So, it’s taken me until March to decide what my focus will be for 2013. I stewed on what my New Years Resolutions would be for a long time, but the urgent needs of a baby and two children were just all I could do. I decided that New Years Resolutions were not for me this year. For Lent, I wanted to give up the things I do to “check out” or “escape” when I feel exhausted or overwhelmed. I wanted to replace those behaviors (snacking, sugar, and facebook) with prayer and surrender and presence. I have managed to give up sweets and to be a little more intentional about praying when I feel like hiding for a few minutes.
In the end, though, I think a few words to focus me might be just about perfect for this first year of having three children. A list of things I want to do just doesn’t seem to fit this phase. Instead, I want to keep reminding myself that this year I want to relish these days with our last baby and with little ones so close to the “nest”, and I want to nourish myself so that I am able to give joyfully to my family.
These words can be guides that help me decide what I can and cannot take on this year. Some days I get antsy. I dream about all the interesting routes my path might take me in the future. I think about just adding in this or that, because I get excited or even passionate about a new idea. But, right now, I feel certain when I search my heart and center and pray…what I need to do is slow down and be present in these days and weeks and months that pass by so quickly. Trying to fit it all in just sabotages everything I really mean to do. The best thing I can do for me, for my husband, for my kids, and even for the world is to slow down a bit and choose to love and to be patient and to listen and to laugh. My family needs that from me, and I need it, too.
There will be lots of days and weeks and months and years for pursuing career dreams and serving the greater world. And, I realize not every woman has the freedom to choose, as I do. It has meant a choice and many sacrifices, and it is still a privilege. Life is not a contest, and doing more won’t make me the winner. For me, now is the time to be present with these little ones who are so ready to receive love and to be nurtured and celebrated. I cannot miss this chance. I am beginning to know myself well, and I know I would regret it.
I have made a little list of activities that nourish me…things as simple as a hot bath, a few moments of silence, or a coffee date with a friend. I’m trying to do things from that list every day. I must remember each day that my state of mind and centered spirit have a huge effect on how I treat my husband and my children. I have etched out a little space in my life to take a class here and there and to do Thai Bodywork sessions. I am praying and testing the waters about other natural health directions, but I am keeping it quite small. We continue to listen and wait for God’s direction for our family. I suppose our big prayer for this year is to hear from God about these things. We feel open and fully trusting that the answers will come. And, honestly, we are praising God for this quiet moment of no big life transitions and ample time to soak up the wonder of a new person.
For now, we nourish and relish…
nourish |ˈnəri sh; ˈnə-ri sh |verb [ trans. ]1 provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition : I was doing everything I could to nourish and protect the baby | figurative spiritual resources that nourished her in her darkest hours.
relish |ˈreli sh | verb [ trans. ]1 enjoy greatly : he was relishing his moment of glory.