The lesson I learned this week? Never write on a calendar with permanent marker.
Actually, this realization started to set in at the end of last month, as my hairdresser and dog groomer each cancelled appointments due to illness. Then, just this week, I didn’t attend a meeting on Monday evening, a work trip got cancelled on Tuesday evening due to weather, and a coffee date with a friend got moved from Thursday to Friday. That last one was in pencil. I finally wised up.
Most of those events were entered into our family calendar in permanent marker several weeks before. I giggled when I recognized this gentle reminder that, though we want to believe we know what the future holds, every day is an unfolding mystery. It’s best to be prepared and then curiously watch as the day unfolds and we have opportunities to learn and grow.
This week was full of transitions for me and our little family. After being home for two weeks wherein we celebrated Christmas, New Years, Sienna’s birthday, Mateo’s birthday, and a surprise trip to Disneyland (Whew!), it was time to get back into the school and work routine.
I love these two weeks that cap off the year and usher us into the New Year knitted as a family unit. For the past few years, we’ve done a family goal setting session on New Year’s Eve. For 2018, our family theme is “Home” and we set a goal to make our home more comfortable and inviting. I just read this book: The Little Book of Hygee: Danish Secrets to Happy Living and it brought together so many of the ideas I’ve had swirling in my mind about making a cozy home! I recently got a reading chair for the corner of our bedroom and it’s transformed the feel and function of that room. I love having a dedicated cozy spot to read with my cup of tea!
This year the kids were really into the goal setting! Sienna set a goal to read 40 books and Mateo set a few goals, one of which is to “invent something to make things invisible”. At first I started to reason with him that this wasn’t a very attainable goal, but then I figured: Shoot for the stars, kid!
As I posted the goals on the bulletin board in the kitchen, I realized that there was something missing. We set these goals and intentions without properly acknowledging that we live and move and have our being in Christ. God is in control, we’re not. For goodness sakes, I can’t even write something on the calendar and know for sure it will happen that day! So, I added a verse to our goal list: … yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes… you ought to say: “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15)
I love goal setting and annual planning. It’s motivating to imagine the habits and behaviors that will make life valuable and fulfilling. It’s also fun to look forward to summer vacations, holidays, and annual events. But, it’s easy to let all that planning create a sense of self-reliance or self-determination that’s simply false. We control so very little and God provides all. Keeping that perspective firming in mind is the best resolution of all.