a word for 2017

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

New year’s has never been my favorite Holiday, but I enjoy the passing of it. It comes with a sense of newness, of turning the page and starting a new chapter. I love that part of it. I think that is part of the reason I was drawn to teaching- the new start each year and the times we get to re-set.

It is a time to think of what we want to let go of, to change, or to work towards in the new year. It is a time of hope for things we want to see or do in the new year, still full of possibility at the start. While I have probably not kept as many resolutions as I have made, I still love to make them. Over the years I have gotten better at keeping them, but still have a long way to go on my stick-to-it-ness.

Over the past couple years I have seen a lot of people choosing a word they want to focus on for the year, either in place of or alongside a resolution. When I was thinking about my resolutions, there was a clear theme coming through that seemed bigger than any resolution I could make.

Dedicated.

I went back and forth between the words “dedicated” and “discipline.” There have been times when I was learning a lot through discipline and about discipline, whether that be the Daniel Fast, training for races, or reading scripture on more of a schedule, I have stuck to a lot of those things. Over the last couple years however, I have been learning a lot about grace. Grace in ending something sooner than I said, grace in the lack of motivation to read scripture and journal daily, grace in not attending church, grace in the guilt I feel when I “fail” the things I set out to do.

With and for everything there is a season though, and I am feeling the pull back to the season of discipline. I didn’t choose that word, however, because dedication felt like more of a choice. While I am sure I will learn more about being disciplined, both having self-discipline, and relying on the Lord for it, I am choosing to dedicate myself to it.

My resolutions to do actually complete a whole30 (eye roll at everyone and their mother doing it, I know), read 20 books (or more!), attend church regularly, and write weekly, all fall under the umbrella of dedication. In times I know it will be tempting to lean in to grace, reminders of my word will help me push back. This verse has been coming to mind during these thoughts, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:37. My word, even promises to myself, need to be kept, or else whats the point of making them? 

Next year has so much possibility and potential. 2016 was filled with joy, grace, and fun for me personally, and a lot of challenges outside of my little world. I don’t know what it holds for my surroundings, but I know I have the choice to choose to stick to and stand for what I know is important. My hope for 2017 is for the same for so many walking into it with doubts and uncertainty, to choose hope and dedication to make 2017 the best year yet.

Happy New Year to you!

Advertisements

invisible

Every morning in first grade we answer a question and share our responses. Most of the time its silly and relevant to whats going on. Recently we talked about the best thing to do in snow, if we like whipped cream or marshmallows on our hot chocolate (both was the most popular answer and I supported them all in that), or what we would do on a snow day.

Sometimes though, I like to make them think just a little bit harder. One of our questions before break was, “What would be the first thing you would do if you were invisible?” I don’t remember most of their answers, but a few said they would eat a lot of ice cream, make a really big mess and not clean it up, or watch a show they weren’t suppose to.

I love asking questions, so of course I asked a group of friends we were with the same thing. Two said they would rob a bank, one said he would pull practical jokes on me, and another, who was in the same camp as me, would eavesdrop. How luxurious would it be to get to be as noisy as you want without anyone knowing? Without any strange glances or awkward eye contact, just uninhibited people watching and listening in. Where we differed is that the other person said they would want to know what coworkers thought, and yes, I would also, but I would be just as satisfied with any random person. That would probably even be preferred. I want to fill in the gaps of their stories with my own imagination, or put myself in their shoes for the few moments of eavesdropping and wonder what I would do if I were them.

I’ve been on break this week, so its left me lots of time to wonder. Colton and I have been talking about our dream jobs recently and while I love love love teaching (that extra love was because I’m break right now), I also dream of writing. Which, I talk about but don’t do a lot of. I’m too busy or tired during the week and then just don’t want to over the weekend. So I’m not making the time for it and building any writing muscle. Not that I think my writing is good enough, or I have the writing stamina enough to do something with it (yet!), but I know I want to try. Which, is why this blog looks a little different. I’m going (not saying hope, because I’m just going to do it!) to be putting some little stories on here along with my normal wonderings.

Last week, my students and I were learning about using our imagination. We read Where the Wild Things Are and created our own monsters. We created something out of a cotton ball to imagine it as a cloud in the sky, and then we created something out of our thumbprint. They were really fun activities, but they were also challenging for some. Some couldn’t think of anything to do, or they would do something, hate it, and want to try again. I even had a boy in tears because he couldn’t think of anything. Imagination, just like writing, is a muscle that can be strengthened. We can become more creative by being creative, and we become better writers by writing.

There are so many adventures, good questions, and deep thinking out there if we only listen. While, I may not be able to be invisible to get more ideas, I can notice and wonder. I can put something on paper and see where it goes, and the more I do it, who knows what could happen?