Keeping At It

Friday, May 22, 2020

May 18, 2019

In the last year or so I've come across several different challenges to give advice to your younger self. The question has been posed in reference to looking at where you are now and speaking wise words to the self who fretted over your future or who frittered your time away. The motive is learning from the years behind you to use today to get yourself to a tomorrow without regret. On one occasion, I came across this idea in the form of a FB post where a young woman I know coming up on her 25th birthday and sought wisdom for people who had recently neared the end of that decade of their life.

These questions give me pause and opportunity to examine what has been my 20s. Hard to believe it, but I will be 30 in the fall. It's an odd realization in that mostly I still feel 19. I think that's the age I'll always be on the inside. Grown and yet on the cusp of what's next. Responsible to make decisions that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Also hard to believe in that the last 10 years have been so full and so much has happened that it seems like it surely should have taken MORE than 10 years to hold it all.

When I'm faced with these questions, as I most recently was yesterday, I realize that by the grace of God my answer looks the same as it does when I face a new calendar year or the beginning of another personal trip around the sun. 

I mentioned yesterday that my word for 2020 is KEEP. That word came to me as I ended 2019 seven months into a new thing with only a few months to go before taking on another huge, life changing thing. Namely, a husband and a son respectively. 2019 was a year of receiving. And I knew that 2020 was going to be all kinds of different with changes happening on every front. I can't be alone in realizing that that could potentially be a recipe for A LOT of overwhelm. And so as I prepared for the year ahead, I asked God to keep me and I resolved to be kept even as I sought to diligently go about keeping of my own. 

It was important to me to carefully and purposefully keep up my relationships that began long before I even knew Jordan's name. It was important to me to see to it that I keep learning and growing in being Jordan's wife. It was important to me to keep house and to dedicate myself to it's total well being. It was important to me to keep up my personal walk with the Lord in all its disciplines. It was important to me to keep the parts of me that don't change like reading and writing and making walks a priority. It was important to me to keep learning and growing as a faithful mother to the child I hadn't held in my arms yet. 

While change was on the horizon and my hands had been filled with new thing, nothing had really changed. I was still me. I was still believer, woman, daughter, sister, friend. Now wife and mother were added to the list. The faithfulness that the 9 years before had worked out in me would still be called for and would be called upon as I moved into 2020. 

And so...that is my advice. To them and to myself and to anyone who asks. 

When I look ahead, I look ahead with hope and gratefulness. My hope remains in God. I am grateful to Him for what He has taught me and where He has brought me over the course of the last 10 years. When I look back, I see a decade that I wouldn't change. Those days have added up to a life I am so eager to continue. Even when it was hard. Even when I didn't think I had it in me to keep at it, I did. And I am. And I recognize that God and His grace is what I have to credit for that. 

And so, as this decade gives way to the next and as this year picks up where the last one left off, I want to be about the work of keeping at it. 

Through His Son. By His grace. For His glory. 

One day, one year, one decade at a time. 

And I believe that when I look back, I'll be able to say once again...It  all added up to a life I am quite pleased with. A life whose habits and goals I am eager and grateful to keep. Not by my might, but by His power. 

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