step out of the sun because you've learned

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  Starting on Christmas day, I was in Denver for a week soaking in some much needed family time with my crazy crew.  Then it was off to New York with the Goddaughter for her first trip to the Big Apple.  Then she came back to Chicago with me for another few days of R&R in my abode.
Now here we are, two weeks into 2017 and no new posts over in my corner of the internet.  But no worries my dear friends, I have been making some big plans for this space.  I’ve been dreaming and processing over what 2017 is going to bring to this blog and I’m excited for the future and the type of posts I’ll be bringing to ya’ll.
But before we move forward into the new year, I always feel the need to spend a little bit processing the last one.  This year I found a great resource through Lead Stories Media  called “Hello, Goodbye.”  So today’s #TuesdaysinLeadership is going to be talking through how this process went for me.  (If you go to their page and subscribe to their newsletter you can download this great resource to process your last year and the new year alongside me!)
As I listened to the first episode of this season’s Lead Stories Podcasts I realized how great this tool is.  Jo Saxton has been doing it for years and explained the history about it, so go listen to it if you wanna know more about it.  But the basic idea is to spend some time with God and ask Him what you should be saying Goodbye to from the last year and what to say Hello to in the coming year.

Goodbye 2016

fullsizerender-2 Overall,  2016 wasn’t bad for me.  I never posted this Best Nine thing to my Instagram, and it’s not entirely representative of my year but I guess it’s what people most resonated with in my feed.
But even this slightly misrepresented collage makes me remember that this year was filled with the highs and lows of life.  I know a lot of people for who 2016 was a heartbreakingly painful year.  Saying Goodbye to 2016 wasn’t a sad thing for them.  But for me it was a mixed bag.  I had some great moments, some life changing moments, some career defining moments and some great personal highs.  But I also had some hard truths that I had to face, some painful decisions that I made or were made for me, I walked alongside of some grieving friends and grieved the loss of those who have made my community home.
Overall though, there are things that I’m saying goodbye to in order to move forward in my path toward Shalom.  Among the things I say goodbye to are:
I’m saying goodbye to insecurity.  Through my time with God in the last few weeks I’ve realized how much I’ve held myself back because I think that others can do it better than me.  But as I continue to process who I am and how I was created I’ve realized that it’s time for me to own this story that I’ve been given and start stewarding it a little better.
I’m saying goodbye to bad habits.  Procrastination is a real struggle for a lot of us.  I am saying goodbye to being disorganized and not prioritizing my time well.

Hello 2017

As I move forward into this next year, one of the things I would love to do is to write more.  To start documenting this life I live both here on Striving for Shalom as well as in a private document that could some day take the shape of a book.  Insert shocked emoji face here.  I’m serious, I think I want to write a book.  It’s taking shape in my head, we’ll see where it takes me.  But for now you’ll see some things popping up here that have more of a semblance, a relation to one another.
I’m saying hello to my word of the year : Fall.  There’s this verse in Job, that I discovered through Shauna Niequist’s book Present over Perfect:

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.  He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth,” and to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.
 – Job 37:5-6

Shauna expands on the verse in her book and talks about how God doesn’t ask the snow to do anything other than fall.  And to the rain shower to be a mighty downpour.  She encourages her readers to find the thing in life that falls out of them, something so enjoyable, so easy that it just pours out of them.  This next year I want to focus on the things I’m so passionate about.  I want to let go of the idea that I have to be everything to everyone and simply be who I’ve been created to be.  The thing about snow is that it does it’s one thing and it doesn’t need to do more because God also created rain and sunshine.  Snow just gets to be snow – to fall from the sky simply and beautifully.
Last year I spent a whole year looking for where God was alive in my life.  Watching what he was doing and now that I’ve seen how much he is at work in my life and the life of others around me, I feel like now my focus is on filling the space that was created for me.  If I believe God is alive and at work, then he is alive in me and has created me to fill a space in this life.  I don’t need to fill the space of others, but rather just my own.  So my word for the year is Fall.  We’ll see what/how that takes shape this year.  But I’m excited to say hello to being present in my life and in my ministry as exactly who he created me to be.
So there you have, we’ve said Goodbye to 2016 and we’re ready to say a big Hello to 2017.  Let’s see what you have in store for us in this year.

One Reply to “step out of the sun because you've learned”

  1. My sister and I are using a different resource with similar themes, looking back and looking forward. We have found it helpful to be intentional about what we want to say yes or hello to in the coming year and to write it down. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your hello’s and goodbyes this year.

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