I pump my legs wishing the snow gone and myself on the trail up the road instead.
The whir of the elliptical machine breaks into the short silence between songs—I count eight before hopping down.
In the kitchen the coffee’s hot, I grab a mug with thick letters splayed across its front and move over to sink into my curl-up corner of the couch.
The mug sits warm in my hands. I sip from the rim just above the jaunty letters. By now I can glance at them without wrinkling my nose. (Progress, right?)
I can hold the one word I didn’t want last year without backing up or backing away (on the outside at least). In this second month of the New Year, I’m out from pondering the path behind…and the one at my feet.
And, honestly, at times it was easy to feel, looking back, like life ground out slow and difficult most days because it did…and that my progress can be measured in inches instead of miles because, in places , it can.
The open door is more about where my insides are going than where my outsides are going. – John Ortberg (*)
So, here, in this post I’m not only coming clean about my one word for last year but I’m sharing a little truth for the spot we’re standing on…and the days when we struggle with life’s process and the ideas in our own head about progress.
I carry the word on a mug and wear it on my wrist on a silver band, the word “dream”. And, honestly, it caught me up and tripped me up until Love came and showed me I am a woman worth dreaming with. (So are you.)
Every dream, every longing…, realized or not, is meant to pull me deeper into the heart of Enough. Dreaming and planning aren’t the same and when all my plans fail He is still holding my hand.
God is the ultimate dream-keeper because He’s the ultimate dream-giver and if we look closely enough we can see the dream for what it really is…an invitation to intimacy.
On the days when I struggle with life’s process and the ideas in my own head about progress, those are the days…I will be gentle with my soul.
Those are the days I will remember that sometimes I am the purpose behind God’s pauses. That waiting isn’t just about the ending sometimes it’s more about the middle, and that every season of my life is main…meant to be entered into, experienced fully, savored when possible, and never rushed (**).
Those are the days…I will be gentle with my soul and choose strength over distance (again).
When results are a long way off, I will remember God measures in obedience and not distance and I will show up anyway, because strength is made in the middle and discipline is what you do when no one is watching (1 Cor. 9:25).
Those are the days…I will be gentle with my soul and remember a body has to learn to walk before it can run.
Pushing too hard, too fast can injure a soul, and sometimes twice as hard really does take twice as long (*).
Those are the days…I will be gentle with my soul because my soul belongs to another and the lover of our souls says to weak knees, “Be strong and don’t fear” (Isaiah 35:3-4) and to failing hands, “work, for I am with you” (Haggai 2:4).
On the days when I struggle with life’s process and the ideas in my own head about progress, those are the days I will dig roots deep…and be blessed (Jer. 17:7) because
Blessed is the woman who trusts in the Lord. – Jeremiah 17:7
PS. A little link love for you, more on One Word 365 here, a blessing for fellow dreamers with their Very Best Idea Ever and (*) John Ortberg’s book All the Places to Go…How Will You Know?
(And, finally, (**) in Alicia’s book I came across an illustration that has forever changed how I view the season I’m in…our hidden years and hiddenness with Christ. Can’t recommend more.)
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