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Life Giving Lists

Meg Chaney

I entered 2017 hesitantly. The past year hadn't panned out exactly as planned. I felt a bit discouraged. A bit at odds. How do you truly measure up the sucess of a year? Writing has come with so many more road blocks than expected. While others seem to have great sucesses, I still flounder, waver. Write, not knowing where it will take me. Honestly, 2016 was a year that almost nothing got published. Everytime I submitted something, it felt like it was sent back. And all of that was mostly in the first part of the year. The second part of the year? I didn't really even try. That's what feelings of discouragement and defeat can do for you.

But yet. 

But yet there may be something left to say. But yet, new books are being written everyday, new voices are being heard. 

My goal from the begining has been encouragement. My objective? To be transparent. To let my voice be heard. 

I wasn't sure what to write down as my objective for this coming year. 

And then, I wandered over to Emily Freeman's blog and read this: 3 Gentle Ways to Review Your Life in the New Year. Yes, gentle was the way I needed to go. Not overally critical, or with a feeling of defeat, but honest, optimistic, introspective. I loved Emily's idea of writing a Life Giving List. It's been a great way to look at my house, my daily responsibilities, expectations, the things I do in those empty moments between one thing and the next. A new year is a great time to think about such things, to declutter myself, my life. Techonology is always a big one for me. It's so easy playing on my phone when I'm waiting for my son to get out of school. But I'd much rather spend that time with a good book! Oh, I never want to say that my time here was wasted!

Christmas was such a good break for my family. A break from routine, appointments, schedules. There was more time to just sit and read a book, or for my kids to play independently. I've noticed the changes with school starting up again. I have more books sitting next to cozy chairs, reminding me to dive on in, before I turn to my phone. It's also getting rid of more craft accessories, things that only stress me out because I never have the time to get to them. It's reminding myself that I love to bake bread, and thinking about how that could become a part of our weekly routine again. Life giving lists are great like that. If distrations are keeping me from the things I love then maybe something has to change. If my old writing routine isn't working, then maybe I need to plan things different, become BRAVE in my writing in whole new ways. If I desire to be closer to God, then what do I need to change to spend more time in His word? What other things might have to be sacrificed a bit?

Life-giving lists force a look at the positive side of things, while gently reminding you to get rid of the negative. I love that! Thank you Emily Freeman for making me think, and truly encouraging my heart!