I know the idea of welcoming a new year is to look ahead. Make resolutions. Set goals. Establish new routines.
But before I do any of that, I need to look back.
Looking Back at the Hard Parts
I need to look back at the hard parts—the stresses and struggles—so that I can learn and grow from that stress rather than buckle under it. (One thing I learned in 2021 was that trees fall over without the “stress wood” that grows as a result of having to withstand wind. I’m hoping to learn how to stand upright even amidst the winds that come.)
Looking Back at the Good Parts
But I also need to look back at the good parts—the laughter and connections—so that I can enter 2022 with gratitude. I want to pause and say thank you for a trip to Zion National Park and a few nights with Peter at the beach this summer and an amazing series of conversations on the podcast and writing a book (that one also falls under the stress category!) and Penny making the cheerleading team and William having an awesome time at summer camp and Marilee getting a fun role in her school play.
I want to delight in friendships and family jokes and walks in the woods and a group of men and women who meet weekly for Bible study and teach me more about God’s love every single time we gather.
Before Looking Ahead
Today, before I rush into the new year, and before I start setting goals or resolving to change, for both the hard and the good, I give thanks.
Read more with Amy Julia:
- S5 E9 | Returning to Dear White Peacemakers with Osheta Moore
- Loves Looks to Move Towards One Another
- S5 E3 | The Spaciousness of Limits with Ashley Hales
- What Did You Experience in 2020?
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