The Best Laid Plans… And Grace

I had plans.

This was a rare 4-day weekend where I didn’t have to work, and the kids didn’t have school, and I had plans.

Of course, taking down the Christmas tree was at the top of my list. I was going to go through the clothes closet for the adults in our house and get that sorted. I was going to drop several bags of clothes off at the thrift shop. Grocery shopping was definitely in my plans. I would finish my Powersheets goal setting for 2019, maybe do some writing.

Saturday morning, I picked up a bag of coal just like I have about a thousand times since moving into our house. The only difference is that I threw my back out. To the point where, on Tuesday, it still hurts and brushing my teeth is a bit weird since I can’t exactly bend far enough to spit toothpaste into the sink. I do feel better than I did initially, but it’s becoming apparent that this is going to be slow going before I’m back to normal. Let’s just say, I’m not the most patient person ever.

I can sit on my yoga ball office chair the most comfortably, so at least I’ll be able to work on Wednesday. It also means that I’ve been able to sit at the dining room table. I discovered that I enjoy this new diamond art thing, and I have just about gotten my Powersheets prep done. I’m writing a blog post today, so that counts as writing. I feel a bit more productive, but still somewhat grumpy that I’m going to be stuck asking for help and relying on other people to do the heavy lifting for a bit longer.

It’s a little ironic. One of my goal for 2019 is to take better care of my own health. I’m very good at ignoring my health and picking up habits that are less than helpful in this area. I have a tendency to skip meals, get through the day on too much caffeine and sugar, quit exercising because I keep getting interrupted, and pretty much ignore how I don’t feel great until I can’t ignore it any longer. As Mom used to say, “You’re your own worst enemy kiddo.” Mom was usually right about these things. I guess all of those stretches and strengthening exercises that I’ve been neglecting will be going to the top of my to-do list.

I know that it can seem selfish to take time and energy to work on things like your own health, and your own personal and spiritual development. Most of my 2019 goals have to do with these things, and I’ll admit to feeling more than a little guilt! It’s not selfish though. My family will benefit if I’m healthy, if my faith is strong, and if I’m growing as a person. I know we all hear the comparison about putting on your own oxygen mask first, and if you’re like me, you roll your eyes at that point. It’s true though. If I’m not healthy, it not just me who suffers, it’s my family too. If I don’t invest in my faith, I can’t encourage my family in theirs. If I’m not actively pursuing the things that will make me grow and become more like the person God created me to be, then what sort of example am I setting for my kids? I can’t sit here and tell them how important it is for them to deepen their faith, take good care of their health, learn new things, or grow in character if I’m not doing those things too.

All of these “selfish” goals about my health, my faith, and my personal growth are not just about me. They’re about being a better wife and mom too. There’s a reason why Jesus told His followers to get the beam out of their own eye first! How can we build up others in their faith if ours is withering from neglect?

2018 was an interesting year. Hard in some ways, but sometimes you have to face a few of your own dragons to be ready to grow a bit more. I will say, the older I get, the more I realize how much I still have to learn! My desire for 2019 is that it will be a year where I get a little closer to being the version of myself that God has in mind. I’ve spent too many years trying to be the version of myself that will make people happy, and it’s taken me a few decades to understand what an empty pursuit that is. I’ve chased a lot of things looking for peace and fulfillment, and none of them have brought more than a fleeting taste of either. Part of me is ashamed because I know better, but I guess the stubborn part of me just has to learn some lessons the difficult way. Thankfully, there’s grace even for stubborn idiots like me!

What are you looking forward to in 2019? What happened in 2018 that still stands out to you? Let me know in the comments!

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