On New Year’s, right after the balloons dropped and we toasted 2011 with the city of Chicago in our own little way, Jason and I cozied up at State and Lake–a casual but posh little restaurant on the first floor of our hotel. There, we spent the first hour of the new year snacking on grilled cheese panini sliders and the best little brownie and ice cream combo I’ve had in a long time. Over our “midnight” snack, we talked about the upcoming year, what we hoped it would bring, what we envisioned for ourselves as individuals and as a family. I asked Jason what one word he’d use to theme the upcoming 12 months, and committed a single word to the year for myself: grow.
Everything about this season is calling me to grow, and my prayer for 2011 is that I will…in a number of ways. I can already count on my belly growing (and hopefully my patience and eventually my pain tolerance along with it:), and my ability to love unconditionally will certainly grow as we expect this tiny child. What else do I mean by “grow?” Here are the things I listed off in the wee small hours of January 1st. I entrust them to this page with every intent on being accountable, giving my best effort, and having the ability to look back with gratitude on the ways that God led me to grow in 2011:
-I hope to grow in grace. Not just here at home, or for myself, or for those closest to me, but for everyone. For the crazy driver on the road, for the telemarketer on the phone, for people halfway around the world who I’ll never meet, but who desperately need prayer and commitment from those who believe in hope and joy and God’s promises for their lives.
-I hope to grow in faith. In the gigantic things, in the smallest things. In the everyday things that seem so easy to overcome on my own. I hope that I’ll look back and say I worried less and trusted more–that I gave things over to God with reckless abandon and I felt free because of it. I hope that I’ll be inspiring to someone, somewhere, who wants the very same thing for their life and is afraid to go after it alone. I’m right here with you.
-I hope to grow as a wife and a mommy, and I trust I will. The next four months as we wait for this baby equal four more months of being “just us” in the ways that are left. I hope to love Jason like never before, to make the most of moments, and to remember where we started from when we’re suddenly three and no longer two. I hope to be as loving and gentle and self-sacrificing a mother as God calls me to be–to be the place this babe always wants to come back to, and to make “home” feel safe and welcoming and good.
-I hope to grow in fiscal responsibility. Fewer hours at work in the months ahead, more to provide for, lots more to learn–from groceries to savings to planning for the future…every year I grow here, but I still want to be better, smarter, more savvy, and always at peace with what we have. I want to look back and say, “we did it in the best ways we knew how, and we were always improving.”
-I hope to grow in health, always. Building on a good thing is hardly ever bad. In discipline. In strength of character. In joy. Into the woman I am continually called to become…
“She is energetic and strong, a hard worker…her lamp burns late into the night…she extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy…She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness…her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her…a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31. (various)
here’s to growth and growing in 2011!