I'm Flourishing This Year!
It's that time again to pick a word of the year. Surprisingly, God didn't reveal it to me until a couple of weeks ago. Usually by Thanksgiving I've found it. Not so for 2023. But how could I have missed it? ‘Flourish’ is in the title of my latest non-fiction WIP: No Need to Guild the Lily: Flourishing in Your Silver Years and Beyond with Confidence & Joy.
If I'm going to write about flourishing then I should be flourishing, too, right? I need to be an example. But honestly, that's not what prompted me to choose this word for 2023. No, it was something else.
This past year, we sold our home of 30 years. But, unlike most who move directly to their new home, our townhome on the southern coast of North Carolina won't be completed until September 23rd, 2023 (I like the way that looks on the page.) In between times, we have moved 11 times, living with friends, family, traveling, and volunteering at camp and a non-profit missionary home. In each place, I have had to reorient my sense of space and place, learning to make myself at home. It's been a challenge, but believe it or not, and enjoyable one!
Remember the phrase, Bloom Where You Are Planted? Flourish is another word for bloom. And so is:
In any soil. In every circumstance. No matter what.
Now, it takes on a different meaning. . .
Bloom Where I am Planted
Even while waiting for a table at a breakfast cafe, I try to make the best of the situation instead of being impatient.
This is our current apartment where we volunteer as co-managers. I tried to make our temporary lodging as comfy as possible, even though we had very little choice in furniture and decor.
Each place we stayed I found a special mug to use for my coffee each morning. The variety was inspiring!
And how can you beat this view from a white wooden law chair where I read my Bible and prayed each morning while volunteering at Conference Point Camp? Each of the locations offered a tiny piece of joy during my stay. Each place taught me to flourish where I was planted. And God helped me to bloom.
Have you faced a time when you were offered a choice to flourish or whither? Tell me how you learned to grown in the comments below. And Happy New Year to all my readers!
After a year of surrendering my will for God's (I can honestly say I was not 100% successful), I've moved on to REST in 2022. Since God is the one who knows and loves me best, if I truly trust Him, I can REST in the events He allows into my life. I’m slowing down, taking things easier. Moving into my silver years, I find (being a visual learner) that too much visual clutter stresses me out. A clean desk, a made-up bed, toiletries in order beside the bathroom sink help me to stay calm and breathe more peacefully.
Since we plan to move in the fall, I am decluttering in warp speed. As our Christmas decorations were carefully boxed up, I determined which things I would not take to our costal home. They went into a separate box awaiting our summer estate sale. The same goes for scrapbooking supplies, photos and thank you cards from friends who have enjoyed our hospitality. Keep what I know I will use, and let go of things I will not. I feel lighter, and somehow, more joyful. Marie Kondo was right!
Applying REST to my Writing World
I have cut down my emails, unsubscribing from anything that does not serve my focus this year: Memoir. You won't find me on social media as often, but you will see me reading at my bedside or in a corner of our Victorian sitting room, and less running around on shopping errands. But when I am out and about, you can be sure I'm taking in every word of an audiobook. No wasted time.
I make do with what I have: no more clothing sitting in my closet unworn, no new appliances (unless one breaks down) or unwanted clutter on my counter. How does this apply to my writing world, you ask? Well, the more I own, the more I have to care for, and that caring can distract from my career—less time to write and reflect.
Our potential move to the Southeast coast forces me to declutter, for which I am grateful. No more tchotchkes and lace doilies. No more tables with extenders. And heavy Victorian curtains are out. In comes the coastal look—fresh, light and airy.
As I get older, noise stresses me. I want quiet. Peace. REST. I look forward to the beach and its soothing motion and refreshing breezes. I've purchased a stunning sterling silver bracelet with serene blue beads to remind me of my goal in 2022. And, a bonus: it's a coastal color!
What is your word for 2022? Do you have a new focus this year? I'd love to hear what it is. Let me know in the comments below. I want to celebrate with you! Let's all determine to rest in God’s love and delight in His love letter to us: the Bible. They are soothing, insightful, living words for our hearts.
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.