Friday, January 2, 2015

One Word 2015: Peace

Looking off into the distance after a much needed
rainstorm, during the drought in 2012.

After throwing around some different options, I've decided my One Word for 2015 is going to be Peace.

This crazy life we live up here in our Tiny Little Town gets hectic. There's always more to do than will ever get done. Two Little Girls are getting to be very busy with their school work and activities - the pressure is mounting to keep them well-taught and well-rounded. There are always more things I could be doing – chores that fill the never-ending to-do list, things people have asked me to take on, things my kids want to do, animals we could bring home, family activities we'd like to plan. But there has to be a limit.

This past year, my life has been full, busy, blessed... but it lacked peace. It was stressful, sometimes to the breaking point. I tried to do it all – with a big smile on my face – but I didn't always succeed. And when I didn't, it was my family and myself that suffered.

My first step in achieving the peace I so desperately need has been to prioritize. I spent some time doing some much-needed soul searching and journaling. I wrote down all of the things that truly matter in my life, categorized them, and numbered them in order of importance. From there, I got my Top 3:

    • Grow and maintain relationships that really matter
    • Live a life of intention and purpose
    • Find peace and joy in my life

Having that list, tucked into the cover of my Household Notebook, I can easily ask myself if something applies to one of my priorities. It's easy to see which parts of my life are important: Spending time with my family, my parents, my dearest friends and a few new friends; farming; leading my own kids and many others in 4-H, an organization I truly believe in; spending time on crafting and creating and art, something I've hardly allowed myself to do for the past several years; keeping a clean and organized house – but not so clean that I'm making myself crazy; successfully homeschooling my children in a way that prepares them to be the women I'd like to see them be someday.

The list of things that matters is long, but the list of things that doesn't can be even longer if I'm not careful.

I'm also an exceptionally skilled worrier. I can find things to worry about that don't even exist, except in my head! Let alone worrying over things I truly can't change. I worry over my kids and my husband and my animals. I spent hours worrying about the health of two loved ones last year, and despite my constant worrying, they still passed away. I worry about what other people think of me, I worry about how to get everything done, I worry about the future – and we're talking the really distant future.

Worry is the opposite of peace. What is going to happen will happen whether I worry over it or not. I can be diligent and caring without worrying, and that is what I will strive to do. I will be at peace with situations beyond my control. I don't have to like them, but I don't have to worry about them, either.

Life is too short, too precious and valuable, to spend it all wrapped up in worry or fear or frantically trying to keep up.

This year, I will slow down, I'll breathe deep, and above all, I will embrace peace.

What is your One Word this year?


Deb Plaskett said...

One of my favorite Bible passages is Matthew 6:24 - 34.

Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I sooo admire you, Julie and count you as one of my many, many blessings.

Julie said...

Thanks, Deb! I have that passage in my Verse Binder, the first one under the Anxiety label. It truly is an encouragement!