Finally, I found my Word of the Year (WotY)! Last year's word was freedom. Did I grow in freedom? Probably. I think, though, mostly I grew in my awareness of my own self-preservation. I wall myself in so no one can hurt me; but then I can't get out either. To stretch the metaphor, there are so many layers I've added to my fortress over my lifetime that one year isn't nearly enough time for me to say, "Ta-da! Healed! Wall down, moat filled in, barbed wire and electric fence and attack dogs all neutralized." But you know God. He tells us the same Story over and over, and it's better every time.
Anyway, I've been wandering all over my mind asking the Lord, "This word? This one? Oh, this is a good one! Is it that one?" But none of them were right. But finally it clicked.
I need a thankful heart like I need oxygen. This semester has me working 3-4 times what we'd planned for me to work (all with Ezra). On top of that, there are one-time things, like planning the food (and a breakout session) for our women's retreat, doing our taxes, selling our car and buying a new one, planning our Spring Break trip, fundraising for our adoption, etc. Ezra's definitely acting like a two year old (my darling fallen son). I've started a new workout routine and a new way of eating. And really I don't feel like I have a handle on a single one of those things. But they're all here, so I have to find a way to deal with them that isn't me losing it on the most important people to me. I run to things to bring me comfort; I try to escape for a while; I take it out on my husband who just doesn't understand and my son who really doesn't understand. But what I need is a thankful heart.
I have such a beautiful life. Do I wish every part of it were the way it is right now? No, duh, this is actual life. Actual life is refining. I'm so glad God uses actual life, because I'm sure not going to refine myself. Instead of being cranky at the situations God is giving me to learn and grow in, I want to be thankful.
[*note: God, this is not an invitation to heap more things on. Love, m]