2013: One Life

This year I will live One Life.

I will stop thinking that I need to perfectly and simultaneously save the world, be a great wife, a super-mum, write like a pro, be Mother Theresa, maintain an immaculate house, lead a ministry, be Nigella in the kitchen.

Many of these are components of my life. They compete for my time, energy and effort. And I can’t do each and all of them 100% perfectly for 100% of the time. Because to do all these things to the standard I desire I would need at least four lives.

And I have just One Life.

It’s a bit like stepping-stones. I start to put my weight fully down on one “stone”  and I suddenly realise as I begin to put my weight down that I then can’t fully step on another different “stone”. The danger is that I sit on the river bank with a whole heap of dreams and expectations and don’t take any steps because I don’t want to forgo anything. And in not wanting to lose anything I gain nothing.

I’ve been given One Life.

And that life has seasons. Seasons where I’m called to more fully step on two or three of the stones, and more lightly tread on the others as I dance across the river.

I’ve been given One Life to live in the best possible way. One Life to live in the way that honours God. One Life to love God, love my family, my neighbours, my friends, the people He’s put right in front of me. One Life to use the gifts that He’s given me. One Life to take the opportunities that He gives.

And so it’s enough.

So in 2013 I’m waving goodbye to guilt. Goodbye to fear. Goodbye to striving.  Goodbye to comparison. Goodbye to trying to impress others.

And I’m saying hello to One Life. The life that I’m called to live. It’s not the same as yours, and yours isn’t the same as mine.

These last few days I’ve been asking God what the primary things are that He’s calling me to live in my One Life of 2013.  I have a good idea what they are, and I’m taking the first steps with support, encouragement and challenge from those around me.

What does your One Life look like this year?

with love for an amazing 2013,  Anna

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10 thoughts on “2013: One Life

  1. Hi Anna, I had the privilege of meeting Rich when he was in Australia. What a Blast that weekend was and what an encouragement he was to us! I wish you all a wonderful year – hope it’s as good for you as last year was for me, though it started off with me getting a phone call in the very early hours of 3rd Jan while we were on hol in New Zealand to tell me one of my grandsons had broken his neck when diving into surf at North Cottesloe beach. I couldn’t sleep so texted all my TOM friends in Aus asking them to pray. Next morning after speaking (and crying) to/with my daughter I felt a strong sense of peace…that whatever ensued Carl would be all right. When we got back to Aus I told him that and he said he felt the same. He is not a Christian. From having no movement apart from being able to move his head, and concern about his being able to breathe on his own, he can now move his arms, operate an electric wheel chair, his mobile ph and computer and has a little feeling in his feet and back. He turned 18 in Nov and is going out and about with friends and nurses from the quad centre where he lives. Most importantly he has a positive attitude. He also has a part time job doing research for the quad centre. He is now doing things which he never would have dreamed of before the accident. One of the really good outcomes for me is that the family (my daughter, her husband, Hannah aged 9, Kai aged 6 and twins Ginta and Yuki aged 4) have all moved here from Japan. As well as all that I had a 70th birthday celebration with all my family and many friends from church, then began working in Prison Fellowship office as well as being verger at St Philips. My life is full and wonderful!!! I love your blogs and just felt today I had to contact you direct. I hope you don’t find this an imposition on your time. I relate we’ll to many of your blogs as I have 5 children – all grown up and married – and 16 grandchildren. I pray for them all as most of them are not Christians. Please give my best wishes to Rich, Bless you and your family, Cathy

    Sent from my iPad

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  2. Cathy,
    So lovely to hear from you, and to hear more of your story. I often wonder who’s reading the blog so I’m really pleased that you’ve written. You sound like an amazing lady, living life to the full! Looks like you’ve had quite an eventful year. I hope 2013 brings lots of joy, peace, and love for you and all your family. Thank you for taking the time to write, and to encourage me – I appreciate it.
    with love from us all here,
    Anna

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  3. Anna,
    Great post!
    Reminds me of Proverbs 31 and my previous attempts to constantly do all the things mentioned in one week, until someone older and wiser pointed out this was over the course of her life! Harder to walk out though…think you should re post your reflections on how this goes in the next few months? I’m definately interested! Lots of love…

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    • Thanks Sarah. Yes, I agree this is harder to walk out in reality – a re-post on reflections is a great idea. (I did a similar thing when I wrote a post called Going Dark reflecting on internet/social media usage and then a later one called Going Dark: Revisited. It was a helpful process for me, and hopefully for others, to process how it had all worked out in reality.)
      Rich and I spent quite a while chatting through how I would live out this stuff, which included narrowing my key priorities down for this season, a timetable of how the portions of my week (morning/afternoon/evening) will be allocated (with some flexibility), some prayer with an older, wiser couple to break some of the fear, striving etc that I mentioned might stop me from doing this, and getting those to whom I’m accountable to nail me on it too!! Maybe some people can live this stuff out without making plans but for me it will never move past inspirational thinking without a plan and accountability in place! I’ll let you know how it goes!
      love to you all

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      • Anna,
        Thanks for the post and for the outline thoughts on how you have started this – really helpful to get my brain past the “sounds great, but how” phase!

        The original post really struck a chord, so I too have asked our newly-formed prayer and accountability group to help me to discern and follow God’s One-life for me. I pray we will bring more of God to the world as we do!

        Nicola

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  4. I love this: it is really freeing and so full of wisdom. It reminded me of once when I heard someone ask Marjorie how she juggled everything and she said first of all that if anyone knew how to do it could they please tell her, but also that what helped her was remembering that to God her life was ‘all one’. For me 2013 is looking like a year of increasing instability around the world and I see embracing hope, real hope that is rooted in the resurrection, as a way of holding everything together.

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