Leaving some on the ground.


I’ve always been hesitant to reflect and dream as a year turns over. I’ve never stretched myself to think big picture into the future, because it is not naturally easy for me. I’ve never forgiven myself for little details missed in the past, because it is naturally easy for me. Two years ago, I did a little series on the blog about finding resolutions along the way. Last year, I made decisions based on one word, a word about which I never wrote or spoke. I wanted to operate out of a place of leverage, a place where I paused to weigh the pros and cons of every aspect of my life. Is this life-giving for all involved? Did He call me to it? Will saying yes or no help or hurt my family? It helped keep me focused and on-task most of the time; but more importantly, I think it prepared me for this year.

This is the year I dream big. This is the year where I let the Lord stir things in my heart out loud, where I write things down and say them out loud. Lara Casey’s Powersheets forced me to go big or go home, and Whitney English’s planner helped me take those big ideas and bite into them day by day. I don’t know how you visionaries do it. Living like this is a bit exhausting, but in the most exhilarating of ways. I’m only two weeks into the year and I feel fulfilled, organized, and peaceful. It’s okay if I don’t get it all done this year. I’m just learning to dream and walk in obedience.

So I sat down to these tools a few weeks back, and I went for it. I filled in mad-libs and circles and boxes. I made lists and crossed things off like a madwoman. I’m a rule-follower, and these resources are structured in the most perfect of ways. Not too hard, not too soft. Anyway, I was soaking it all up like a sponge when it hit me. I didn’t have a word. I didn’t have a phrase. Heck, I didn’t even have a 140-character spiel or an elevator pitch. I knew it wasn’t necessarily mandatory, but I really wanted to ball all of this stuff into my hands and take it to-go. I wanted a way to carry it with me forever and always, beyond the notebooks.

I let it simmer and continued about my business, until I heard this series and learned about the law of gleaning. When the Israelites were freed of slavery in Egypt and established as their own nation, the idea of margin was build into their infrastructure. They were instructed to leave behind the crops they didn’t get to during harvest time. When the sun went down, they went home. They didn’t harvest all the way to the edge of their fields. If a few grapes were dropped during picking process, nobody stopped to retrieve them. In an economy where people literally only ate if they worked, folks took an entire day off each week. They knew a thing or two about limits. They also knew a thing or two about faith.

So that’s my word for 2014. Grapes. Because I’m going to leave a few on the ground this year, and I’m going to let Him fill in where I fall short.