Back in December, I participated in Identity Mapping with Staff Retreat Co alongside a group of 6 other women. As part of the day, we took the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment to find our top 5 strengths. My top strength is "Connectedness," which means that I believe that everyone and everything is connected, that our lives are all intertwined and part of something greater. My faith in the connection we have with one another gives my life purpose and drive.
Instead of making New Year's resolutions or setting goals for myself, "Connected" will be my word for this year.
It's the perfect word for me because it allows me to value and use my strength in the areas of my life that are most important to me.
I want to actually live my life valuing my strengths, valuing myself,
because that's how I was made, because that's how the Father created me.
By the end of 2016, I want to be more connected in the areas of my life most important to me.
I want to be more connected to God.
Prayer was very difficult for me in 2015. I felt like I failed at everything I pursued this past year. I saw God as a huge index finger pushing me back by the forehead whenever I made the wrong move. Sometimes, it was as if He was picking me up by my temples, pinched between His forefinger and thumb, to put me back on the right path after I had strayed. In my mind, I saw Him rolling His eyes and sighing a big sigh each time it happened. This view of God has absolutely no grace, no goodness, and no truth. My distorted view of God was not of one who is loving and good but harsh and annoyed.
A dear friend gifted me the book, Prayer by Timothy Keller. It's not a difficult read but it is dense with so much wisdom that I can barely get through one chapter in a single sitting. The book is making me think about prayer, and so about God, in ways I never have. From it, I hope to learn about how to pray to the God who loves me, the God I love. I will daily pray that my soul will yearn for the Lord, that I will learn to pray without ceasing because of my longing for Him.
I want to be more connected to the people that are close to me and those I love.
I need to work on letting go of pleasing others and not finding my value in what others think of me. I have put a lot of weight into meeting other’s expectations instead of pursuing what brings me joy. When I put weight on other’s expectations, I automatically put a barrier up in my relationships with the other person. Instead of being open-handed with them, I automatically fear being vulnerable with them. I can't connect if I can't be vulnerable.
I want to be more connected to my work and creativity.
This past year, I was really lazy about working on my personal projects and being creative. Keeping up with the weekly posts on Mundane Type certainly helped, but there are also many personal projects that were left undone. A large part of it was because I was not being disciplined with creating daily. I deemed creating for clients and posting once a week on my blog as enough.
Doing anything daily takes discipline. Praying daily. Working out daily. Creating daily. Anything daily. Even tasks you don't think about as a big deal, like brushing your teeth, take discipline before it becomes a necessary part of your day. Even eating or drinking enough water is difficult for some - there are days I forget to eat/drink if I'm too busy! For me to be more connected to my work and creativity, I want to be disciplined in creating daily so that it becomes as necessary as brushing my teeth daily. I hate going to bed without brushing my teeth - I want my creating to be that essential to my day where I can't end my work day without having done so. And back to being more connected to God, I also want that for prayer and being in the Word.
Do you have a word, or maybe a phrase, for the year? What is it and why did you choose it?
Leave a comment below - I would love to know!