I’ve been trying to write a post, getting nowhere with a scribbling about my hundred people, finally deciding to move on and let it cook there. It’s messy, so far, just like me and my hundred people are, I guess. So moving on.
Yes, I do have a word for the year. 2020, is such a nice symmetrical looking number … we should try to have a nicely well-rounded, organized plan of pursuits to match, right? Sure, but not likely in this neck of the woods. We do have a triumph to our credit that I wish to record here.
The attics, garrets and slanted walls of the stone house have been re-insulated. Last year’s ice mantle is no longer possible. The ghastly pillars of ice that enclosed our house from shingles to the ground are gone forever. I looked back at last year’s pictures of the house. Not good, I won’t even show you that picture, again. This is so much better. It’s better on the inside, too. The atmosphere upstairs feels stable, more like “house” instead of like the barn haymow. We have definitely improved our shelter.
But that’s not all the reason I chose “Shelter” for my word this year. And I know that choosing a word is a bit hokey, so I’ll tell you why I do it and you can take it or leave it as you wish. Choosing a word is better for me than a resolution or a list of changes to do in a new year. The word stands for the goals I do have, and encapsulates the expectations we might have, being open to what God is going to do this year in our lives. It helps me to remember that we want to be responsible for what should take place this year.
Two years ago when I chose the word “Together”, we were really struggling to do better in our relationship. There were so many things keeping us apart. Parallel, on the same road, really, but like train tracks, not really converging. We were too preoccupied with each our lives. His job was too far away, and weekends always given to our hundred people, (the average amount of meaningful relationships one can maintain at a time, which I think is far too many … I consistently muddle social obligations even with my smaller quota, but that’s a different scribbling) so the stress drain was ridiculous. We needed to take ourselves in hand and figure out how to be together better. The travel trailer purchase and set up on the woods job came of this. We also needed to learn how to handle stress better. We needed to buck up. To stop blaming our circumstances and other people for our lack of stress management. We did some reconnoitering, in short, and began to give some push back. Mostly, we learned to take better care of our responses to life. Everything is easier when two people decide to be happier and do stuff together as a team. We learned to call each other out on over-booking and on being sloppy with personal habits.
Last year’s word was a continuation. I chose “Stay Tuned” because this really is the key in keeping up with each other. We learned to recognize the signs of a crash coming unless we made effort to avoid it. We still plummet at times in our spirits but we take turns better. And we learned to accept with more alacrity that stress happens, thus we weren’t so caught off our guard. Through, is another great word to adopt. The only way ahead is often through, but with Jesus and our together tools it is not so scary.
Shelter stands for so many things this year. I personally am grateful for God’s promises to shelter us from our enemies. A friend asked me who my enemies are when I was telling her about this. I assured her that I have no people enemies. That fear and anxiety are real enemies to my peace and joy. Most of my fears are based on incomplete truths or just plain lies from the Enemy himself. So I take shelter in God’s promises. These are anxious times for Christians with most churches facing issues, because we are humans living in the last times, and because the Enemy is worried about how short time is. I’m glad that there is a perceivable end to trouble, taking shelter in what’s next, starting now. Everlasting life with Jesus.
Finally, I chose “shelter” because we may, in this year of 2020, transition to living at our cabin more than before. So much needs to be done there before it is actually livable but finally it seems to be getting closer. Will I post in a year how that all happened? Or will I be explaining again why it didn’t? Who knows, but for sure we will be working on our earthly shelters. There’s so much finish work to do. We never know what’s ahead, but we can always live under the shadow of His wings, the safest shelter ever.