Happy New Year, dear ones!
We have just returned from an AMAZING time of fun and retreat in Maui.
The smell of plumeria, the sand beneath my toes, inhaling spears of sumptuous, sweet
pineapple, drawing, reading, sharing, holding, warm weather (usually at least 80) , and time to breathe and reflect. Walks along the beach, fingers intertwined with my beloved husband Bert, and time all alone. It.was.perfect. Just what I needed. My soul has been restored.
A perfect launching pad for 2014... with conversations about who I really am in every aspect of my life.
A percolating of what my "word" for 2014 will be.
In case you have never heard of "having a word for the year", it's an opportunity to tune out the world and listen to God's quiet voice whispering His path for your life. When I select a word for the year, it's a benchmark for my goals and longings at the deepest level. It's a chance to work at replacing the things the world would have me pursue and embark on the vision God has planned for me.
It's a chance to do less and be more.
I had a word in 2013 and have every year for the past five years. Last year my word was perfect for all 2013 had to offer. That word sustained me through an amazing 2013, filled with life-giving blessings and changes that challenged my soul.
Last year, He gave me EMBRACE.
Embrace it all, Linda. Put your arms around whatever comes, Linda. And in the best moments of 2013 I remembered to "embrace" and in the gut-wrenching moments, He reminded me to "embrace" Him, to embrace my faith, to embrace the people He has put in my life. Remembering to embrace sustained me and reminded me that I am His. I belong. All is well.
And on the beaches in Maui in late December, when tears and prayers were flowing, I thanked Jesus for reminding me to embrace and then asked Him to gift me a new word for 2014.
As I walked, prayed, breathed and took in His glory through a brilliant sun and waves crashing to shore, He gave me...
Wholehearted is being "all in"
Wholehearted is not holding back
Wholehearted is feeling the fear and doing it anyway
Wholehearted is living with no "I wish I had"
Wholehearted is letting go of the world's vision for me and discovering anew
who God wants me to be.
I want to live each moment with all of my heart...no regrets, just be ALL He means for me to be.
Give my heart and time to my family... wholeheartedly
Reach out... wholeheartedly
Be a friend...wholeheartedly
Celebrate all of life...wholeheartedly
One of my favorite go-to books for 2013 was Brene' Brown's
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way
We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.
Brene' introduces the concept of living life authentically, being "all in". She even has Ten Guideposts for Wholehearted Living. When I first read these in Maui I was awe struck, and it felt like her words were penned just for me. I could hear God's whisper..."Listen up, Linda. This is for you, Linda." I'm going to do some fun artwork with these Guideposts and put them in my Bible, planning notebook, and in my classroom. I want to seal these in my heart. Here they are:
Ten Guideposts for Wholehearted Living:
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Cultivating Self-Comparison: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and
Productivity as Self-Worth
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and Supposed To
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and Always
And so as I embark on 2014, I am renewed and encouraged to love and lead and live with authenticity, courage and vulnerability. I anticipate Wholehearted living and will embrace it with great JOY!
May 2014 be a year that blesses you richly. I look forward to sharing it with you!
Love always, to the moon and back!
"We are all just walking each other home." ...