I’ve always been someone who likes to make goals or challenges for weeks, months, seasons, or even years at a time. I love the feeling of progress and improvement. I’m a planner and organizer. It’s who I have been, especially the last 10-15 years.
But this year is the most unclear year I’ve experienced to date. When I look ahead into any given year, it’s easy to make goals because I have some idea how the year is going to go. Some of the rhythms are still there, but for the most part, I don’t know where this year’s path will take me. This makes it difficult for me to plan in measurable steps, so this year, I’m embracing a word.
Dictionary.com’s definition of anticipation is:
I’ve boiled these down to this: Anticipation is looking into the unknown with a joyful hope to see what God will do next.
Obviously, the big anticipation of this year is my pregnancy. It’s scary and exciting and curious to see what God will do throughout this pregnancy. He has already done so many things. So many conversations and connections have been made with old friends and new ones. Yet, it is all still unknown, leaving me in a state of anticipation.
I also anticipate other aspects of my life to become clearer. I have been given a couple of opportunities in the last few months as possible future career options. There are so many possibilities and paths I could take. While I couldn’t possibly do all of them, I anticipate that timing will play a big part of it. And it’s a timing that I can’t see yet in my future. There’s nothing to do right now but wait…and anticipate that with God’s guidance, things will be revealed in their own time.
But anticipation isn’t just for the big unknowns in my life. Anticipation can be looking forward to the more familiar, smaller events, even if it’s not completely clear how exactly things will go.
For example, in the month of January, I anticipate a slower, quieter rhythm. Michael starts his busy season soon, which will bring long hours and possible travel. We are hoping that the travel and long hours aren’t as much as they have been in year’s past, but we will have to see.
Some fun things I anticipate in January are cooler weather temps, comfort foods, cozy sweaters, and snuggles with the pups. Being in Texas, these can also be unknowns. I’ve seen snow follow a heat spell before. But I would love to have one good snow, just to see how Teddy reacts to it.
I know that because January tends to be slower and quieter, it can be a great reminder and opportunity to take advantage of this time by spending it with God. The busyness of the year will come soon enough, and prayer time and devotionals will eventually feel rushed and harried. But in this month, I can anticipate and appreciate the intentional stillness with God.
Anticipation is nothing without keeping my eyes on God. As this year continues, I hope to keep looking for the movements of God in my life and in the lives around me. To anticipate his presence in all aspects of my life and help me walk through the unknowns set before me.
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