Well, we’re 8 days into 2017. What a perfect verse to start out a new year! (Thank you Bren @planningbeauty on IG for the inspiration via your #scriptingscripturedaily challenge for January.) This verse is the perfect springboard for my little self-talk today (meaning, I’m writing this here to myself, but putting it out there – just for some accountability.)
2016 was good to me. Not that it didn’t pose its challenges, losses and put me through the fire more than once. It was good because I grew. I feel like a lot of understanding was revealed to me and maybe even a bit of wisdom I didn’t start out with. Suffice to say, I am happier, more content and more faithful now than I was a year ago. Most of this is due discovering a practice of gratitude and I’m carrying that into 2017. This final calligraphy piece of 2016, a quote by Melody Beattie, speaks volumes of how I will- and have transitioned into this new year.
Along with my gratitude practice, I want to shuck some layers this year. I feel like I’ve been carrying a load of bricks over the past few years and I’m so ready to lighten the load. I think an overall feeling of fear the last few years is the reason I can’t seem to let go of this ton of bricks (aka – general unproductive busyness, overcomittment and unnecessary yeses.) Fear that if I don’t pursue more work, more work won’t come. (Obviously, since I work full-time, I don’t really need more work. But as a creative, I feel that you always have to push to learn more, grow your skills and get better at your craft.) I guess this is a lack of faith as well. It all piles up and robs me of valuable time I need to recharge from my full-time work days and be a wife and mama outside of office hours. It leaves little time to renew, evaluate and no time to serve (pour into) others. It’s time to shut the door on some things and throw open the windows to survey what’s on the horizon.
A part of lightening my load means I need more discipline, self-care and soul-care in 2017. I know I can’t pour out of my cup if it’s empty. So tomorrow I start back to early, early mornings, eating healthy, making some time for some exercise and time for renewing my spirit. What does that look like?
- Rising earlier each day, making the bed – a sense of immediate accomplishment
- Mentally preparing for the workday – having time before I dive into working, quiet-time coffee, diffusing essential oils, breath of fresh air outside
- Preparing a bite of breakfast for the kids (this makes me happy though I rarely do fix breakfast on weekdays)
- Evaluate the day, look at my planner, make to do lists, dinner plans
- Scripture time, reflection, artful exercises (drawing, painting, lettering)
- Stay hydrated – and drink lemon water first thing of the morning
- Daily walk break during the workday for fresh air, rejuvenation and to enjoy creation
- Stay connected – write, call, text, send cards to friends/family, a lunch date now and then
As a person that is generally lacking in discipline, I tend to “ride the wave” and am so guilty of fighting the fires with the biggest flames when I lose control and get too busy. This behavior actually leaves me with a great deal of guilt and resentment towards thing I dearly love. Not good. This definition of discipline is spot on and I love the explaination of why creatives struggle with discipline and how to combat it.
“Discipline simply means making an agreement with yourself, and keeping it.”
“The problem with discipline begins when we don’t understand which commitments are worth our effort, when we make too many commitments, when our commitments conflict…” Todd Henry, Accidental Creative.
Uh, check. Check. And check. Just the other day my husband and dear friend pointed out my general utter misunderstanding of the concept of all time and reality on occasion. Yes, probably more often that I’d care to admit. In other words – what I am willing to do, want to do and wish I could do can’t be done in the mere 24 hours we’re given in a day. Guilty as charged. It’s a terrible curse, I tell you. And it mostly just creates discontent at some point.
However. I know that God has designed me to be “wonderfully” just who I am. I discovered this truth just last year thanks to a great book by Holley Gerth. He’s made me the enthusiatic, emotional ENFP that I am. I have learned over the last few years that I MUST make a conscious effort to cultivate my weaker traits to stay balanced in order to preserve my sanity. It’s the free choice that He gives me to do right or give in to what’s easy. But I know if I seek His ways first, for His glory, God will give me the strength and power I need to be consistent and stay on His perfect path. 2 Samuel 22:33
So let’s do this, 2017!