2017 is a year that I am ready to say goodbye too. It is a year that I hoped would be grounded in hope, but instead it was a year grounded in bittersweet hope. It started out great, but then life happened and things quickly shifted. I found myself living in one of the longest and hardest times of liminal space; clinging to what was and wondering what was to come next. For most of the late Spring and Summer months, I was weary; weary and tired.
There were so many days that I wondered what was next. And to be honest, there were so many tears shed as I tried so desperately to trust in God. But like God always does, God showed up in so many big ways. God led me to where I am today. God surrounded me with friends and family who stood by me through thick and thin. God held my hand and pulled me up out of the pit of hopelessness (or at least that’s how it felt in the early days of change) And I am so incredibly thankful.
Since late summer/early Spring, I have been able to find hope again; a hope that has become new again. New home. New community. New call in ministry. New friends. So much new. And in the midst of all of this, I cannot help but reflect on this past year–a year of hard and also a year that grew me in so many ways. And as a new woman, I am ready to ring in a new year.
As I have prayed for my one word for 2018, my heart has been more open than ever to the calling of the Holy Spirit. So many words were shared with me, yet nothing felt right. I began to pray more. A friend shared a new word with me and as I read the definition, a calming peace fell over me. The word is “hygge” which basically translates to contentment and depending on where you read it has Danish or Finnish origins. (You can read more about hygge here!)
In the new year, I want to treasure even more every moment and every day. I want to spend time chatting with my favorites over coffee, or wine, or dinner. I want to cherish the moments of joy, but I also want to remember and experience the moments of sadness because I was blessed by them as well. I want to judge less and seek more every day to live out the words to Micah 6:8: “to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.” I want to be content in who am I as a beloved child of God.
Contentment will not come easy. In fact, there will be days I will have to remind myself to be content. Yet contentment comes when we remember all that we have been given. We are incredibly blessed. And when we remember that, contentment or hygge comes like a warm blanket on a bitterly cold day or a cup of tea at the end of a long day. Contentment is not simply a feeling. It is in everyway how we experience life. It is realizing the ordinary moments are more extraordinary than ever.
“I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.”–Philippians 4:10-14 (The Message)
Linking up with Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart and Kristin and Porch Stories.