The title and topic of my first blog post of the New Year has been penciled on the calendar for the past few weeks. While I’m not always certain where the Spirit is going to lead on any given week, this one was a no-brainer. The plan was to write about my 2018 word of the year and it made perfect sense to kick off my 2018 writing with this post in the lead position.
I’ve had the word ripe in my spirit for the past couple of months. What I didn’t factor in was how this post would need an ample amount of study time before I could say anything remotely articulate about it. It’s not your typical word of the year so I knew that the Lord was requiring me to dig deep and explore what this word means Biblically before slapping it as a label on my entire year without first doing my homework and understanding exactly what it means.
Another thing that I didn’t factor in was that my children would be on Christmas break during the time this studying and writing needed to take place. And, an unexpected extension in our stay at my parent’s house meant that I was faced with studying and writing while surrounded by family, a table full of board games and puzzles, and hours to whittle away.
The tug to do both began to pull me in both directions. I could have easily excused myself from all the activity, found a quiet corner, cranked up the electric blanket, and lost myself in quiet study and reflection. There was no reason why I would not be able to hit “Submit” bright and early on Wednesday morning, my scheduled blog day. My parents would have been happy to watch the kids for me while eagerly waiting to read my post. It would have been a really good decision.
But, was it the best decision?
I stared at those board games for a good twenty minutes while pondering in my heart what I should do. I knew this writing deadline was right around the corner and I didn’t need to waste any time. But, I also knew that I had a few precious remaining hours with my preteen and teenage nieces that I don’t normally get. I also had a day stretched before me to spend with my mom, my dad and my kids.
Which one should I choose? Which one should I sacrifice?
What was good? What was better? What was best?
The question of good, better and best has become a guide for me as I ponder many decisions. I can do lots of good things but are they the best things?
Would writing a weekly blog post be better than playing a game with my nieces who I don’t often see? They are growing like weeds and becoming so mature. I know time with them is both limited and precious. A few hours spent laughing over board games goes deep into our memory banks and knits our hearts together. They may never read a thing I write but they’ll remember the times I spent with them.
Would writing a weekly blog post be better than passing the hours away with my mom? Our time is always rich in conversation – often giving me many nuggets of wisdom – and fills my tank. She’s recently retired so the idea of having downtime with her is super appealing because she has never had much of it.
Would writing a weekly blog post be better than having a day of fun with my children who are in a season of life where they still think mom is pretty cool and want to hang with her?
When analyzing different options, it sometimes becomes very clear what best is. In this case, it was very apparent to me. Picking the best was easy. But, sometimes it’s a bit murky. More than one option seems best. That’s when I lean heavily on Isaiah 30:21:
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
When the decision isn’t clear, I ask the Lord to reveal which way is best. He then guides me to that best choice, and, in the end, I am able to see for myself how it all worked out just as it was supposed to.
In the case this week, best was hunching over a puzzle for 6 hours with my mom. Sometimes we talked rich and deep and long while other moments not a word was spoken for 20 or more minutes straight. The only worry in our world was finding the next matching piece. We slowly combed through each one, over and over, hour after hour, not even stopping for lunch and then again not even for supper. And, it was the best hours of my year so far.
Best was also playing rounds of Ticket to Ride with my nieces and then sitting under warm blankets while they asked me about memories of me and their dads, my brothers.
Best was also setting the laptop down right after I thought it was safe to pick it up because my daughter asked me to teach her how to sew. Back down it went again and for the next hour, I taught her how to thread a needle, make a cross stitch and a running stitch, and stuff the felt fox we made together.
Best was also watching back-to-back episodes of Fixer Upper with my parents, commenting on the décor styles that we liked, laughing at Chip, and laying my head in my mom’s lap while she stroked my hair.
This week, best was not measured in the number of words or pages. It was measured in time and memories.
I spent that entire day picking best. No phone. No messages. No studying. No writing. As a result, I do not have a great post to lead the way in 2018. But, then, again, maybe I do. Maybe the idea of embracing a Good, Better and Best mindset this year is exactly what we need to do in order to keep this year on track and to be intentional in our decision making. Many things beg for our time and attention. Knowing how to filter those decisions may possibly lead to the abundance that we hope and pray will come with the start of this new year.
First, I am a child of God. And, like a child, I am always learning and growing. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. Second, I am a wife to a good man. Missions is his thing while teaching women to love God’s Word is mine. Third, I am a mama to three plus a sweet cockapoo who thinks he’s #4. My children are my ongoing sanctification. Fourth, I am a passionate advocate of all things healthy & natural, an even 50/50 split of introvert/extrovert, and a dreamer/designer. Old friends call me Becky, newer ones call me Rebecca, and the most intimate ones call me Beck. You can just call me friend.