I love to be busy. I love to have a lot of irons in the fire. And it seems when I just can’t cram any more in, I spot another shiny new iron that I just can’t resist and add it to the collection.
What happens sometimes, though, is that the fire gets snuffed out, and I’m left with a lot of heavy things to manage.
I added many new irons in 2016. It might have been a disastrous year for celebrity deaths and election drama, but for me personally, it was a very exciting year full of new adventures and skills. Over Christmas break though, I pulled back a bit and looked at all of those irons and realized that my fire was getting smothered. So as tempting as it is to add a big armful of New Year’s Resolutions to the pile, I’m not going to do that this year.
After some prayer and reflection, I feel like God is telling me to just maintain what I have. That’s not a very appealing sentiment for blog posts or social media, in our novelty-obsessed culture, but I can feel the wisdom in it. Take this blog, for example. What good intentions I had last year! I told several song-stories around the time of my album release and then just got so busy I never went back to it. There was always something more pressing requiring my attention (often one of the humans for which I am responsible, or a ministry commitment). But as a person who self-identifies as a writer, to NOT WRITE is a terrible kind of decay. Well, to be fair, there was plenty of writing happening, just not much of hitting that “publish” button. My desire for things to be perfectly presented paralyzes me from just doing anything sometimes.
So, in the spirit of maintenance, here’s a perfectly imperfect little list of a few irons I added to my fire in 2016:
-parenting 6th and 4th grade girls (never underestimate the emotional bandwidth this will require)
-hosting concerts in my backyard for other artists
-doing music ministry outside of my normal pattern (retreats, funerals, etc.)
-taking a guitar class (fingerpicking)
-traveling more (in 2016: Paris!, road trips. Coming up in 2017: Cabo San Lucas, Amsterdam, Nice, Florida, Chicago, maybe even more)
-mentoring other women
-and of course, writing more songs
Those are some wonderful things worth maintaining. Stoke the fire, keep the irons I have. That’s my resolution for 2017.
What’s your resolution?