The Week In Between

by - December 30, 2017

Beginnings and endings can be unexpectedly and breathtakingly beautiful.

This week between the old year and the new, I have been reflecting. A year ago, I noticed many online were reflecting using probing questions and offered printable worksheets. Because I'm a slow processor, it takes me more than a day to reflect  effectively.  So I printed them all out and put them on file until this December 1. I indulged in a whole month of reflection.

So rewarding.  While I've never been much of a resolution person at new year, reflection was a back door into the new year as goals, things I'd like to change, start, stop, and embrace better emerged organically.

Of the many questions I pondered, there are some that deeply moved me, my perspective, or my approach. Perhaps they will do the same for you.

Q: What is missing from my life as I look back and what will I do to add it?
Q: What is the most helpful way I could strengthen our church?
Q: What one single thing that I plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? Eternity?
Q: What habit would I most like to establish this year?
Q: If those who know me best gave me one piece of advice, what would they say?
Q: What is the single most important thing I can do to improve the quality of my work life this year?

If you want to get better at something, pay attention to it. This includes anything you want to change, quit, or add to your life.

And habits can be the training ground for our desires. Outward repetition can be the vehicle by which we learn to love what is good and right and pure. Sometimes inner change happens when what we do on the outside penetrates our core.

Doing what feels good is rarely the same thing as doing what creates good. So reflecting, soul-searching, and goals can be the path to better quality human beings. I'm counting on it this year.

While my journal reveals specifics, here are some broader themes that resulted from my month of reflecting.

Eat well.
Drink water.
Go for walks.
Read good books.
Challenge yourself intellectually and spiritually.
Care well about and for others.
Establish healthy boundaries and learn to be comfortable in the freedom that comes from limits.
Heed wise counsel.
Be wise.
Be unhurried.
Make margin space and protect it.
Be strong.
Be kind.
Be generous.
Be brave.

And finally, a few pieces I loved this week from the hinterlands of the internet.

Inside the heart and spirit of an humble leader, this essay is one man's experience, but there's so much to glean from what he learned.  This is for you if leadership in your new year wheelhouse.

How Charlie Brown Saved My Ministry (Twice) by Russell Moore

If you want think pieces that will challenge the mind and the spirit, this girl theologian will hit the spot. Rebecca K. Reynolds has invited us deep thinkers to (possibly, after a two month trial run) read the Bible through the year in community on her blog and Facebook page. She's following The Bible Project's plan and videos. I can't wait. Find the details on her blog (here) and discussions on Facebook (here). And if you need proof this is not for the theologically wimpy, I invite you to get brainy and prepare yourself to be challenged and learn from a smart girl.

Before We Begin Reading the Book of Genesis by Rebecca K. Reynolds

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