There's something about turning the page from December 31 to January 1 that makes me feel like I have a fresh start on life. I can begin again. The week leading up to that page turn is filled with reflection and going through journals to review the past year. As the page turn gets nearer, ideas and goals for the year to come get written. And so much of it is about "doing," about completing lists. And there is nothing wrong with that. All the things won't happen if they don't get planned. However, a couple of years ago, my husband and I were leading a small group through a study when the idea was raised to create a "To Be List." That started me thinking. I can do, do, do pretty well, but....Who Do I Want To Be???
So this year, I still made my goals and did my planning, but I also reflected on my to be list. I won't share my entire list, because some of it is very personal, but here are three of my to-be's.
Characterized by thanksgiving and praise
I put this right at the top of my list because, to lay it right out there, my thoughts and words gravitate toward the negative pretty easily. The daily reminder helps me focus on what's good in a situation rather than on what's wrong with it, at least as often as I remember it. I really need this one to be right in front of my face all day long.
A woman of excellence
This one can have two applications for me. I can be a perfectionist, insisting that everything is done to the utmost degree. So sometimes, in my life, being a woman of excellence means doing things only to the point of "enough," so that I can focus on what truly matters--relationships rather than things--and so others can focus on what is important to them rather than my high expectations.
On the flip side, sometimes the temptation is to cut corners, especially when tired. The call here is to carry on to completion and, ideally, then to arrange my schedule so ample rest and time is given so I don't find myself in this state.
Engaged where God has placed me with the people surrounding me
Technology, as lovely as it can be, needs to monitored so I am present in heart and soul with those in the same room or car. My husband and family want to know that being with them, listening to them, and caring about them is more important to me than the latest Instagram photo or Facebook post....or, ehem, how many likes my own posts have received!
So I share all of this to say that maybe this year you need to give yourself a beautiful pause by creating your own to-be list. It's not all about the doing as much as it is about the being.