As I enter this NEW YEAR, what do I want to be NEW in my life and the world I impact? There are things we cannot control but, at the same time, there are many things we do have control over. There are choices we can make. I ask you to stop and think about what you can choose to do or have this year… Then make your list of New Things for 2021, or maybe refresh some old things and bring them into a New Year.
MY LIST OF NEW THINGS FOR 2021:
Let 2021 be an AMAZING year for you! Be AMAZED and EXPECTANT at the NEW that will arise in this year and in your life. It’s time to focus on the LIGHT and not the darkness. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Here is a video to help you take 2 minutes to calm your mind and your body so you can reflect and hear your heart.
I don’t know if you have noticed but 2020 has had some pretty massive storms blowing through this year. The winds have been of hurricane force, destructive, picking up even the strongest of institutions, beliefs, way of life, etc. and moving these all around…rearranging things we never thought could be rearranged. It reminds me of the idea that “everything that can be shaken will be shaken.” All of this has brought an opportunity to examine the construction of our lives. What is our life built on? What kind of materials have I used in the construction of my beliefs, my vision, my security, my purpose, etc.? When our comfort gets shaken, our sense of security gets shaken. But the bigger question is…is the roof—that source of covering and protection we have placed over our lives—being ripped off by the force of the winds? Is the roof securely anchored or is it able to be blown away?
I would encourage us to think about our lives in this manner: “Am I hurricane-proof?”
As I reflect on my 2020 and my life, there are some take-a-ways that I have as 2020 is coming to a close…
What are your reflections about your life in 2020 as we come to the close of this memorable year in the history of mankind? Let's finish this year as some would say: “Make it count!”
It has been a while since I have journaled on our journey of life in SE Asia. As we settled into life as expatriates, routines began to emerge. Since 2016, one of our routines was summer visits to the States, then back to life in SE Asia. Well…this summer brought a new turn in events…a curve ball thrown into our routine. In light of this, I would say, it is a good time to share again about our journey. I would also say that at this point, this journey, since 2014, has been learning to live life “Not Normal” or living life in a “New Normal”.
At this point in our journey we have extended our “summer” visit into the beautiful fall season, and are now headed into the holidays as well. This has been an extended and unexpected time in the States for us. It has come with its challenges AND its blessings. I want to share a couple things that I am in the midst of learning and re-learning as we maneuver through this season.
First, it’s been learning to live in a paused state of life. Paused in the sense that there are projects and vision put on a low simmer, waiting for the time when we can we return to Asia. And it certainly is a paused state of life because I am living without roots. My home (apartment) is in Asia, so I float from living space to living space while in the States…basically living out of suitcases and a storage unit. As I think of “roots” I first think about being rooted in a solid substance like a plant in soil. Then my mind changes as I remember that there are some beautiful ivy plants in my apartment in SE Asia that are “rooted” in water. They are not in the solid substance of dirt. They are in a liquid, not solid. AND they survive and thrive in that condition. So it makes me stop and realize…maybe my current state of life is not rooted in a solid substance like dirt BUT my life is rooted in a life-giving substance that brings beauty and causes me to thrive.
The second lesson I would share is the art of “re-framing” or seeing the beauty that surrounds me. I could get caught up in all that is wrong. I could get depressed by the barriers that seem to loom in our path. I could focus on the frustrations of not being able to plan ahead (oh my!!!). And if I chose any of these options, I would miss the beauty of this journey. I am so aware that this is a special place in time. I will not pass this way again. In some respects, I don’t know what tomorrow will hold, but I do what is before me today. Today, I can see the beauty of the changing season. Today, I can take the time to see, touch, and be in the company of my sons and many friends that I have in the States. Today, I can enjoy a fire in the fireplace at Cracker Barrel (a favorite eating spot for us). Today, I can enjoy the scenery that is in this part of the journey and be thankful. So why not enjoy the journey? Why not make delicious lemonade out of the lemons? And in the midst of this, I am developing new skills, greater flexibility, and keeping those brain cells firing because of the frequent adjustments that I have to engage in.
So…this expat life and this journey in SE Asia…is it still worth it? I would say YES! Is it always comfortable? I would say NO! Is it necessary? Again I would say YES!
Please take some time to enjoy the pictures of our journey in the last month or 2 as we have enjoyed the journey and made lemonade.
Cindy writes about her adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. She and John live in SE Asia. She will also share nuggets from her 58 plus years of life.