"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." --Matthew 6:33
Happy New Year, Friends,
I find myself looking to the future with a renewed sense of purpose and would like to share some thoughts God has been revealing to me…
I had an incredible 2016! Not to say all of it was sunshine and roses, but as I review the year as a whole, a BIG chunk of it was covered in God-given opportunities and blessings. Actually, every day was covered by God’s infinite grace, but since I find I struggle with self-absorption on a regular basis, I don’t always see the blessings when they’re disguised as obstacles and messes.
Take this year’s Hiner Summit, held last week. Every year, my husband, Rob, and I have an annual goals setting powwow we affectionately refer to as the Hiner Summit (this title was fueled by my friends calling us out on our Type-A-ness. That’s a word, right?). We discuss everything from spiritual growth, financial plans, health goals, house goals, business growth plans, marriage and family plans. These last two happen to be the first two we discussed this year.... even though I had two whole pages dedicated to my business plans, we camped on family and marriage for more than three hours! In the end, these ideas came into contrast with my business plans.
As with any start-up business, I wrestle with separating myself from the daily decisions associated with developing my craft, marketing it and the most important responsibility I have: family. This upcoming year would be no different, hence the lengthy discussion. Like me, Rob often struggles to keep family number one, so the conversation was a challenge for us both.
Oh, the plans I was prepared to roll out in 2017 were B-I-G!! I have received such gracious support of my work this year (and a few harsh criticisms, too. Such is the life of an artist), that I was preparing for a mega art campaign to rival the greats. Okay, not really, but the ideas felt that big. Still, as we talked about the fleeting years left with our kids in the house, the reality check button got pushed and we both realized we were on the cusp of missing some of the greatest adventures available in the limited time!
Now, don’t get me wrong…I am not giving up on this precious calling on my life to create art! God has put a fire in my belly to pursue this gift, and I will continue to press on. But as I thought about these amazing girls I have the privilege of raising, I will not give up that calling on my life, either. I want them to witness my pursuing this passion AND trusting God in the process. And I want to accomplish these wild ideas I have, these big dreams, without sacrificing the eternal gift of being their mom and Rob’s wife. You might be asking: so what do you do?? For the short-tem: wait.
My really BIG plans may be deterred for a few years, but I still have a few smaller ones up my sleeve that will be pursued vigorously. The rest will be there when I can give more time and energy to them. I almost bought into the lie that we can have everything, right now, and that’s simply not the truth. Some things must take a back seat, even when we want them SOOOO BAD!!!! The tyranny of the urgent: we give in to the notion that we must push aside the important for the thing clamoring for our immediate attention (if you haven’t read the essay titled "Tyranny of the Urgent", I encourage you to look it up. It’s a sobering reminder). Our kids don’t clamor for our attention the way they did when they were little, but we feel the absence of the relationship as we drift toward that which yields immediate gratification. I see it now in small ways...I don't want to feel it more later. Lessons learned from those that have gone before me on this parenting journey.
In case you were wondering, my top five goals for 2017 are:
- Trust God daily
- Family: connecting, laughing, adventuring
- Serve others
- Paint (more important than building business)
- Give generously (time & money)
These are just highlights - detailed plans are outlined elsewhere…because we’re Type-A, and we embrace it! LOL!!
Have you set any goals for this year? Would love to hear a few of yours.
Until next time...
Live beautifully, my friends!
Featured artwork: "Much is Forgotten" - 36" x 48" x .75" acrylic on canvas. In light of the subject, it felt an appropriate reminder. Blessings to you and yours as you begin the new year!!