UncategorizedHabits of Wholeness February 27, 2019 For us, January and even most of February always feels a bit like a black hole…in some hard ways and in some good. After the joy and celebratory rhythms of Christmas, I think most of us feel ready for a fresh start. But the New Year for me always comes with looking back as I look ahead. For the last several years with small children and the lack of usual attention I give our immune systems through the holidays, those winter months often come with just enough lingering sickness that keeps us inside and to ourselves more than we’re used to. It always feels annoying to keep us from diving right back into our usual rhythms like I’m craving, but I realized this year it’s forcing me into a rhythm I should adopt going forward: one of rest and reflection going into a New Year. One of quieting the outside demands I can to give ourselves the slow pace true reflection and shaping of vision requires. I said at the turn of the New Year that my focus “word” is HABIT. I’ve moved away from having very specific achievement-based goals like I have the last several years because as I’ve gotten to know myself (both strengths and weaknesses I’m prone to), I realize my day-to-day work isn’t motivated by a long-term goal. If I want to change my day-to-day and in turn, change my long-term outcome in an area, it’s got to start with building good everyday habits. The habits of how I daily use my time are what’s going to affect our long-term results. And so I went into this New Year with a stirring to focus on habits: both getting rid of “bad” and building good. My vision was to focus on a habit or two a month depending on how big or difficult they each might be. I want to give myself time to really focus on each one for 30 days and build it into a second-nature habit. While I planned to dive right in with crafting new habits on January 1, I realized that this year, I needed extra reflecting. In many ways, our family is at a crossroads. Closing up our debt journey and transitioning the focus to new adventures. Our growing children whose needs are shifting and school is on the horizon. We can feel the stirring, the stage of our family demanding some shifts as we go into the future, and I feel it demanding shifts of me as well. I’ve spent so much time in prayer and quiet trying to gauge what’s coming and more importantly, who I need to be for it. I’ve read a few wonderful books that I’d been excited to start. I let my soul start to fill back up. And I’ve tried to let that show me the habits that need forming. God’s shown me that I’m in a stage of “becoming” right now. Gosh, won’t we always be? But this year is for me in some real deep and tangible ways. Toward the end of last year, a dear friend that I talk about often around here (Eileen & Co.) shared with me some podcasts that she said had changed her life. Why it took me several months to actually listen to them, I don’t know, but now, I’ve listened to each of them several times since and know I’ll continue to until they’re memorized! You can find Jonathan and Melissa Hesler’s podcast here. There were two in particular: Cultivating Creativity (#11) and Leaning Into the Holy Spirit (#6) that I can see God using to change my life. In the episode on creativity, Melissa Hesler talks about creating from a place of wholeness and that was revolutionary for me. I haven’t been doing that my whole life. Pouring into myself, creating habits that keep me “whole” before I try to then create for work, for my kids, etc. All areas of life demand our creativity in one way or another. That solidified my goal for this year: to build habits of wholeness. I took a good, prayerful look at my life and days and sketched out a list of areas that were taking away from my “wholeness” in who God created me to be. Areas that were chipping away at my identity being rooted firmly in Him and that were chipping away at my strength, my ability to pour out in the way life is demanding of me. I’m assigning some to each month and am going to dive into this year on very intentional becoming. January and February have been planning months for me, a key part in the process of making any real change. The blog and my work has felt like a crossroads was coming for quite awhile as I’ve shared, and I felt the need to share this piece of my story here because as always, I believe that God is crafting our stories not just for our benefit, but so they can be poured out for others to learn from (as mine has been shaped by hearing others). Each month, I’m going to share here and on social media the habit I’m tackling and then a look at how it went. And I’m already excited to see these habits stack on top of each other as the year goes on and to start to feel real change stirring in some key areas I’m craving it. Stay tuned for my March habits coming Friday (March 1st – how are we already two months into this new year?) ****** Also, stay tuned for some blog updates coming soon. Some things have gotten a bit out of whack around here with updates, etc. and I’m making some changes, so if things look a bit wonky on your end, it’ll be fixed soon!