I sit here at my desk looking beyond at the freshly fallen snow. The trees look beautiful, majestically adorned in their shawls of white. As I sip my coffee my eyes reluctantly turn from the window to the perpetual calendar on my desk. I think momentarily of how fast time passes, but I smile as I read today’s inspirational quote :
As white snowflakes fall quietly and thickly on a winter day, answers to prayer will settle down upon you at every step you take…. The story of your life will be the story of prayer and answers to prayer. (Ole Hallesby)
(image courtesy of Google images)
I am reminded by the freshly fallen snow and the pleasantness of a new morning that I am blessed. I have been blessed with many things, but perhaps what I am most grateful for, today, are fresh starts and new beginnings.
I can’t quite explain it, as it is not that a whole lot in my life has changed. I’m still the same me, the same mother, wife, educator, and friend. I have not made any impressive, physical changes (although I would not frown upon becoming incredibly fit overnight!), but I feel changed.
I have often blogged about putting a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, to achieve my goals, to use my time wisely, and to live well. I strive to do those things each and every day. But, sitting here, looking out my window, admiring the new snow, I’ve decided to give myself permission to fall short. I’ve decided (perhaps not for the first time) that while I am a perfectionist at heart, I can be less than perfect (my standard of perfect) and it will be ok.
As many of you will recall, I began a writing challenge, NaNoWriMo, on November 1st. I encouraged you all to challenge yourselves this month as well and to share those challenges with me. I must now confess that I have fallen short with my challenge, dear readers, and unless a small miracle occurs, I will not be able to complete NaNoWriMo by this Saturday. Due to extenuating circumstances, both emotional and physical, I was just not able to write the 50,000 words required to “win” NaNoWriMo. Stresses, Hard Hits and Must Not Quits, the Bittersweet Bite of Reality, and recent illness have each taken their toll on me this month.
That being said, I am off to a great start with what I hope will be an intriguing novel. I am taking the time to recover from some non-literal slaps in the face and to refocus on what truly matters in my life right now. Writing does matter a great deal to me, however, it has to be a part of my life, not a hardened dictator of it (even for a month), at least not right now.
We all need goals and challenges in order to push ourselves to be our best. I truly believe this. But we also need to realize that even if we don’t achieve or finish those goals exactly when we said we would, or exactly how we intended to, they can still be realized. It may take a little longer to get where we want to be and we may not get there in the exact form we originally chose. I’m reminded of the phrase “The journey is the reward” and I think that one sentence sums up how I’m feeling at this moment.
I am on a journey. I don’t know exactly where it is taking me, but I have a destination in mind. I don’t know how I’ll get there or how long it will take, but I will be patient. What I do know is that the story of my life is indeed a story of prayer and of many blessings. I will fall short at times and I may fall over and over again, but when I do fall I will get back up again and welcome a fresh start and a new beginning. There may be a number of fresh starts on this journey of my life and I will try to remember to be grateful for each and every one of them.
I look out the window on the winter wonderland which lies beyond my desk. I will embrace the fact that I am not perfect but I am blessed. Just as the snow begins to fall down again on the world around me, I know that I will move forward, I will set new goals, and my journey will head in the direction it is meant to. A fresh start starts today.