Hello and Goodbye

Can you believe 2015 has run out? Watching December end one day at a time left me feeling a little desperate, not because of regrets though; I simply didn’t feel prepared to say goodbye because I’m a sentimental goup, and it takes me a bit to adjust. 

I guess you could say my heart always feels one step behind. I loathe the idea of crunchy leaves and pumkin spice rage as summer is ending, but I begin to enjoy the cooler weather halfway through the season. Just when I’m finally ok with fall, hello winter! (Well, technically that doesn’t happen much in the south, but I’m speaking metaphorically. Plus, we’re moving north, so it works.)

2015 was a monumental year for me and my husband. First time pregnancy, a lot of traveling, a prayer event, job opportunities turned down, big decisions, financial risks, buying a house for the second time, preparing to move across states, and a whole lot more in between the lines, all while adjusting to being parents to a wild and beautiful little girl for the first time. 

With all the transition and hurricane of changes the new year is bringing, I find myself constantly having to breathe. When did I become such a old timer? I think it has something to do with waking up to the value of life and the shortness of time on the earth. It is not worth it chasing after things, coming to the end, and wishing to go back to enjoy things of eternal value like love, people, and beauty. 

I’ve been surprised at the level of anxiety that has begged to make home in my mind due to the humanly overwhelming things that need to be done to make this transition work. I am a forgetful person, and although lists are my lifesaver, they aren’t my saving grace. Ok, bear with my meager attempts to explain that cliche pun. The Lord has asking me to relax my lists and trust Him to remind me what I need to do, step by step. There’s nothing wrong with lists, but they often represent high expectations and strict plans for myself with little grace for flexibility. End result: anxiety. (Not God’s best for me.)

I’m not a die hard fan of new year resolutions. However sad it may be, people rarely stick to them, partly because the goals are often unrealistic or not sustainable long term. Weight loss attempts, for example, are often ditched within the first month. Nobody is going to stick with the green smoothie cleanse route for very long, plus that’s a very unbalanced diet.

The short term binge mentality, followed by shame after failure is not healthy, physically emotionally, or spiritually. Most of the time, it’s the simple every day choices turned habits that make the biggest long term changes. I want to embrace and enjoy the journey, including the challenges that will strengthen me.

My husband set a goal to read ten books in 2015. (He is not a reader.) Realistically, he only read five in our crazy year, but that’s not worth being bummed about. It is worth celebrating the milestones we do have and the progress we have made in our journey even if it looks different than what we expect. I want to learn to embrace the journey.

It’s not that God is asking me to expect less or make my dreams and goals smaller. On the contrary, I think my dreams and expectations are actually low on the scale of Gods plans, but that’s the clincher. My plans are not His plans. With my plans, I might be average. I might do average things, and I might feel successful with my accomplishments. With God’s plans, the impossible is possible, and although that ride is crazier, I get to trade anxiety in my weakness for peace in His ability. 
He always shows up.

There are a lot of lists I would love to check off in 2016, but a lot of them are variables. I need grace to hold my plans loosely and stay close to His thoughts about my life.

Let’s do this, 2016!

©Brenda Kanagy 

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