2018 Focuses (Cuz Goals are Scary)

The new year came, then passed like any ordinary day. All this talk about planning what you’re going to do this year? No thanks. I’ll just take the year and be surprised at what comes my way. That’ll work, right? (Insert wince face here….)

A list of things to do in the year is intimidating. Most people’s lists consist of things like “get more organized” and “lose weight.” Ahh! Too big of things! (And then we get upset when the list isn’t completed by February!?)

On the 3rd, God told me the word “restoration” through a friend. “Healing and restoration are two different things. You’ve been healed, now you just need to wait for your restoration,” Lora told me.

“Hang it up on your bathroom mirror, and every morning, thank God for your restoration!” my friend Gary told me. I had been thanking God for years for my healing (not always consistently) before I was healed. But now, I just need to thank Him for my restoration.

And then, on the 5th, I read this blog by my friend Chelsea. In it, she talks about how she asked God what she should focus on in 2018. Ask God…I felt a nudge. I printed out the worksheet she had made to assist others in praying about 2018, and I sat down with my journal to hang out with Jesus. Here are the points He told me to focus on this year:

  • Patience/Waiting
  • Building myself up
  • Loving Lydia
  • Pray for others

Then, I went back to each point and asked God more about each.

  • Patience/Waiting. Doug and I are planning on adopting kid #2, but we can’t even take classes until next August or September. We made this decision last October. At first, I didn’t even realize we’d be able to take the classes at all, but it made me feel a whole lot better knowing when we’ll have time to do so. Second is waiting for my body’s restoration. I know it’ll come; I just have to wait for it. And in all this waiting, I can pray. For the things I’m waiting for, as well as things I don’t even know about yet. I asked God if either of those things would come to be this calendar year. He told me that I’ll just have to wait and see.
  • Building up my confidence, more specifically. Over this last year, I have been a mom, a wife, and a manager of my household. All these things are good, yes, but I’ve kind of buried the Anna. I’m still involved in Bible studies, mom’s groups, and the spouses of med students organization, but. But what about the things I love doing? Writing fiction? Actually developmental editing somebody else’s work, like I took classes last spring to do? Goodness, I don’t even play piano as much anymore. I thought giving lessons again this spring would be a thing, but it sure hasn’t yet! The thing is, I don’t have enough confidence doing these things. I like them, but sharing them? God told me to make time for these things and share them. I asked if I would publish one of my books this year or get paid to edit somebody’s work. He told me? Yep, you guessed it. I’ll just have to wait and see.
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Photo credit Stephanie Nicole Photography
  •  Loving Lydia. My current family. “Don’t get so caught up in preparing for kid #2 that you forget about kid #1,” God told me. Tonight, days after God told me all this, Doug told me to make sure I love Lydia more than the nannies that we pay to help with her do. When Lydia gets hurt? She doesn’t even come to me. It’s either her daddy or the nanny currently working. I can’t always have my work desk in the kitchen; I need another space. That way, when I’m in the kitchen (which is connected to the living room), I can BE PRESENT.
  • Pray for others. I have prayed for so many strangers out loud, even in the middle of a waiting room. I like praying out loud with family, friends, strangers, whoever I feel like I’m supposed to pray with at that moment. I pray in my head, too, because sometimes I don’t have confidence to pray for somebody. But thank you, Jesus, that I have come so far in that area! There are seven billion people in the world. Oh, that I could bless a few!

And so, along with the post-it note that will go on my mirror, I will keep a typed up list of these things, too. These are the things I shall focus on in 2018. What will you focus on?

Be blessed,

Anna E. Meyer

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A Poem on Being Still

It’s easier to hide behind a pen

Than saying things out loud.

It’s easier to detangle thoughts through my fingers

Than to quietly

think.

 ~

BE STILL!

I hear the voice.

But how?

I journal and pray there daily.

BE STILL!

I hear proclaimed again.

“How am I supposed to do that?”

I reply.

~

I set down my pen.

And I think.

So many decisions,

but I can’t hear anything.

Be still.

It is suggested that I fast

by someone who’s opinion I trust.

And so I didn’t write.

For four days.

~

Writing is how I think.

It’s how I communicate.

~

Four days?

 But it’s possible.

Anything is.

Anything is possible when God’s there.

And though I didn’t hear

The answer I was looking for,

I heard

something

else.

~

I didn’t think I did,

Until I processed in my journal after.

Then I was sure.

Is that cheating?

Probably not.

 ~

Sometimes, we must be still

to see what’s going on around us or

inside ourselves.

~

God is there, waiting for us to listen.

What is listening?

How do we do it?

Everyone’s God language is different,

So I can’t tell you.

I’m not sure I can tell you mine,

though I know I’ve heard him many times.

~

Be still.

How?

Just…

be

still.

 

Angry?

“In your anger, do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26a

A lot of my life, I’ve viewed anger as something negative.  My high school years were full of blow-up-like expressions of my anger and frustration.  So, I didn’t handle it well.  There’s a scene in “Enchanted” when Abigail Adams’s character is a happy princess from animation, and she’s never experienced anger before.  When she does experience anger and realizes what it is, she starts laughing because it’s something new, but then goes back to being angry again.  One of my friends at Gear Up asked why God even gave us that emotion.  Anger is not bad if we funnel it where it’s supposed to go.  It’s only bad when we handle it wrongly.  If we sin by how we handle our anger, then it’s bad.  But just having anger isn’t.  Does that make sense?  I went to a counselor when I was in elementary school because I didn’t handle anger well.  That was the counselor who introduced me to writing it down to get it off my chest.  Writing has become such a huge part of my life now.  I may or may not have written through a few pages I was pressing my pen into the paper so hard while I’m writing angry.  I go through journals like crazy, but now, when I express my anger there, I pray, as well.  In these last few days, even, I realize how much praying about my anger and turning to the Lord helps me to not blow up.  As bad.  It certainly cleans up the mess and doesn’t cause me to break anything that I’d have to pay for, anyway.  Satan loves when we blow up and hurt people or things with our words or actions when we’re angry.  In the Avengers, Bruce Banner eventually reveals his secret at how to contain and control the Hulk: he’s always angry.  I think many of us have a green monster than emerges when we’re angry, but if we use it to battle the bad guys instead of our friends, it can be good.

I am angry that more people don’t know or won’t even accept the gospel.  But I won’t blow up about this.  It is motivation to go out and fulfill the great commission, sharing the love of the Lord.  I am angry that I have Multiple Sclerosis.  It took me a long time and a semester full of weekly visits to a counselor’s office to admit that, but it’s true.  I’m angry, but I’m not bitter about it.  I can funnel it into good someday.  (Not sure how yet, but it’s in my head and in the works there.)  I get angry when people say hurtful things to me, but I have learned the power of the Lord through that, too.  Okay, so I’m still learning, but I’m getting better about it.

Do you get angry?  Do you let the monster emerge or laugh at the experience?  Okay, nobody laughs when they’re angry.  Unless they’re pretending not to be angry at someone and “brushing it off as sarcasm” (guilty).  It’s not wrong to be angry!  It’s human.  It’s what you do with the anger that’s important.

Smiling cuz I’m not angry at the moment, Anna =)^2

Morning Coffee with Jesus

I get up in the morning and start some coffee.  Here at home, my mom has an espresso machine, so it’s a mocha.  =)  I gather my journal, Bible, pen, pencil, and Zune.  I sit down with my filled-up mug nearby, and place the earbuds in my ears as I hit “play” on my favorite playlist.  I open my journal.  “Good morning, Lord!”  I start.  I chat with him and tell him what’s going on today, even though he already knows.  I tell him what’s on my mind, and ask him for advice as I place my troubles in his hands.  It is my time to write and reflect on the Lord and what he’s telling me.  I’m not a very good listener, but God talks to me through my pen as I journal, at times.  (Still not a good listener, but I’m a good talker!)  I’ve spent many-a mornings in this routine, and it helps keep me focused on the Important One throughout my day.  It’s not a formula to having a good day or the only formula that lets me connect with God; I’ve learned that this summer.  But it makes me feel better; it is my most comfortable way to study the Word and chat with the Lord.  Sometimes I’ll be reading some hard truths or about the prophesized destruction of Egypt, but other times, I’ll be reading about God’s awesomeness and just re-read it again and again.  God gives me hugs and shows me things and even if I don’t FEEL like anything is happening if I read a boring passage, he’s always up to something.  =)

Sometimes, I write poetry to God.  Many of my poems appear here, on this blog, but not all of them.  I write them before I fall asleep at night or during the day when I feel like it.  I wrote a lot of “psalms” (as I dub them) in the month of June.  I felt like David, pouring out my heart and laying down my troubles, but always seeing God’s face before I conclude.  Sometimes I would write praises and just sit in awe of my Lord.  He is worthy of that awe, you know?

Sometimes, when I’m suffering from boredom or writer’s block I’ll come here and randomly click on blogs to read under the category “Christianity.”  And that’s funny, too, because God always seems to lead me to a few that fall under the same type of theme.  He talks to me through you other bloggers!  I also read books like “Radical Disciple” by John Stott, ”Grace Walk” by Steve McVey or “”Generous Justice” by Tim Keller.  Right now, I am reading “Radical” by David Platt.  God totally uses these writings about himself to point out truths or to just tell me stuff.  I usually read this type of thing again, before I fall asleep at night or when I feel like doing something else but don’t have a brain to think of it.

Throughout my day, I talk to God.  As I said earlier, I’m not a very good listener.  But even just talking to him allows me to see his hand at work and to see his face in the middle of a day that may not be going so well.  God always makes it better.  And sometimes he does tell me things.  But I usually can’t tell unless he hits me in the face with a two-by-four.  Luckily, he’s all for that kind of thing.  Or just telling me subtly again and again.

And sometimes, in the middle of the day, I make myself another mocha and curl up with the Word.  It’s like habit now.  Whenever I drink coffee, mocha or not, I at least talk to God if I don’t write to him or read of him or his Word.  I tried giving up coffee altogether because I was thinking about it first thing when I woke up in the morning, and that wasn’t good.  But now I think about God and the wonderfulness of the day to come.

 

During the school year, I’d go to a coffee shop on Saturdays and spend my morning there.  There were even a few days this summer when I could hang out at a coffee shop with my Bible and a mocha.  Extended dates with Jesus are always refreshing to my spirit, especially if something is heavy on my mind or on my heart.  What do you do to spend some time with God?  What are some of your routines or habits in doing so? 

 

Smiling LOTS, Anna =)^2