Today is a day that I never thought I would be able to celebrate. It was a day with high expectation coupled with fear and trembling.
For some people its no big deal, but for me to commit to something everyday for a whole year is a victory.
As I listen to Auld Lang Syne, and my table is being prepared for a gathering of friends to see 2013 in, I am reminiscent of a big year of change.
Last night as I was journalling, I wrote 2012 Dreams Realised and Dreams Shattered.
It was just one of those years, where I saw the most amazing dreams realised and at the same time I had dreams shattered to pieces. My husband and I had a huge chat this morning and one of the biggest lessons I have learnt is balancing a heart that desires more and dreams deeply, with the reality of the now and unmet expectations.
How do we traverse a broken reality where rarely things work out the way we hope or plan? Yet stay in a place of expectation and hope, dreaming ‘the best is yet to come’.
So here are some of the lessons I have learnt from 366 days of novice motherhood.
- Commitment; sometimes we just need to commit to something and do it. There is never a right time to start something and to follow it through. This year I wrote when I was 8 months pregnant and at a youth camp with 200 teenagers and 40 degree heat, I wrote on the day that I gave birth to my first son, I wrote on the day that I lost my job, I wrote on the day when I was heartbroken, I wrote on the day my husband, my 6 week old son and me were admitted into hospital with meningitis, I wrote on the day that I travelled to Queensland for a great friends wedding, I wrote on the day that I travelled overseas for the first time with my 4 month old baby, the day when my husbands parents held their first grandchild for the first time. Sometimes I did it at 11.59 as the day turned into another, somedays I woke with a word fresh on my heart. Other days I begged for a thought to arise. Sleeplessness, Bitterness, Excitement, Exhaustion, no matter the emotion I stuck to the task. Commitment is never pretty. Long suffering was never designed to be easy. Some days we just need to do it.
- Imperfection; One of the greatest things that has stopped me from writing in the past has been criticism. My own fear of imperfection. You see, my grammar, my thoughts and my writing style are not traditional. I like to write as I think and am not that keen on editing. I don’t like to edit too much of the voice out of the wanderings of my thoughts. Only because I want it to be transparent. I don’t want to be false, I don’t want my writing to have plastic surgery and produce perfection. I don’t think anything is ever perfect. Even when we think we have attained perfection then we find a blemish growing deep under our skin. No one is perfect, I am not perfect and perfection often stops us from achieving. Sometimes we just have to accept the flaws and have a go anyway.
- Friends; not all those who you think are your true friends really are. Seasons change and so do friendships and that is okay. Learning to hold your relationships lighter and realising that some people just can’t transition seasons with you and others weren’t really friends they were just colleagues and acquaintances.
- Family; as difficult as they may be sometime, as raw as it can be to often feel undone before them, life is not worth anything without doing it together. Staying at home with my son, rather than rushing back to work, spending time with my blind 89 year old Grandmother, my father dropping by at 8am asking if the coffee machine is hot, seeing more of my brother and his son than ever before, simple swims in the beach with my mum, delighting in the normal with my sister and taking time to flourish where we are planted with my husband. Family is not easy, but it is worth every hard conversation to live in a place consistent communication with those closest.
- Dreams; I am a dreamer, a wanderer, a pursuer of truth, a seeker and that is okay. In fact it is a optimistic life of wonder. However reality is that dreams and expectations are often left unmet. The grass on the other side of the fence, still needs to be watered and mowed. This year I gave birth to the most delightful little man. He is everything that I could have hoped for. My husband is a strong, hard working, man of compassion who is interested in my dreams and the hopes I have. At the same time however I lost my job. Something I had worked so hard for, something that I had put my heart and soul into for such a long time. Not only was it my career, it was my friends, my life, my worship. I can’t even begin to explain how much disappointment I have felt. The only thing that has kept me through this journey is hope. Hope in the future, hope in God, hope in His promises and plans.
- Motherhood; It is a crazy old ride. I have so much compassion and respect for mothers now. More than I could have ever known. Sleepless nights, crazy teething episodes, poo explosions and more. Motherhood is completely overwhelming and delightfully unbelievable at the same time. It is everything and more than I have expected, but also crazy and overwhelming. There are moments in the day where I am floating on every cloud in the sky and others where I am so unsure of what to do that I question every little thing that I am doing. And the GUILT- OH MY! I am finding guilt in every cupboard that I dig around in. That guilt needs to go. I am learning to accept my failings and embrace my strengths. To be as planned as possible, but to hold my plans lightly because sometimes my little man, just doesn’t want play the game. Keeping a light heart in the midst of disappointment and lying on the floor and being fascinated with a cardboard box for it is simply delightful.
I am sure there are many more little pieces of wisdom that have arisen from my daily blogging journey, but they are for processing at a later date.
To those who have supported and encouraged me through this journey, I want to say thank you. It is the true measure of a great friend, one who encourages and supports another’s dreams.
To those who have popped in and out all year and have contributed through comments, emails and hugs. Thank you.
To my husband, who has patiently sat waiting as I just wrote one more word and encouraged me endlessly to live beyond. You are everything I could have ever hoped for.
I have been reading and studying a book from Scripture this year, called the book of Job. It is about a man who lost everything yet still never gave up hope. My favourite scripture this year has been.
Job 7:10 ‘ At least I can take comfort in this; despite the pain I have not denied the words of the Holy One.’
No matter what life throws at you dear friend, no matter the disappointment, the rejection, the unmet expectations, the fear, don’t deny the very truth of your being.
My hope is found in something far beyond resolutions, dreams or plans. My hope is found in someone, something that designed the whole universe, that created the beginning from the end, that created me. He knows me, He knows the plans He has for me, He is lord.
Thanks for being a part of the journey.
Tomorrow I am launching my second book ‘Capture; 30 days of inspiration, desperate for change’ I hope that it inspires you towards a greater tomorrow.
Happy New Year.
2013, let’s do this!