Sometimes when I think about my life I tend to focus more on what I have not done rather than what I have done. As I think, dream and pray about this ongoing adventure of my life I have to stop myself from living in the past. Though it is often repeated, this quote from Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me to look ahead: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”
In January I often spend time focusing on what I want to happen in the upcoming year. Really, I start ruminating about it in December and then really try to fine tune things in January. This year is no different except I have been taking more time to set the goals for the year and beyond. In the middle of the month I will have two days of solitude; this will be my time to focus and fine tune. I will be “going on retreat” with the book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat by Br. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. (You can read my review here.)
Main areas of focus include my health, spiritual life, professional life, and personal relationships. There are also many home projects to accomplish but those are not a primary focus. I think the biggest thing I’d like to change is to learn to take care of myself and not feel guilty that I do. Certainly that message that moms do not take care of themselves needs to get out of my brain, especially since I have no one at home that really needs much care from me anyway!
I keep coming back to a desire to dream again, to see a future. In Proverbs we are told “Where there is no vision the people will get out of hand” (29:18a, NJB). I think in some ways I have gotten out of hand. I allowed myself to become less than the person I know God calls me to be. And maybe in some way, large or small you have done the same. Let our challenge then be listen and respond to God instead of others so that we are who we are meant to be.
Copyright 2013 Deanna Bartalini
About the Author
Deanna G. Bartalini, M.Ed.; M.P.A., is a certified spiritual director, writer, speaker and content creator. She is the founder of the LiveNotLukewarm.com online community, a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith through live, interactive faith studies. Her weekly Not Lukewarm Podcast gives you tips and tools to live out your faith in your daily life.