Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The Dawning Of 365 New Days
2014, I'm ready for you!
The start of a fresh year and the tradition of setting goals and resolutions have never really meant too much to me. I'm a pretty self-reflective and contemplative person (to a major fault) which means that I'm constantly working on something or other in my personal character. It could be that I'm trying to overcome a nagging fear or worry, or working on getting rid of one of my more unpleasant tendencies. It's true that I can be a little bit hard on myself and rigid in my desire for self-improvement so I usually take a break at New Year's and don't pile on any additional tasks or goals.
But as the last hours of 2013 tick by, I am finding that I feel especially grateful and excited for the dawning of this new year. I still don't have any big goals or resolutions to share with you--truth be told, most of what I hope for in 2014 is largely out of my control, so a list of goals wouldn't serve much of a purpose anyway (I learned somewhere along the way that setting goals is a worthwhile activity only if the goals are specific and attainable and within your grasp).
I'm just feeling ready for a fresh start. 2013 was a beautiful year for my marriage, it was a wonderful year for friendship, it was such a growing year for my faith. It was a great year for my blog and I learned a lot in my teaching and musical life and I am a more patient and calm person now than I was in January.
But 2013 was hard, too. Because of circumstances we couldn't predict or change or influence, it feels like we've been moving sideways instead of forward for awhile now, and that's no easy thing to stomach. I fully believe there has been a purpose behind it and that a hundred blessings in disguise are waiting for us on the other side and that God has a better plan--always--than we do. I've found so much peace and solace in that.
Still, there were some very difficult moments to get through this year. I was tested in very personal ways and I think that part of God's plan in all of this was specifically to shape and mold me into the person He wants me to be. That job isn't done--it will take a lifetime and beyond--but I do think it's pretty amazing how the challenges we face are so often tailored to our particular weaknesses. One thing that I've learned this year is that if it weren't for life's struggles and tests and disappointments, we would never have a reason to cry out for a Savior.
I'm glad for 2013, and all it was, but I'm also glad it's coming to an end. I'm ready for a beautiful and exciting 2014! I know there will be obstacles to face this year too, but I feel better equipped than ever to face them. And when I don't feel equipped, when I feel alone and small, I will cry out for my Savior and he will change me and lift me up and carry me through.
Happy New Year, friends.