As we prepare to say goodbye to another year, I find myself in my usual reflective mood. 2019 was definitely one for the books in my life. There was nothing spectacular about it, just the usual day in and day out monotony of life. However, this was the year when I rediscovered peace in the midst of my chaos. It was a year for personal growth where I learned so much about myself and my heart. I look back at the work that I’ve done in 2019 and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Now that I’ve piqued your curiosity, let me tell you that
unfortunately, there aren’t any dramatic or crazy details from my life coming out. I’m honestly just a mom like you trying to navigate this thing called parenting. And I’m preaching to the choir when I say, it’s hard! Also, this isn’t another post about self-care. While sure, I hit the gym or get a pedi from time to time to have some “me” time, this is about finding peace in the daily grind. So without further adieu, here are the things I did to grow in 2019.
Built Margin in My Day
As a super introverted person, I need time to warm up and prepare for the day. My alarm goes off well before I expect my kids to get up in the morning so I have time to savor my chai latte filled Rae Dunn while it’s still warm. I read my Bible, pray, or just take time to feel the peace and breathe. Am I always successful at this? No way, but the days I am, it’s worth it.
I set a goal to read 25 books in 2019. Thanks to the Hoopla app and my local library, this dream (almost) became a reality. Yes, my Enneagram 1 self is inwardly dying that I most likely won’t hit my goal, but at the same time, I’ve read more than I would have without it! Reading is calming to me. It slows my brain down and takes me to new places or allows me to be introspective.
Asked for Help
Whether it was from a professional like a doctor or counselor, advice from a mentor, or the help of a friend, I sought out help in 2019. Usually, people are very willing to help when you step out and ask, but until you do, they don’t know how or when you need help a lot of times.
Prioritized Social Interaction
I don’t care how great social media is, we were created for in-person human interaction and community. In 2019, I prioritized building relationships with others and interacting more in person. This meant sometimes foregoing the gym class to meet a friend for coffee or lunch, making a point to chat with my spouse 15 minutes after the kids were in bed before hitting the Netflix, and not being afraid to be the initiator of friendships or conversations.
Fed My Soul
This was my most important piece of growth this year. Without prioritizing this time, I would not have grown half as much as I did in 2019. My community set the goal to read through a chronological plan of the Bible this year and while this was completely overwhelming at first, I’m proud to say that by December 31, I will have achieved this goal.
So, as 2019 comes to a close and 2020 all too quickly approaches, let me encourage you to find peace in the midst of your chaos in the year to come. All growth begins with one small step forward, so pick your next step and take it. And while I know we don’t all choose to feed our souls in the same way that I do, here are three opportunities to intentionally do so with communities of other women in the Birmingham area this next year.
February 28-29, 2020
Covenant Presbyterian Church
This event includes encouraging, gospel-centered teachings, delicious meals, and 20 workshops called “Studios”. Participants choose three projects to complete as they grow closer in community together and relationship with God. More info here.
The Word Alive Conference with Lysa TerKeurst & Ellie Holcomb
April 3-4, 2020
Shades Mountain Baptist
Presented by the Nashville-based publishing company LifeWay Christian Resources, The Word Alive with Lysa will help women see, taste, hear, and touch the Holy Land without ever leaving the country.
Recreate Women’s Conference
September 24-25 & 25-26, 2020
Church of the Highlands
Find info here.