Into the Unknown

Well, it’s another new year! Full of exciting possibilities and intimidating unknowns.

I always go through this awkward caught-between period at the start of a year. NGL, I spent, like, the first two weeks of January in denial that 2022 was over. Then dove headfirst into making PLANS! Because obviously, a plan magically forces the possibilities to solidify and unknowns to materialize. Riiight?

Am I weird? Maybe. But I’m certain I’m not alone on this one. So here are my top three tips for when the possibilities and unknowns collide. (Aside from lists and color coded calendars. That’s a given for any situation 😉)

  1. Foremost should be prayer. I say ‘should’, cause I’m honestly not great about following through on this one 😅 It’s something I absolutely need to work on. But I have found when I go to God first and ask his peace and guidance in the situation I’m less likely to spiral. The path may not clear immediately and unknowns still loom. But I’m much better prepared to handle them.
  2. Center in the familiar. When overwhelm comes knocking, take a step back and enjoy a small comfort activity. For me that’s often cozy blankets in front of the tree (Yes, it’s still up.), tea in fancy china (What’s the point of pretty things if they hide in a cupboard forever?), or a bath (because I can have those now!)
  3. Take baby steps. I get it, our society values multitasking and the pressure to get it all sorted now is real. But maybe you don’t need to run three races at once. There’s a lot to be said for the quality focus brings. Choose one attainable goal and take small achievable steps to reach it. Then move on the the next one. You’ll still reach those finish lines, I promise!
  4. Bonus! Lean on others. We were not made to do life alone. Excited about something? Share it with a friend and ask to take part in their joy as well. Worried or unsure how to handle a situation. Go you a trusted mentor for help. Good crit partners are valuable for more than a manuscript 😉

What’s one thing you’re excited for and one thing that intimidates you in this coming year?

Welcoming 2022!

Can you believe we’re already a week into 2022?! How is your year shaping up? Got all your goals set or a focus word chosen? Share one in the comments!

Only a week in, and I’m already seeing a significant amount of negativity regarding this new adventure. Memes to the effect of ‘a new year is too risky’ and the general concept that things will only get worse abound.

And I get it! Especially after the week I’ve just had. It’s been a rough couple years for everyone. And so far, the coming year looks bleak. But it doesn’t have to be…if our focus is on the right things.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite Prince of Egypt songs, ‘When You Believe’. If you don’t know it, the song starts off with how bleak the world looked for the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. Decades of praying for deliverance with no answer. Generations of yearning for a land that had been promised. Then the refrain that goes: ‘There can be miracles/When you believe/Though hope is fail/It’s hard to kill’.

What’s always stood out to me here is that prayer and belief, specifically in the fact that God remembers his people, bring hope. It might take longer than we want. We might feel trapped in the desert. But God has not forgotten us. No matter how bleak our world gets, there is still hope to be found in him.

So this year, instead of writing out my usual overwhelming list of goals, I’m doing something I’ve never tried before. I’m focusing on one word: HOPE. And yes, I do still have a few goals I’m working towards. But no matter how those play out or what new projects present themselves in the coming year, I have hope. Hope and belief that God will guide me in the correct path for my life. And that’s far better than any goal I could set myself.

Here’s my challenge for you. As you go out into this new year, go with prayer. Go with belief. And go with hope.

Looking Back but Moving Forward

Happy 2020, everyone! I’m not too late for a New Year’s post, am I? 😉

As we enter not only a new year but also a new decade, I’m looking back on my accomplishments… and I have to say, there’s a part of me that’s disappointed. There are so many things I had intended to do by now that never happened. I didn’t think I’d still be living at home, for one. But when I think about it, I’ve done several things I never thought I’d get the chance do to, either. So, instead of focusing on the negative, today I’m going to list my top three accomplishments from the past decade.

  1. I graduated both high school and college with honors. And made some amazing friends while I was there 🙂 Hello, Suspects, I miss y’all!
  2. I joined a church that’s truly on fire for God and have attended the Italy mission trip twice!
  3. I not only wrote a book, but have gone to conference and pitched it. This is something I honestly thought I’d never do. I doubted my ability as a writer through most of my teen years and it has taken a lot of encouragement from dear friends for me to reach the place I’m at today. So Sven, Ivy, Amanda, and all my Realmies, if you are reading this, I just want to say a big thank you!
  4. And Bonus: I got my first story published!

Now, that’s a list I can be proud of! And one I’ve kept in mind as I determine my goals moving forward. There are all the usual New Year’s Resolutions, of course: be more active, eat healthier, finish that cross stitch I’ve had since I was ten… But my top three goals for the year are these:

  1. Move out. And I do have a few nebulous possibilities for this!
  2. Indie publish (aka. self-publish) To Slay a Curse. I know it will be a lot of work, but I just feel that’s the right path for me. And I can’t wait to start this adventure and share my work with the world!
  3. Build relationships. This includes staying in touch with old friends, strengthening friendships I’ve made since moving to Cape Girardeau, and stepping out of my comfort zone to meet new friends. It’s daunting, but will be worth it in the end!

So, tell me, what is your biggest accomplishment of the 2010’s (or just 2019)? What is your biggest goal moving into 2020?