"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My One Word: Trust

For the past few years (2012, 2013) I've posted New Year's Resolutions here.  They weren't, like, guilt inducing ones, just ideas about how I'd like to grow in the new year.  This year was a rocky one for many reasons, it was a year of learning to live in this daily grind.  There wasn't much that happened that was new or exciting, beyond feeling like I was losing my mind (something I now attribute to an Omega 3 deficiency) and reaching out for help (which was really, really good).

How did I do with my resolutions in 2013?
  • I did finish a full draft of my book, and send it for editing.  In the past four months I've been pulling it apart for draft two, and I'm really hopeful that it's starting to look like a real book.
  • I stayed off Facebook all year.  I think it was a really good thing to stay away for a while, but I also think that it's probably time for me to re-join the world of social media with a refreshed sense of purpose.
  • I think I did succeed at building better face to face friendships, though only tiny baby steps.  I didn't really write any letters that I can remember, but I sent off some emails and had some really good times on a retreat and at girls nights that replenished my soul.
  • I did read more books.  Not a ton, mind you, but some good ones.  Not that I can remember any of them at the moment...  Wait, not true, I read Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson and Beloved by Toni Morrison and I'll never forget either one.  I also read all the Bridget Jones books this Fall/Winter (lest you think I only read literary fiction).  I heart Bridget.  She makes me feel so normal.
  • And I've made a lot of progress with my housework.  I'm no domestic diva and I never will be, but I don't dread cleaning as much as I used to and my house, while still full of persistent clutter, is livable.  It's a real challenge living in less than 700 sq ft with a toddler.  But I'm getting it down.
  • I also accomplished the bonus achievement of watching the whole Star Trek: The Next Generation series with Clint in the evenings.  Watching the series finale with an ice cream sundae was the perfect way to celebrate a quiet New Year's Eve at home yesterday.
This year instead of resolutions, I think I'm going to go a bit deeper and choose just one word.  Several bloggers that I follow do this.  For the past few years they've chosen one word that could challenge them and serve as a motto for them throughout the next year.  I seriously considered joining in the OneWord 365 movement last year, though I don't remember the word I had chosen.  It might have been something like Bold or Brave, which would have been appropriate for last year's struggles.  This year I knew I needed to participate for real, and the right word was immediately evident to me:


On the surface, there are a lot of external things that I need to entrust to God this year:
  • I am raising a toddler and have a new baby on the way, with all the excitement, change, sacrifice and lack of sleep that transition will bring.  Also, Lucy's caesarian birth was difficult for me both physically and emotionally, and I'd love to have a VBAC this time around, but beyond being informed and ready, I can't make that happen.
  • I don't know what the future holds for my writing, academic or ministry careers.  Or Clint's career(s).
  • We'll probably need to move, but I have no idea where or how or when.
But on a deeper level, I've been realizing this past year how little I trust anyone.  It's been killing my relationships.  In many of my closest relationships, I just don't trust anymore.  I don't trust Clint.  I don't trust my mom.  I don't trust my friends.  My interior monologue has become perfectionistic and isolated, believing that no one can or will do things the way I want or need them done.

At the root of this is the realization that I'm not sure if I really trust God anymore.  I used to, as a child and as a young woman with a complete faith, but it's been a long healing journey to regain relationship with him after leaving fundamentalism.  God never abandoned me through the whole thing, but I was deeply hurt by peoples' words, actions and theologies.  It was difficult to know what to trust anymore, or who God was amidst the false idols.

I want to trust God again, like Proverbs 3:5-6 says, with all my heart.  To lean into my relationship with him and his Word, not on my own understanding.  To truly believe that he will direct my paths on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis through this whole crazy year ahead.

I want that trust to overflow into my relationships, so I can be generous and loving with others, not suspicious, critical, and controlling (or the opposite: aloof, passive and detatched when I can't be in control).

Hmm... ambitious much?  Maybe I would have been better off making that list after all. :) I guess we'll wait and see.  I'm starting out with lofty ideals, but I don't want to think of this as some kind of pressing, guilt-inducing resolution, instead more like a prolonged meditation.  Perhaps I'll try to check in from time to time and report on what I'm learning from this year-long meditation on trust.

What about you?  Have you resolved anything?  Chosen a word?

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