings and happy endings.

I am not sure what the Lord has in store for the road I will walk in 2013.  Will I be inspired to venture into other areas of writing?  Will there be heartbreak and heart-joy in this next year?  Will some doors open while others shut?  There is no way to tell what is destined to happen, but my faith in the Script-Writer of our lives is greater than the unknowns of the future.

May this New Year’s Road lead you all to delightful discoveries, faith-building experiences, and life-affirming moments that bless your sojourn in the world.