Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Writing The Next Chapter. What Will Yours Be?


Happy New Year and welcome to the entrance of 2013. I started my year with a rainy day "chillaxing" at home after more than a week of baking, partying, wrapping, traveling, unwrapping, eating and generally being frenzied.  I still want another day off! My New Year’s resolutions haven’t changed much since those made in 2009, so I will just say “ditto” and resolve this year to no longer make resolutions. There are a few noteworthy items I should mention to wrap up 2012. 

First, I enjoyed helping out in the Learning Center for our church, believe it or not. I worked with 5th grade girls last summer and am now involved with 3rd grade boys and girls. I’d like to say it took a lot of courage for me to sign up to for this and that it has been part of my healing process, but that would only be partly true. The church was desperate for assistants and teachers and I really felt that it was my turn to help out. I felt God tell me: “Go ahead, I’m with you, you can do it and you’ll enjoy it”. Turns out, He was right. Maybe I could compare this to someone with a fear of heights who parachutes out of a perfectly good airplane, or maybe I’ve just reached that point of confidence where I’m not as emotional about not having kids as I used to be, who knows. I believe my paradigm has shifted to focusing on what I do have to offer in this life rather than on what I don’t have to offer, and this has made a big difference on my life outlook.

Second, I joined a women’s “Discovery Class” – this has been part bible study, part writing club, part group therapy, but all about writing your life story and determining how to write your next chapters more intentionally.  I’m stopping short of describing it as something that will help me discover my purpose in life as I’m not sure I will ever know what that is on this side of the afterlife. Meaning, I could have multiple purposes in life.  Or perhaps I have just one purpose that was satisfied long ago and now my purpose is to enjoy the rest of the ride and perform random acts of kindness now and then.  Someday I’ll know for sure. The class is a long term session, so I can’t treat it like a 6 week study that I complete and move on to another topic. I’m stuck with these great women, and they are stuck with me! I am learning how to journal and spend more time in the Word, reading some great books, and writing.

Third, we got two more Golden Retrievers, Chickie and Ash.  These brilliant creatures have continued to pull me out of myself, provide me comfort, make me laugh, get me outside, get me walking, and shower me with love.  I felt Ash (7) needed a companion after a few months – she was so prim and proper during the day, the perfect house dog that wouldn’t move or mess anything up.  At night she craved attention. With the addition of Chickie (2), they can wrestle, chase and conspire with each other and they are really fun to watch. We feel like we’ve started Noah’s Ark, however, with two dogs, two birds and two humans. What’s next?

And finally, I've scheduled my hysterectomy for January 29th. I still have moments where I want to call it off, crying “I feel fine!” But I am resigned to getting this done. I have heard that I will feel SO much better from so many women who have gone through this. I think I’ve dealt with the emotional issues well enough to be able to handle this next step, but I am sure I’ll be surprised as I draw nearer to that date.  

I think 2013 will be a great year in a number of ways, but can’t really focus on writing the next chapter or chapters until I get through this surgery.  I have ideas about where I’d like to be by the end of the year, by time I turn 50, or by the time I retire, but I just don’t want to articulate them right now.  As I will have 4 weeks of downtime to recover, I hope to write more about that during that time.

In the meantime, I hope you are finding peace and courage to take you through every day, and are confident in the knowledge that God has plan to prosper you, to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). While we aren't told literally what that plan is, what do you hope your next chapter will hold? Are you moving confidently toward it? 

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27