2013, Ready Or Not

Monday, December 31, 2012

An entire year has flown by again.  So long, 2012.  It wasn't the end of the world, but the Mayans aren't the only ones needing a new calendar - tomorrow we will all hang up new clean slates to start off 2013 with our best foot forward.

What a year it was.  I was laying awake at 5am this morning snuggling my ornery 17-month-old and reflecting on how just a year ago I was snuggling my 5-month-old.  Whoa!  When did that happen?  When did she grow all this hair and start talking and dancing on command?  And when did my Matilda (now 3) sprout up and start singing full choruses of Disney movie theme songs and teaching her sister how to put on socks?

One year might as well have been one light year away from where things were last year.  Little kids are non-stop changing machines, and if there was ever a time to stop and be completely perplexed as to how we can all compete with their ability to adapt...well, this is the time.  Sure, we are all adapting around them at the same rate (well, we're trying at least).  But, I step back for a second and am amazed at my little girls' ability to simply absorb and develop, process and exercise, adjust and relate - all as if they'd been doing it for decades.  

I could learn from this, is what I'm thinking.

With the turn of another calendar month, comes great will and intention toward positive changes.  I have an entirely new year laid out before me and a completely new list of wants and needs and plans that I hope for.  I have every intention of success and yet, somehow, before the clock even strikes midnight, I fully know that not everything I hope for will come true in 2013.  I definitely won't work out as much as I should, I can't possibly eat as many vegetables as I want to, and most certainly I will opt for purchasing something entirely frivolous to my financial goals.

Toddlers are not the best reactors to change, I'll admit that.  Their irrational tantrums, lack of tact, and self-centric universe obviously limits their ability to function appropriately at all times (in fact, none of us have truly conquered this, have we?).  Nevertheless, they undergo extreme change on a constant basis, literally from the inside out.  As their bodies and minds grow at a rapid pace, their outside world is either changing, moving, or being discovered as something entirely new to them.

While they don't hide their feelings towards the challenges of life, they don't try and run from them either.  With open arms, my girls embrace (albeit, kicking and screaming at times) whatever lies ahead.  It doesn't mean they like it, it just means they take it, grow from it, and accept the world around them, come what may. They adapt.  They change.  They grow up.  And they enter into the next day with the same vigor, never wondering if they wished for an alternate route or what would have happened if/if not, etc.  They wake up and GO! Day after day after day.

2013.  Let's do this.  Bring it.  Bring me change.  Bring me pain.  Bring me joy.  Bring me tears over triumph and angry fists over injustice.  Bring me peace that surpasses my understanding and humility beyond my own strength.  Bring me contentment in the midst of frustration and confusion in the face of doubt.  Let me ask the hard questions.  Let me seek God for the answers.  Test my faith if you must, and let me show you the Jesus inside me who fights when I can not.  2013, use this vessel to bring about the adaptations to my being that are necessary for my purpose.  Make me uncomfortable.  Make me reach out.  Make me less so I can be used for so much more.

2013, I dare you.

I don't know what the year will bring.  I don't know who or what I will encounter or how I will adapt to it all.  I don't know the future, and I'm glad I don't.  This constant mystery of life that is us churning out the future and creating it into the past is a present-day thrill we all get to experience.  It comes with emotions and feelings that make it all heap up into one giant "good intention" that we look back and call "purpose".  We pluck out the best and worst and wonder what it was all for.  We have regrets and hopes and lump it up to a wonderful word we call "effort" so that it doesn't sound so bad when we admit we didn't do what we wished we had.

Change doesn't need a midnight or a countdown or confetti or champagne.  Change requires two things:  you and time.  We can all allow for this.  I can.  I must.

Whatever changes 2013 may bring my way, I pray I embrace it with the confusing joy of a toddler first waking up in the morning to a new day.  I might shake my fist or stomp my feet or explode in an inexcusable cloud of emotion...but, I hope I take it head-on and allow the change to work its way into my soul.  I pray God uses each day to shape me into the person that can best be used for His plan, not mine.

2013.  Ready or not, here I come.

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