Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plow Monday (on a Wednesday)

Last week the New Year found me still struggling to know how to think about the new year, unsure of what to name the year, still waiting and looking.  And so I gave myself until Plough Monday, the traditional start of the agricultural year, to regain my focus and determine my intentions for the year.  

It was difficult to find the right word for the themes that were running through my head about this year, until it finally occurred to me: Plow.  The idea of a farmer plowing his field is the perfect metaphor for my goals this year:

-at it's most basic, plowing is about moving ahead, do the next thing.  Perseverance.  It is very likely that taking up my plow each day this year will include many ordinary days made up of the basic, ordinary work at hand.  I want to do my work faithfully and without complaining.

-plowing is related to seasons, and one of the things I am learning this year is the Church year and liturgical seasons.   I want to pay attention to my own rhythms and seasons, to live in balance.

-plowing a monotonous, laborious task, but it's essence is in the miraculous: sowing dead seeds and cultivating miraculous life.  I want to notice the holy in the ordinary, the miracles everywhere.

-I hope to faithfully seek to cultivate the hearts and minds of my children to help them become the most alive and healthy little people.  (Spiritually, educationally, emotionally, etc.)

-Plowing is to dig, to look and live beneath the surface.

-To plow is to remove rocks- I want to avoid wasting time, and avoid anything that robs rather than gives life this year.  I am cutting back on facebook and other things that take more life out of me than they give back.  

-Plow deep trust in my God, wait in hope and expectation, looking always to the giver of Life.

- Plowing makes good use of boundaries, I need to keep margins in my life; to know when to say yes and when to say no.

-plowing is deliberate, and unhurried.  This year I want to work on being fully present, not rushing, not attempting to multitask every minute of the day.

-Along with plowing there is the quiet waiting.  I want to cultivate quiet this year.

- Plowing may not appear as risky, and yet what you choose to give your life and time to is your greatest risk.  I am reevaluating all areas of my life to be sure that I am sowing the seeds that I most want to produce, that the soil of my heart is prepared to receive God's word, that the paths I am walking in are leading me to where I want to go.

-Ploughing requires vision.  There is nothing before you but bare earth, but a farmer knows what that dirt is capable of.  I hope to look for the impossible possibilities before me, and give my life to that vision.

A farmer sets out into his fields with intention, faith, and imagination.  I hope this year to grow in all of these ways.


ShortyRobs said...

Oh Jess, how you have a way with words- words that evoke great mind-pictures and emotion. What an awesome way to state your "resolutions" / goals for the year! I especially love "noticing the holy in the ordinary." How often we forget to do so. Thanks, as always, for sharing your heart!

Darcee said...

I am inspired! You are great at turning ideas into beautiful pictures!