While our family had a pretty wonderful year, all things considered (you can read all about it in our Christmas letter), 2010 was a bit of a trying year for me personally.
I feel like God has been asking me to wait on him, in a number of areas of my life. I must confess, I'm not as patient as I'm sure he'd like me to be!
We've been waiting on some things in 2010 that we have no control over. And each of these 'issues' are no closer to resolution at the end of 2010 then they were at the beginning. Some are even worse. I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan of not having control over things! For the life of me, I can't figure out why God isn't seeing things my way. Ridiculous isn't it? I know God is in control. I know he's got a plan. I know his will for my life is so much better, and so much more perfect than what I would create for myself.
Still, it's hard to be patient. It's hard to trust him when things aren't "going my way". I know without question, that I need to seek God's face more diligently in 2011. I imagine if I were closer to him it wouldn't be so difficult to wait on him. The thought of writing a 2011 year in review without a change in the areas I'm waiting on makes me weary.
This year has also been trying for me in the area of relationships. A number of things happened that made me more keenly aware of my faults and flaws. This might sound funny to some of you 'realists', but my optimistic, happy-go-lucky personality has never stopped to consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, there are people out there who don't particularly like me, or the way I operate, or the way I handle things. I know, writing it down makes it seem that much more ridiculous. Most people realize this far before the age of 28! That was a hard lesson to learn. Probably the hardest lesson of all for me.
Through these trials it's been good to learn a bit more about my temperament, my personality and my tendencies. I think (or at least, I hope) my new found knowledge will help me in future relationships and friendships. Rob and I had four sessions with a temperament counselor this year, and we also studied the book Bounderies in our small group that have helped me learn a few lessons. A few key things I've learned are as follows.
1.) I am not responsible for other people. I am responsible to them. To be there for them, to be honest, to be loving, etc., but I'm not responsible for their actions and I can't choose anyone else's actions for them.
I have always had a deep desire to inspire people. The manner in which I've gone about trying to inspire people is, as I have learned, not always welcomed. This brings me to #2.
2.) I have learned that I need to have permission to speak into someone else's life. Even if permission has been granted in the past, or granted over a different issue, I cannot assume that someone wants my advice, my opinion, or to hear about my concerns.
It's been hard to learn to simply keep quiet. But I'm trying...
3.) I have also realized that I am usually the initiator in relationships. I am the one who calls, who invites people to do things, asks questions, etc. I like people! I have learned that not every likes to be around people as much as I do though. I've tried to scale back a bit on being 'pesky' in my relationships with friends and family. Of course, then it's tough not to be at least a little bit bummed when my lack of peskiness equals a lack of relationship. Through this though, I have actually strengthened some friendships this year. Maybe having fewer people I'm trying to connect with regularly has allowed me to have a little more substance in the relationships that are most important?
4.) I have learned that a change in environment for me will actually change my attitude. My temperament is the only one whose attitude is effected so strongly by their environment. Strange, huh? I think it's one of the reasons I'm itching to sell our condo as badly as I am. There's plenty of space, but not a great deal of light, and not much to look at by way of scenery. It's also part of the reason I go batty if I haven't gotten out of the house in a couple of days.
5.) I am incredibly unmotivated. Internally, that is. Sometimes I feel like I am a go-getter. Truly, sometimes I am amazed by how much I'm able to accomplish when the odds are against me. But sometimes, sometimes I'm amazed at how lazy I am. I can have the best of intentions in a hundred different areas, and not follow through on any of them.
I am, however, very externally motivated. I am motivated by my peers, I am motivated when in relationship with other people, I am motivated by goals and deadlines. And I am very competitive.
In 2011, I am determined to march forward, and to put the things I've learned about myself in 2010 to good use. After almost a full month of being out of routine, I'm itching to take control of my life again. And, of course, to learn to let go of that control at the same time. I recognize that I desperately need to put some healthy habits into my life if I want to be a better woman at the end of 2011 than I am right now.
I desire to grow as a wife, as a mother, as a friend, and as a child of God. I desire to grow in health, in relationship with others and in my ability to be domestic. Yes, you read that correctly.
How exactly I'm going to go about turning those desires into reality? Your guess is as good as mine! I'm open to suggestions! Here's to figuring out how to do grow in each of these areas in 2011.
Happy New Year!