Thirty-two days into the new year and I have come to realize that beingspontaneous may not be a bad thing. Just because you plan everything outdoesn’t mean it’ll come to pass. Take the first thirty-one days of 2019.

Most of you know the journey that 2018 was. There was a lot of doctorvisits, Urgent Care and ER stints, a couple stays in the hospital. There was alot of missed work. A lot of budgeting and rebudgeting. A lot of prayers andasking for prayers. There were sleepless nights and nights spent on the rocker. There were so many tears, doubts, uncertainties. Had it not been for my faith a rough year could have been a bad one.

I entered 2019 determined to have a year that did not come close to mimicking my last. In the first thirty-one days we’ve played the same game:battling sickness wreaking havoc in my home. There was a moment *cough* yesterday *cough* where I was about to lose my mind. And then someonereminded me that sometimes it’s not all about my dreams it’s about the person I become on my way to that dream.

#truth.

It was a rough January but in my first 2019 chapter I’ve begun a new journey in the foster care world. I celebrated 15 years of marriage. We celebrated our little guy’s one year coming home. I’ve adventured out of my comfort zone by a lot and even made friends doing it! It wasn’t about the challenges or the fact that I felt like I wasn’t where I should be on my vision board. It was really about learning who I am through it all.  It was about who God wants me to become and becoming that person in the face of all the adversity life loves to throw. The last month was about remembering to be on my knees and asking, “Lord, is this You?” And, as I did that, even as I struggled, God opened doors, windows, latches. It was about facing my setbacks and making sure I wasn’t all about jumping out into unknown territory without being prayed up – or at least semi-prayed up.

Side note: being semi-prayed up is better than nothing y’all. I tend to jump without guidance when it’s what I want to do. Lots of times I jump a little to early. I’ve gotten in the habit to pray (even if it’s a, Lord, um, I uh,well I took a step but suddenly I’m feeling it’s not You. Did I jump to soon or was I not supposed to jump?) I also have gotten in the habit to ask my friends who stand beside me in prayer to pray God’s perfect will be done over my family’s life.

I never told anyone this but a few years ago before anger and resentment set in I had prayed, “God, why not me?” And no, this wasn’t about any specific thing. It was about all the things. It was about being happy, being blessed, being satisfied. I’ve lived with His response on the back burner for years: Become a life cultivated in prayer. I never understood it. But, I’m beginning to now. I can’t become the person God has intended me to be without being in constant prayer for my life, my family’s life, my friends, our pastor, the world around us. I cannot grow in faith without talking to God. I can’t speak life into others without God first speaking life into me.

In 1999 I asked God to come into my life. Twenty years later I’m finally getting it. I’m finally realizing why the Israelites went around the same mountain for forty years. I’m realizing why God didn’t help me resurrect Hummingbird House. I’m realizing why God let me run from Hawaii into the snowy lands of Boise. I’m realizing now why God put people in my life these last few years to teach me who I am and who I am not.

January is over. A stop on my vision board (and yes, if you’re wondering I really do have a vision board) to a year filled with God’s amazing grace, even if it isn’t actually on my vision board. It’s there between the trip to Texas. There between the trials of fostering. Even there between my well planned out calendar. I may not see it but, it’s there. January was proof that becoming me meant holding on to God’s hand as I stumbled like a giraffe to make it through the month and receiving God’s grace all the while. I can’t think of any better way to become a better person than that.

For the love of self, I’ve learned to become who I need to be I simply need to cultivate a life of prayer.