The Christmas tree still stands happy and bright at our house, the wreath still hangs on the door, and half the neighborhood must feel the same way I do: I’ll get to it, but just not yet.
Most years, I relish the first few days of the new year. I set aside a couple of hours to sit down with my planner, a goal-setting journal, and a cup of coffee. I plug headphones into my ear, closing myself off from the noise of the world (i.e. the living room where my desk is), and I enter into intentional me-and-God-dreaming time.
It’s one of my favorite things to do whenever January rolls around. It helps me envision the coming months so I can live with and on purpose.
But this year is starting off on the same note last year ended with. Instead of a bang, it’s more of a hum, and the thrill of what’s to come is missing.
It’s strange not to feel the excitement, especially when I’m someone who loves starting new things and having vision and a call toward something. I’m usually the person telling other people about living with intentionality and how important it is to have that one word for the year.
And because this is all unusual for me, I’m paying attention. I’m taking note of the emptiness that doesn’t feel sad or weird but peaceful. I’m reframing it and calling it open space. I’m noticing my pace and how slow it is. It’s slow but not behind. It’s right on track, to the same step as God’s. I’m recognizing the shift in my heart for the place God has me in as a work-at-home, suburban mom, whose basic day mostly involves managing other people’s lives, making sure there’s food for dinner and that homework is done. It’s a life I didn’t aspire to or even want in my 20s, but here I am, actually enjoying it and seeing God in it now.
It’s not better or more right or even more glorifying to God one way or the other — whether you’re in a similar season in life or you’re in a season of adventure and risk. Both are ordained by God, and God is everywhere — in every season, at every pace, in every in-between place.
I often wonder about the unwritten parts of Jesus’s life, about the moments when He might’ve felt the ordinary to be ordinary, even though He was God. Did He relish it — this being human, of making His home here on this earth, of dwelling with us? Did He delight in the repetition of the small things, knowing all things? Did He look forward to the day when He would get baptized by John, His cousin, and thus begin His years of ministry?
He was familiar with it all — the mundane and the miraculous, the boring and the busy, the years when one faded into the next and the year when His life would come to an end and He would make eternity a reality for us.
He calls it all good, every part.
Every time I ask God if there’s something I should be looking for — a vision He might be showing me that I’m missing or a yes or no I should be saying or a path I should be taking — He says the same thing back to me:
You’re right where you’re supposed to be.
Even now, with no word for the year or goals or planner in hand, with the Christmas tree still twinkling, oblivious to its time having passed, with no plan for how I should grow or what I should become this year, God says it’s okay — good even, and I’m starting right there.
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