I am a sucker for goals. I just love them. I love creating them, posting them, reviewing them...and most of all achieving them. What I don't like is failing at them. But in many ways, by writing this post that is exactly what I am admitting to: defeat.
Like thousands, or probably millions, maybe even billions of people, I made 2011 New Year's Resolutions. At the time they were perfect. They were aligned with my vision of 2011, they were measurable and achievable. They were all fun and I was very excited to work toward each of them. However, I set these goals before I knew that I would visit Africa this summer. The thought of this mission trip hadn't even been born in my mind yet. Had you asked me back in December or January whether I would go to Africa this year, the answer would have been a very assertive NO. Not because I didn't want to, but because I didn't know it was possible.
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."
Since deciding to travel to Africa this summer, many of my 2011 goals are no longer fitting, and some not even achievable and dare I say maybe even irrelevant. Since January I believe I have changed very much. My priorities are different. So I have decided to update my goals to reflect what my heart desires at this time.
I am not discouraged by my failure to achieve certain goals. I know that each of them are important to my life, and I hope to achieve them all some day. I may even be able to achieve them this year, but if I focus too much on them, I will lose sight of what is most important in my life right now. I want my goals to represent those important things: my relationships.
It is important that I keep priorities this year, remembering that God should come first in my life and guide my footsteps.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."
Watching my parents battle through a divorce has been the most heart breaking experience of my life. But it has further resolved my commitment to my own marriage. When Mr. Kummerow and I were married we agreed that the "D" word would not exist in our relationship. Today I am even more certain that this is the right decision for us. We are committed to our marriage and it will only ever come second to our relationship with God.
"Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Friends and Family are hard to separate and friends only come first because they were present in our every day lives. But this does not mean that family will not be greatly important to me this year. In fact, since I am numbering my priorities, putting family at number four is probably a huge leap forward from where they have been. I have allowed my relationships with my mom, dad, sisters and brother to become less important over the last several years. I have instead focused on creating a home for myself in North Carolina, finding friends, a church, a career. Now I regret allowing my relationships to suffer. My sisters and I used to be very close and now I feel as if I hardly know them. Therefore, this year I will focus on rebuilding these relationships and finding a balance with living so far away.
"A happy family is but an earlier heaven."
So these don't really look like goals or resolutions do they? They aren't quite measurable and I am not sure how I will judge whether I have achieved them. I sat in meditation for a bit today pondering whether I should even create new goals. Since my first set of goals didn't work out, I was hesitant to create a second set.
In the last few months I have operated with flexibility. I have opened the space for grace within my life. Rather than live by a regimented system, recently I am more easy-going. This attitude is reflected in my work-outs, my work, my food, and my relationships. By releasing control of the elements in my life, I am allowing God to work through me. So rather than set more resolutions, I am putting guidelines into place to point this year and my focus in the right direction. My heart will plan the way, but God will determine my footsteps.
I still plan to utilize this blog to hold me accountable with monthly "check-ins." Because I have not set forth very measurable goals, I will have to evaluate how I will check-in each month. But you can look forward to updates on my new priorities!