Wake Up. I was struck by these words nearly two years ago. A brief mention of a bible verse during my weekly bible study.
Wake up...and let Christ shine on you. Ephesians 5:14
I wrote it down. I printed off a cute little sign. I put it by my bed. I thought I might change out the verse as others struck me. But I never did. This one just kept speaking to me. And for different reasons at different times. And then I had a journey. Follow me for a bit.
I am expecting. I am sick. I am tired. I am uninspired. I break my foot. I am angry. I am humbled. I am enlightened. I want to change my attitude. I am nesting. I want more. I want to feel alive. I am scared. I pick a word. I keep it secret. I am SO BIG. I fall in love all over again. I am tired, again. I survive. I am energized. I am enlightened, again. I am ready to share. I wake up.
Wake up. My One Little Word® for 2015. (Okay it's two words, but who's counting?) It’s all over the interwebs. But if the idea is new to you, here’s the basic concept as first described by Ali Edwards. Each year you pick a word to “focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon” as you go through your day to day. A life vision if you will. Ooh boy. If you know me well you know I am all about a good theme in my life. This was right up my alley. Between a rough pregnancy, the upcoming challenge of caring for a new little one, and generally feeling uninspired in my life, I was experiencing all of the feels. And by the end of 2014 I was longing for something to re-energize me and inspire me in the next year.
But I also knew 2015 was not going to be the easiest for me. I didn’t want to set up too many expectations for myself when I was about to expend all my energy into the physical needs of an infant and the emotional needs of a toddler. I loved the idea of setting daily creative goals, health goals, and even potential career goals. But woah, Rach. Slow down. Maybe all I should really expect of myself this year was to get out of bed every morning. That was enough for me this year. Just Wake Up.
At first, Wake Up was quite literal. With my first time in the world of postpartum, I felt blindsided by the exhaustion. It was nearly debilitating. But with the second, I had the gift of experience and foresight. This time is rough, but it is brief. Each morning was new, no matter the day or night before. A chance to start again. Drink coffee. Wake up. That is all.
And then slowly, as my head cleared a bit, the fog subsided, the sun crept up a little further over the horizon, Wake Up took on more meaning for me. I decided I wanted more areas of my life to be awakened. I wanted to be awakened to my children, to be present more and celebrate their growth. I wanted to awaken more of a creative habit, in the form of old favorites as well as new creative ventures. And I wanted to reawaken my love, my gift if I am brave enough to admit, of the understanding of child development. Once upon a time in the land of no children, I made a career of supporting families with young children. That life fulfilled me, inspired me. And if this was the year of Wake Up, perhaps I could awaken that part of me as well.
And then there is a new love, one I am a little shy to admit. I love writing. I have blogged for two years now and each time I opened up my computer and pressed publish, I had such a feeling of pride and contentment. But unless you live off the grid, you know the world wide web is not short of bloggers. I was embarrassed to take my writing as a serious venture when the internet is saturated with talented artists who make a true career of what I could only maybe call a hobby.
But Wake Up, I said. Wake Up to the idea that if something brings you joy, something fulfills you, something allows you to shine, then why can’t you take it seriously? I haven’t felt dedicated to my writing lately because I lacked a direction. My day to day of raising two young children should be enough, right? That was my job, at least it is what I would tell my daughter, ever watchful of her parent’s vocation. But maybe the greatest example we can set for our children is caring for ourselves. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to not just Wake Up, but shine.
So here, each morning, with coffee in hand, I will Wake Up, and I hope you will too. Raising will come differently each day. Obviously, I will talk specifically about ways I am raising my children. I hope to raise up others through my ideas and insights. But more specifically, I will talk about what it means to raise up myself. This might be through my creative projects, new passions, and honest discussions. And hopefully through all this we can shine just a little bit more each day.
So let's Raise & Shine. Won’t you join me? Now that you know where it all began, jump right in to my (sorta-kinda-as-often-as-I-can) regular sharing of thoughts on the blog right here!