Happy (almost) New Year!
2019 is sneaking up on me and Christmas vacation has gone fast - too fast. I made it a personal mission to jump-start my 2019 focus a bit early over break and CONNECT with my family and friends and celebrations of the season by disconnecting a bit from the rest of the world. This past week has been wonderful. Our Conkling Christmas Bucket List has pretty much been complete (perhaps a separate post on all that we did as a family of four later).
As I look back at how God worked in our lives and my life personally in 2018, I can't help but think the year is too much of a blur. I felt distracted during most of it, disconnected as my mind went back and forth like a ping-pong ball or - better yet - like a computer with about 20 different windows open and never being able to close them all.
Too often I felt frazzled. Hustling to and from. Much of this comes with our busy season of life as our kidlets are getting older and involved in various activities - and many of these activities include us coaching and/or helping in some capacity. We love it and it's a privilege to spend time with our kids and their friends in this short period of time in our lives.
What I don't love is how I spend my time during the in-betweens. How my supposed "quick" checks of office e-mail or answering questions and requests on social media quickly spiral into hours of checking my own social media accounts and consuming myself with too many others' lives and not my own.
Don't get me wrong. We're to check on others. To love them above ourselves. But I feel like a fake when I try to get as many hearts or likes/loves/sad emojis out of the Instagram and Facebook feed rather than taking extra time to drop a note in the mail, send a text, actually voice call someone (gasp!), or have a genuine face-to-face conversation over coffee.
I'm finding myself to be more and more disconnected in what the world screams is a more-than-ever-connected society.
I'm taking a step back in 2019 to CONNECT to the people and world around me.
- It doesn't mean some grandiose full-on detox from total social media, because in my line of work, I can't take a total detox of social media. But it does mean going on a social media diet of sorts (if you want to go along with word play).
- It means reading more books - I've got Tim Challies' 2019 reading challenge by my bedside and am excited to tackle a variety of books and get back to our local public library on a more-frequent basis.
- It means reading the Bible in a different way. I've never read the Bible entirely through and get tired of starting over in hopes that this will be the year on Jan. 1. I'm experimenting with reading passages chronologically and stretching it out over two years so I can also dig into separate studies throughout the year, too.
- It means learning a new skill that interests me in my 35-year-old state of life (cross stitch! hand lettering!) or get back to an older skill (handwritten journaling! going beyond the beginning-level book in piano and Hannon scales!).
- It means taking races and running miles as they come as I continue to coach in some sports and chase my kidlets around in others, plus their non-sport activities. (But let's be real - running and physical fitness keeps me sane, so that won't go away. I just won't always be training for something).
- It means going out of my super type-A comfort zone as we have a big year ahead of major home improvement projects, work opportunities, and more.
I'm thankful for the triumphs and total flops in 2018. For the doors that God slammed shut, lightly closed, but also partially and widely opened. For the people He brought in and out of our lives again and again. For so many wonderful memories, opportunities, adventures that we had as a family of four.
And ultimately, I'm thankful for His grace upon grace in every moment - and that I should not settle for comfort and complacency.
Here's to 2019!
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28