November always gets me thinking about
gratefulness and nostalgia over the past year. Sometimes those feelings get
stronger over the next month heading into January where we flip the final page
on the chapter of a year and move on into the next...but, those stirrings are
hitting me pretty hard already at the end of November this year.
In recent years I have
chosen a "word of the year" to kind of set the stage for the upcoming
trip around the sun. It was "Inspire" when I felt I had been keeping
my head down to the ground and not looking up for inspiration from what God was
doing around me. It was "Intentional" when I learned I
shouldn't just go through life reacting to whatever came my way, but to be
purposeful in setting goals and making my days filled with proactive rather
than reactive words and deeds.
I didn't choose a word
of the year for this year because in December 2016 I was struggling through a
bit of depression barely functioning through the holidays I usually enjoy with
all the enthusiasm of Buddy the Elf, but I felt more like Scrooge. I had
literally worked myself into a frenzy. Concerts, rehearsals, events, school
responsibilities, meetings, day after day after day. In the middle of
that , I was headed into the second trimester with my pregnancy and we had a
scary midnight trip to the emergency room when I thought we were
losing our baby. I had gone more than two months without taking time to
read a book, get coffee with friends, go on a date night with my husband, and a
much less than adequate time reading my Bible or praying. January came
with compulsion to do something to change this path. I didn't want to start
2017 the way I ended 2016.
So, even though I didn't
choose a word in December/January to describe this year, as I look back on it,
I think my word of 2017 would be Selah. It's the year she arrived. It's
the year God taught me about taking a Sabbath margin in my life. It's the year
He taught me about seeking and creating community. It's the year God taught me
about how to live entrusted with the gospel, His gifting and calling. It's the
year He taught me about making my work purpose-filled for the gospel. God
taught me to breathe this year and that in the sound of my breath I could
glorify him in my work, my sabbath and my Selah.
I don't know what word
He will have for me in 2018, but as I look back on 2017, I want to praise Him
for all He has taught me and brought me through this year. I would like to
think at thirty-two, married with two kids, and as a tenured choral director I
would have this whole "adulting" thing down. But, what I'm finding
out is there is always another lesson to learn in the next chapter.