A large part of me wants to scream from the rooftops, “PLEASE BE KIND!” And then there’s the small voice inside of me that acknowledges the growth that can come from the uneasiness of a year, a year like 2017, is beneficial.
So here we are, three days into 2018.
Trump still needs his Twitter taken away, protests in Iran are still volatile, Orrin Hatch is retiring, Mitt Romney is likely running for Senate, the college football national championship game will feature two SEC teams, the Russia investigation is STILL going on, it’s so cold on the East Coast that my tears are freezing to my eyeballs, the Cowboys missed the NFL playoffs, North Korea is allegedly talking to South Korea today for the first time in a long time, Michael Jordan is still the GOAT-hush up Lebron lovers, we still haven’t found Hillary Clinton’s emails and she still lost.
For my little family: we now live in Charlotte, we did not 4 days ago, I work for a new company, my husband starts working for a new company Monday and our son started a new school today.
Life seems a bit chaotic right now.
But here are some things I know to be true no matter what year it is: God is still good and He is still on His throne. His ways are still higher than mine. His thoughts are still better than mine. His will is still perfect. His plan is still for my good. He is the same God that he was in 2017 and will be, forevermore.
I can rest in those things.
The things that are occurring in our world, and even in my family, often times steal my sleep, and my peace. But in the permanency of God’s character, I can find rest.
My word for 2017 was “confidence.” I feel like I gained a lot more of it than I’ve ever had. I feel like I really took a chance on going for this new job. It’s above what I’ve ever done before, but it plays to my strengths. It’s going to be challenging, but with challenges, comes rewards. I feel like I gained a lot more confidence in my writing in 2017. I started blogging, I started my book manuscript, I started working on social media strategies for some folks. I feel like I really started discovering my “wheelhouse” in 2017. Insecurity has plagued me for a long time. I really have never understood why I wasn’t raised that way. But alas, it has. 2017 felt like the year the proverbial wall fell for me. I just felt comfortable in my own skin. I give my God all the credit, and I give a lot of props to my sweet husband for his unconditional love and support.
So what does that mean for 2018?
Great question, in fact, that is what I’m still exploring and asking myself every day.
There are a lot of unknowns, I’ve learned that’s life, but what I do know and I am claiming for 2018 is the promise from God in Isaiah 43:19, “For I am about to do something new.” He is going to, and in all actuality, He already is and likely always has been.
I gave up making New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago, I find them annoying and a bit of a hindrance. Why only focus on change and betterment one day of the year?
I am going to try something new in 2018, and maybe you’ll want to play along, and if not, maybe you’ll just find it interesting to follow along.
I’m doing monthly challenges for myself.
I feel like I’m the type of person that needs to reach goals more frequently than every 365 days. I find New Years Resolutions a hindrance because I need to attain something more frequently than once a year. Call me greedy or needy, just keeping it real.
Here are my goals for 2017:
January- Pay off 4 debts.
February- Launch Tweets & Tonics show for blog.
March- Whole 30 challenge.
April- 30 minutes of cardio/6 days a week.
May- Closet/House/Garage purge.
June- Share my faith with someone I’ve never met.
July- Pay off 2 debts.
August- Volunteer once a week/different organization.
September- Paleo 30 Day Challenge.
October- Turn in book manuscript to the publisher.
November- Complete Christmas shopping.
December- Complete second masters degree.
I’ll be blogging about each goal, each month as a source of accountability for myself and hopefully an encouragement to you.
I have some other goals for the year that I wouldn’t call resolutions but genuinely just goals, things like: reading the Bible through in a year, cutting out fried foods and sweets, losing some weight, working out more, blogging consistently 4-5 times a week, saving money and not having to borrow from that savings or any other source, cutting spending, and all that good stuff.
2017 was the year of confidence for me, my word for 2018 is “empowerment.”
A lot of things have come together to help me see that trend in my life; the new job, my husband, my mom, my friends, even my son. And I’m thankful for each and every person, and aspect, that has pushed me towards this betterment.
Empowerment has several meanings, but the one I am focusing on is, “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”
I know there are some of you who will roll your eyes at my word of the year. Unfortunately for those of us striving towards empowerment for the right reasons, there are many who have bastardized the word. I have to admit I’ve never felt “less than” because of my race, my gender, my faith, my sexual orientation, my socio-economic status, or education. I’ve also never felt “more than” because of any of those factors. I was raised to treat all people equally, no matter our differences. I was never taught that it was acceptable to look differently on someone for any reason at all. I say that not to toot my own horn, but really to applaud my parents for raising me right. I was raised to know that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. I’ve not always done that well, but I’ve always had the toolset to do so.
I chose the word “empowerment” for 2018, not to jump on any hash-tag bandwagon or social media movement; but simply to embrace my gifting and to become a stronger person in all aspects-health, finances, writing, relationally. I chose this word to define my year to remind myself of Who I belong to, and the plan He has for my life.
I challenge you today to find a word for 2018. It’s a heck of a lot easier than coming up with a list of resolutions! But seriously, find a word, find something you want to see come to fruition in your life and go for it. Stop sitting on the bench.
And with that friends, the first blog of 2018 is finished. I hope you’ll continue to stop by, share our content and start conversations with us, and each other, we are all in this thing called “life” together. There will be some new stuff coming from Pearls & Vodka in the coming months-Tweets & Tonics will launch next month, as well as some contributing authors and voices in this space in the coming days. So stay tuned for more!
May God bless you and keep you friends!