I know my year will involve a lot of soccer, in addition to a graduation and hopefully the start of college for Juan. I hope to take Juan on a special trip this summer, either back to Colombia to see his best friend, to Argentina to see his brother, or to Spain to reunite with his sister. Who knows if any of those will happen or will even be financially possible, but it can't hurt to hope and dream that one of them will come to fruition.
I am hoping both boys will be able to attend camp this summer together (David's first year for high school camp, Juan's last), in addition to possibly a mission trip, but we'll just have to see.
My goal this year, which leads to my word for 2017, is to regain a clear FOCUS. I'm tired of living life so scattered. I have done quite a bit of evaluating and reflecting over the last year, trying to figure out how to avoid burnout and find more enjoyment in every day life. As I've stated in earlier posts, I'm "decluttering". Not so much in my house and my classroom (although I've done a bit of that, too), but moreso with all the activity that can tend to clutter my day, my mind, and my soul. Learning to listen to God's wisdom regarding what to say no to and what to say yes to.
I'm currently reading a book called Quiet, by Susan Cain, which is an insightful read over the differences between extroversion and introversion. I highly recommend it, though it's a long read. This quote spoke volumes to me and helped me to realize why I've struggled more to keep up with my own life this particular year:
I am an introvert. I love people, but only a few at a time. I am more relational than I am social, and teaching Pre-K and trying to build a platform as an author have both forced me into a role that I'm not comfortable in. It doesn't mean I can't handle them, it just means I need to invest more time to recharge and restore myself in quiet and solitude than I used to need.
In order to find more clarity in life, I need to first FOCUS on who I am so I can take care of myself. I cannot healthily take care of my family, my students, my ministries, or even my readers until I focus on myself. It almost seems a bit selfish, but I get it now.
I've written more on this blog in the last two weeks than I've written in probably the last six months, and it feels great! I love to write, and I am already finding ways to clear space on my calendar so I can take more time to write. With school starting in two days, these daily posts will obviously come to a screeching halt, but I hope to write at least once or twice a week throughout the rest of the semester.
Happy New Year, and may 2017 help you find more clarity and purpose for this life we are given each day. May you also find a clearer FOCUS so you don't miss all the little gifts and treasures God gives you along the way.