Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Like a lot of people, the week between Christmas and New Years is full of reflection on the year that has gone by. A friend of mine posted a link to something called Year Compass which I have started to work through, just to help me focus (check it out here).
The first exercise to do is to review every week of your calendar and write down anything important and/or significant that happened. I looked at my calendar for January, February and March and there was literally nothing written on it! I checked the calendar on my phone and there were a couple of things - telephone dates with friends and Mike’s work schedule, but that was it. I compared this to my calendar from those same months in 2020, just before Covid hit home, and I had a sick feeling - I do not ever want to go back to a calendar that is that full.
Not finding what I wanted on my calendars, I looked at my journal and that told me a different story. It might not have looked like I was doing much on my calendar, but I was engaged in a lot of personal growth and change. I also had two kids at home doing school online, and like everyone else, living with Covid restrictions, so there was some grumbling about that too.
One of the prayers I repeated often over the past year, written by Reinhold Niebuhr, was this:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
I’m sure that’s familiar to you. But, have you ever read the rest?
"Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will, so I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You, forever, in the next. Amen."
I spent a lot of time in those first three months watching the birds at my bird feeder. I watched them every day, flittering and fluttering about, eating, coming and going. I wrote this in my journal about them, “How boring it must be to be a bird. Actually no, it must be so nice to be a bird! They don’t question what they are to do or be…”
I think the number one thing that happened in 2021 wasn’t something I did, but rather, something I learned. I learned how to be. And not just because we were in lockdown and forced into it, no, even as the world started to open up again, I actively chose to continue to be and not get sucked back into busyness, to not get wrapped up in other people’s ideas of what I should or shouldn’t be doing, their expectations or demands. I left that behind in 2020.
I am happy with what I accomplished this year through The Butterfly Project. It has been and continues to be a journey of healing for my family. Through sharing our experiences and the things we have learned and are learning, we have been able to connect with people all across Canada and have even had a few guests to our property. We hosted our first campers last summer which was a blast and I hope to do it again!
Oh, and I finished my Masters.
We started raising chickens and ducks this year and so far, we have given away over 50 dozen eggs. I have lost count of how many small works of art I have sent out in the mail to friends, but I know I have sent out over 80 handmade cards as thank you’s to those who have generously supported this year of my apprenticeship through New Ventures. This has also helped me to develop a studio practice and has awoken some new ideas for the year ahead.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as a pathway to peace, taking this world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that God will make all things right, in His way and in His time, is freedom. We are free to be.
I pray for freedom for all of us in 2022. For justice and peace, provision and presence, joy and hope, health and healing. Amen.
Thank you so much for being with me on this journey. I really can’t express the gratitude I have for your support! I am taking time over the next few weeks to think about new ways I can thank you for your donations, in the meantime, if you were thinking about making an end-of-year donation to maximize your charitable tax benefits, I would be very grateful if you would consider helping The Butterfly Project have a strong financial start to the new year. As a thank you, you will be the first to know about the new things I’m working on in the new year. Click here to make a donation. Thank you so much! Happy New Year!