Contentment 2022

Looking forward into a new year, I think a lesson I’ve been learning is to lower my expectations and increase my personal effort. While 2021 may not have gone as any of us expected, what year ever has? There may have been some more universally felt differences, but maybe that doesn’t have to be a negative reflection. Maybe our shared experience of unmet expectations can bring us together and allow space for us to understand each other better. While our personal experiences with the pandemic vary, we have all gone through it. We have all felt its pressure and been limited by it in some fashion, so let us allow those similarities to open up dialogue to move forward together, stronger and safer.

So when I think about my expectations for 2022, they are seemingly low compared to previous years. But also they serve higher purposes. So maybe experiencing the past two years have done even more good in my overall life than more “normal” years had done in the past.

One thing that is not changing, however, is the selection of a focal verse for the year. Each year I choose a verse that highlights an area I would like to consciously work on throughout the year. I have more recently started adding a focal word for the year. This year I wasn’t feeling led in one direction or another so I waited for the Lord to grab my attention (like He always does). This past week, my pastor’s wife posted a verse with an encouragement and I knew that was my direction for 2022.

My focal word for 2022: Contentment

My focal verse for 2022: Psalm 16:5-6

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

When we began the adoption process, we were hopeful that maybe by the end of the year (2021) we would be traveling to being home our daughter. We knew we were beginning the process during a pandemic and that timelines were delayed, but we remained hopeful that adjustments would happen and our process would continue. As we enter 2022 with no indication that international adoption travel to China will open anytime soon, we rest in the boundary lines the Lord has established for us. He is our portion and He overflows our cups with His faithfulness. He guided us to adoption and He knows the path we must journey to complete this process. Within His will is a pleasant place to be and we know that He has such a great reward for us at the end, whether this year or next year or in ten years! We may not know why our boundary lines have fallen here, but we can tend to the lot our Lord had provided for us until He says it is time we will reap the harvest.

Truly, the full chapter of Psalm 16 is so comforting during this season, but a few of the surrounding verses truly speak to my heart during this adoption process:

“Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You… The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure… You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:1-2, 5-9, 11

While my expectations for the overall year are lowered, I also know I need to hold myself accountable with my own time and effort. So here are a few soft goals for this year.

  1. Spend purposeful time with the Lord daily. The past two years I have completed annual Bible reading plans, first historically chronologically and second cover to cover. I recommend both of these methods, but also need a slower paced schedule to dive deeper into the truths of the Word and the personal application in my life. For Christmas I received a journaling Bible, which I will use to journal some thoughts to our future daughter in the hopes that I will pass it on to her someday as a record of this season of waiting.
  2. Prioritize health, both fitness and diet. I am lazy and each year that causes more and more health issues. I do not have specific goals in mind, but want to prioritize moving my body every day and making better food choices. I won’t lie and say that the tightening of my clothes holds no weight in this goal, but more importantly, I want to enjoy spending time with my boys which often requires physical exertion. As we prepare to bring home our Little Girl, I also know I need to step up my game in order to meet her needs. 
  3. Read and write more. My “To Read” stack continues to grow and there are a few favorites I want to re-read. I also hope to prioritize writing: professionally, for my own blog, and personal journaling. This will require better time management and will hopefully train me to put down my phone and stop the mindless scroll more often.
  4. Learn new things in the kitchen! I received an instant pot for Christmas and am so excited to add those meals into our rotation (once I figure out how to use it!), but also hope to try other varieties of cooking and baking for fun (and also allow my boys to help, which means loosening my controlling grip on that spatula just a little!).
  5. Be more available to real people. My family, my friends, my church, my community. Being with others is a privilege, not a chore. Sometimes I can become so selfish with my time and I want to get in the habit of saying “yes”, not in a way that overworks me but in a way that prioritizes real people and real relationships. 

So there you have it! My focal word and verse and a few extra goals for my 2022. I am pretty sure these goals are the basis of the past few years worth of goals/resolutions, but there is still so much work to be done! I am so thankful for each day the Lord gives me to learn to steward His time better and to grow in His wisdom and knowledge and truth.

Oh, bonus goal: spend less! Anyone else have an online shopping issue during this pandemic? Now that we’re entering into year three, I figure it’s time to stop THAT particular scroll. One thing I did when we began our adoption process: when I wanted to make a frivolous purchase I would move that amount to our savings account and notate it on our adoption spreadsheet. So there were items that said “$20 Target clothes” or “$30 new shoes” and it was so encouraging to see that money going to a much more worthwhile effort than new clothes I did not need. Sometimes there is a need for new clothes and sometimes it’s ok to splurge and enjoy something for yourself… but I might have gone a little overboard last year and it is time to nip that habit in the bud!

Leave a Reply