I read, I ate, I slept and ultimately, I relaxed. I was at peace, settled. Me.
Not technically a sabbatical, probably more of a vacation. I need to put a dent into my usually harried, crazed schedule to take time to reflect on who I am before God. What did I find, you wonder? I found that I am far too serious in this life. That I don't laugh enough or recognize that I am truly loved by a few people - enough people - for who I am and that they are sincere in that love even if sometimes they hurt me (or when I hurt them). That it doesn't detract from value or worth but only highlights the need to talk about the choices made. I truly recommend that women (and men) take the time for this. Please also read the "Bookworm" page of my blog and read my mini-review about the Marriage Sabbatical.
I realize that returning to my "regular life" will include challenges and strife (and good things too) and that I will need to prepare myself for how I will respond. This came over me like a ton of avalanching bricks while driving from my vacation spot back home. I became a bit saddened and heavy hearted. I had spent time thinking about these moments, preparing for them. I still can't explain it. Even with some wonderful things happening since I've been home, I have moved from room to room or around the city in my car with tears back behind my eyes and a heavy heart. I have been in constant prayer but it hasn't released yet and I haven't figured out why.
As promised though, I would like to share my dreams. A little about my approach first.
I thought of myself being back at the cabin this time next year and what I'd like to be able to sit on the porch of the cabin and reflect on having experienced. I'm not approaching so much like a checklist with specific road maps for how to get there but instead overarching things I hope that God will allow. This approach is called "Understanding by Design" (UbD) or "Backwards Design" and is helpful in thinking about the end result and allowing that to dictate my planning. I'm posting them so that I can hopefully share progress in these areas and you even now have permission to ask me how its going from time to time; I'd appreciate that. And, well, I am really wanting to be more and more vulnerable in the posts that I share. So, without further ado...
This is what I hope to see my life look like next year at this time:
- I have been faithful to God and in His Word every single day
- I am in a healthy, safe, intimate, trusting, authentic marriage with Mark
- I am trusting of God and of myself and am more confident about God's will and living it out, as a result of that trust
- I have lived within my means paying my bills and saving over $1K
- I have laughed almost daily and have experienced fewer bouts of depression; true joy flows from me
- I have been instrumental in the baptism of two women
- I have been hired to work in an education role that fits my strengths
- I am back at Walnut Ridge for a week
- I am closer to my immediate and extended family due to my outreach
- I have lived as a victor not as a victim
- I have started a bucket list of 50 things I hope to experience before dying
- I blog from an authentic place and find freedom in it
- I have been physically active at least once a week all year round
- I have been positively impacted the opening of the Fisher House, Milwaukee
- I have ensured freedom for Dylan to grieve the death of his dad
- I have helped my child learn the value of money and his responsibility with it
- I have read 30 books this year
On another note, I've also updated my reading challenge - I read A LOT this week. Heavenly!