Strength for the New Year

2017 wiped me out. As I sit here on the first day of 2018, I feel worn out. Partly from the after effects of wonderful day with all three of my kids and their significant others yesterday. My “mama” heart was happy with all of her chicks in the nest for a few hours. It happens few and far between these days. But now that all of them left in their own vehicles, I find a sense of pleasure in the quiet house. There is time to reflect today about the last 12 months and all I can come up with is I’m tired.

There have been plenty of years since my divorce (the moment of delineation for me since it destroyed so much of my dreams and plans), where I was elated to have one year behind me and the hope of a new year ahead of me. I don’t have that same feeling this year. I don’t want to repeat 2017 by any means. It was a tough year. It beat me up and challenged me, chewed me up and spit me out. I had not experienced so much anxiety since my divorce. So maybe that is why I’m tired as I start 2018.

In less than a month, I’ll be 50 years old. I received my letter from AARP last week. Emily graduated from high school last spring and I am officially done with parenting children under the age of 18. She got her own car this week. I rejoice in my children flying from the nest but sometimes wonder what to do with myself.  Honestly, I feel old and a little lost.

For the past 6 months, I’ve been struggling with a health issue that makes typing difficult. I’ve not kept up with my blog or done any of the writing that I planned to do. It hurts to type. Writing is a huge part of my identity and self-care. Losing this has been very hard for me. I have identified myself as a writer for a long time, I’ve started to wonder if I need to rethink that lately.  That thought exhausts me.

With all that, it’s no wonder I feel tired and a little lost today. You might even say that I feel a bit weak. I want to feel stronger.

And so, I’ve decided that my word for 2018 will be STRENGTH. Here are some thoughts as to why I chose it or rather it chose me.

  • I saw a quote this week that said, “Stronger is the new pretty.”
  • I faced an irrational fear of Chiropractors and had my first adjustment last week. I’m hopeful that this will help me be able to type again. I felt stronger facing the fear and want to feel more of that this year.
  • I was studying in Ephesians last fall and was reminded of one of my favorite passages in scripture,

    For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,  I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,  having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.  Ephesians 1:15-23 (ESV)

    Paul’s prayer is that we might grow in our knowledge of several things including the immeasurable greatness of God’s power, the very power that raised Christ from the dead. The power that works in each of us and which saves us so that we can do the good works he planned for each of us (Ephesians 2:10). Learning more about God’s strength can only help me feel stronger.

  • As I reach the age of 50, I know physical strength is important. I feel old but I know I don’t have to feel so weak. I want to work on increasing my physical strength. Exercise has never been something I do well, but I will look for ways to feel stronger.

Two weeks ago, I’d never have thought that this would be my word for the year. But the beating 2017 gave me, the change of life as a Mom and the coming birthday all have led me to the same place – a desire to be stronger.  And even in my weakness, that gives me hope for the New Year!

Happy 2018 everyone!  What’s your word? What makes you feel strong?

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