life, My Faith

Goals are a road map

About a month ago, we had goals weekend. During this weekend we were to set goals, personally and for our group. I set my goals weeks before because I felt inspired to do so then. Also, if you’ve read previous blogs, you know that was probably divine intervention because had I waited until Goals Weekend to set my goals, I would have none because a threat to my own health meant my only goal was to stay alive.

Ever since then, I have intended to come here and talk about my goals, but those intentions have been derailed every time. I posted the above picture on social media right after Goals Weekend and someone said, “I hope you’ll explain those. I said I would, but I never did.

So here I am to revisit my goals, because let’s face it, they need revisiting already, and to explain them and to remind myself what I meant by them.

Find Selah times.

We see this word most often in Psalms. What it means is a pause to breathe, a pause for rest and reflection. Oh man. Do I need this. Whether these are a whole day’s worth, a half a day or even a few minutes, I need that pause. I need to intentionally build that pause into my day.

Throughout my life, I’ve made busyness the bandaid for all of life’s ills. I love to do things with and for people, I over-volunteer (we’ll get to that soon), and I’m just generally too busy a lot of times. This week I said to my friends, my soul is tired. And it is. My body is tired too but it’s my soul that needs to breathe.

I need to intentionally pause each week at least once to reflect and listen to what the next thing is for me. I haven’t done that in weeks. I need to do it though.

Read and be in the Word

I added “in the Word” to this goal because y’all I read. I like to read. I read all the time. But the Bible, the Word, that’s where I need to spend time. I’ve done better lately at reading God’s word but I still have room to grow. I can read all the good books I want to, but God’s Word is the ultimate authority and that’s where I need to be too. I need to stop letting other people read it for me. I’ve found some good things in there lately.

Say “no” sometimes…even when it’s hard

We took the enneagram test today as a group. My type did not change from any other time I took it. That’s because if you know me at all and you read the descriptions, you can peg me without a test; I can peg me without the test, but the test does confirm it.

I’m a hard 2, a 2w3 no less. That’s the “helper” if you’re unfamiliar with the enneagram. And it pegs me to a fault. I like to help others and I get a lot of my self worth from what I do for others (as well as unfortunately what their response is to my help). I have a really hard time saying no.

But something struck me last week as I saw a journal that said “Say Yes to Every Good Thing”. (I did an Instagram post about it). I realized it’s not realistic to say yes to everything, even when it’s good things. Sometimes you have to say no to good things to leave room for your best yes.

Sometimes saying no is super hard if you’re like me. (I’m working on it…and I also joke that I’m going to put the phrase “I’m working on it” on a T-shirt). What I’ve found when I’ve started saying no is someone else will actually do it. Someone else will do it as good if not better than I would have. And there’s a freedom in that. Nothing goes undone just because I don’t do it.

But the problem is that when I’m struggling in other areas, with self worth or control or even just general struggles, I default back into a yes guy. I feel like I need to do all the things again. That someone won’t like me if I say no. That I might let someone down if I say no. That I will not prove my worth if I say no. But saying yes to all those things don’t bring me joy (not that everything has to) and I’ve missed out on some good things while saying yes to all the things. Yup, this is my commitment to work on it again.

Let other people help me

This one is hard. I love to help. I don’t love to be helped. I don’t love to even be in a position to NEED help. I want to give the illusion that I have it all together all the time. But guess what? I don’t. Here lately I haven’t had it together even a little bit. It’s been one thing after another to the point where I literally told someone “I’m sorry I have to be this person again”. And “this person” was the one that needs people.

But I do. I need people. And the thing is when I admit that, when I let people into the hard, I come through it better on the other side. Is it fun? Nope. Do I want to stop being that person? Oh heck ya. But for now I need to breathe and thank God that I have people who will hold me up when I can’t anymore. I need to look at these people as a blessing and realize I’m not a burden because they love me. I don’t have to do it alone anymore. (And also hope that this season is nearly over.)

Be vulnerable.

I think this one and the one before go together so there’s not much to add except I’m working on not hiding behind a mask of perfection. The mask is cracked and barely held together anyway. My people already see through it and I’ve lost the strength to hide behind it (which has just been weakness anyway).

Find happiness and contentment.

This I feel like comes in waves. I have prayed for God to change my attitude if He won’t change my circumstances. And He has. My circumstances may change, or they may not. But either way as long as my happiness isn’t based on my circumstances, I think this goal is achievable. The minute I try to start getting happiness from the world, I’ve already failed.

Write

Here I am and here you are. And here we go. That means so much more, but for now, this is where I’m writing and so my goal is to continue on. I’m working to develop a pattern or schedule but for now, it comes when it does.

Find ways to pour into others.

In little ways and big ways, I feel like I need to focus outward. I’ve taken little steps at this. Whether it’s sitting with a dementia patient and listening to what she’s upset with even though it may not make sense and she won’t remember I’m there to finding ways to pour into my peoples’ lives, there are so many ways to fulfill this goal. It’s been fun to see the little opportunities and lean into them.

I would like to also get more intentional about it though, while not forsaking the random small moments that present themselves. I want to find ways to pour into others because I know how much it means when people pour into me. But to pour out, I must be filled. So focusing on my other goals will lend themselves to this one.

Look for opportunities

My last goal looks simple from the outside. Opportunities for what? I don’t really know. But be aware and be mindful of opportunities God lays before me. I told you I feel called to…something. While I’m exploring this, it’s simply referred to as “something” and is definitely something I don’t feel equipped for yet. But opportunities to do the next thing and the next will lead to the big things. After all David didn’t go after Goliath the first time he picked up a slingshot.

So that’s them. That’s my goals. I share them so you can keep me accountable. If you see me, you are welcome to ask me if I’m doing anything. I’ve been a little lax in some of them the last few weeks. But I want to get back to being intentional and not let them fall by the wayside.

If you haven’t set goals, they don’t just have to happen in January. Set them now. Start with what did and didn’t work last year and set your goals from there. Make it a point to work toward being who God made you to be.

For this week, I’m gonna look for Selah times. I bet I can find them if I look. And my soul needs a hard pause.

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