I’ve never picked a “word of the year” before. I’ve toyed with the idea, but then just never followed through. But towards the end of last year, this one word kept floating around in my head: restore.
RESTORE: My word for 2018
I think of my life in chunks. Usually related to the jobs I’ve held. The past eight-year chunk has been spent in the work of mothering two small boys. As I’m sure most mothers can attest, you pretty much warp-speed through the phases of babyhood, toddlerhood, preschool-ville (which really feels delightfully like its own separate town in the world of motherhood), and on to early elementary years.
Looking back, those many phases seemed to happen so fast, but at the time, it feels infinitely slow. As the song by Beth Nielsen Chapman says, “and i thought about years / how they take so long / and they go so fast /”
As the years have passed, and motherhood has demanded, I’ve let go of many things. Some things I needed to let go of, but others were things I value – like exercise, writing, reading, friendships. In the ebb and flow of motherhood and wiping up spilled milk, and reassuring worried boys in the night… sometimes you just don’t have the time for all you’d like to.
Life sometimes seems to consume itself. I think of this when I read the scripture in Joel 2:25 “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…”
I probably cry every week about my boys growing up. When I see an old video, or Facebook shares one of those “memories.” It’s something I haven’t been able to get over. That they grow up. It feels like locusts just ate up all that precious time.
This past fall, I started our two boys both in school. Like. School – real school. Kindergarten and second grade. SECOND grade!! I can’t pretend my kids are still babies when I have a little fledgling second grader on my hands. A young boy who’s constantly stretching his wings to test if they are ready for flight.
I know I can’t restore those sweet baby and toddler years. You can’t turn the clock back. But I also know, I didn’t always practice the self and soul-care needed to embrace those years with joy and strength the way I’d have liked to. Looking to the next eight-year stretch, I’d like to strengthen myself for these remaining precious years with our boys. And to do that, I must restore.
6 Areas to Restore in 2018
Restore: a verb that means to bring back, reinstate, repair, renovate. Happily, I love action, so an action verb for the year is very fitting for me. Yet, also it’s such a calm and peaceful word. A word that, to me, means both action and rest.
Restoration brings a sense that not all that has happened in the past eight years is wasted. No, not at all. The majority of this motherhood time has been wonderful and exciting. But also draining and depleting, and that is the part that needs restoration. A little repair. As all homeowners know, even the best of houses need caretaking if they’re to continue providing shelter.
Restore the joy of my salvation – I desire my children see my joy in God’s salvation as a testimony that helps them respond to God’s call in their own lives.
Restore my soul – I hope that by developing my passions for writing, crafting, etc. alongside my children, I can guide them to discover and pursue their own passions.
Restore our family health – There are certainly areas we can strengthen in our journey towards more natural living! My husband and I are also striving to restore regular exercise and movement habits for ourselves, as we have active boys who love to be outdoors. Since we became parents later in life, we want to be sure we build up our physical strength so we can enjoy these years in good health.
Restore my vision – For our family’s growth and our homeschool educational plan. I want to have laser focus on what God has for our little family this year!
Restore our children – As we enter this new phase of parenting, where kids are more persistent in testing waters, and their faults become evident, I want to be careful to restore them in that “spirit of meekness” and not an attitude of “parental power” that can be so easy to get into.
Restore our marriage – When children are young, they consume so much of time and energy, leaving very little for our spouse. We’ve tried hard to carve out couple time, but often ended up repurposing that time for the sake of our kids (or our fatigue!). We had already begun last year to build in more “couple time” so we don’t deplete our relationship, and we plan to make 2018 a continuation of that restoration.
Do you need some restoration, some soulful caretaking, in one of these areas of your life? Or a different area?
Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing verses, books, and more thoughts on how I’m using my word for the year to encourage our family onward!
Do you have a word for the year?
Share yours in the comments, and also how you keep this word as the focused inspiration for your days!