Blank Slates and 10 Ways to Begin YOUR 2018

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There’s just something about a blank slate chalk board.

Imagery of my early days in elementary school comes to mind and that giant, green, wood-framed chalk board that expanded the full length of an entire wall.

The teacher’s desk was usually situated right in front of the massive chalk board wall.

Other than the date and morning “Bell Work” assignments that we were expected to do for the first 15 minutes of the day, the ginormous slate wall was one massive blank canvas.

Whatever problems and assignments were written the day before, had been erased and washed away. It was a new day. One with new lessons to be learned, new problems to solve, and new assignments to be given.

The old making way for the new.

Lessons of the former plotting the way for the latter.

The chalk board was a tool of the master.

It was his or hers to use to teach whatever necessary.

It was the students to use to process, to discover, and to learn.

It was a tool to facilitate growth.

 

Chalkboards are blank for a reason.

They are also meant to be written on with chalk, for a reason. One stroke of permanent marker makes for a permanently useless chalkboard.

Blank chalkboards welcome creativity, uniqueness, wrestling, challenges, thoughtful engagement, discipline, answers, and ongoing learning.

Whatever was written before it was meant to be erased and receive whatever comes next.

  • A teacher’s next lesson.
  • A student’s next problem.
  • An artist’s next masterpiece.
  • A writer’s next brainstorm idea.
  • A mother’s next month of family appointments and activities and special days to remember.

blank chalkboards pave the way for unknowns.

Unknowns yet to be realized, understood, or developed.

Which leads me to you, my midlife friend.

I want to encourage you to see your 2018 life as a blank-slate chalkboard, a stark-white blank canvas; a story waiting to be written.

As you think about where you are at this stage of your life, consider the growth and learning and adventures that await you. The possibilities are endless!

I’d like to offer a few suggestions for you to consider as you step into 2018.

First, start right where you are.

Be honest with yourself and be kind to yourself.

Your 2018 is your very own personal blank slate – a story waiting to be written, a problem waiting to solve, a mystery waiting to be discovered.

Part of the unknown is allowing God to help you become the person he created you to be.

The other part, is taking steps of faith toward those things he may be calling you to pursue.

You may not know God’s plans for you and that’s okay.

Ask him to show you.

You may have had seed thoughts or ideas stirring within you. Perhaps you have allowed one thing or another to keep you from moving toward that thought or idea.

Please don’t.

As you begin to work through those thoughts and ideas, consider all that is at stake.

Your well-being is at stake, but also your ability to bless and influence others in new ways.

The kingdom of God is also at stake, because you were meant to glorify him with the gifts and talents he has entrusted to you.

For some of you this may mean rediscovering hidden talents, going back to school, or exercising your talent muscles.

Start with this brief self-analysis by asking these 10 Questions.

1). Am I where I want to be Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually? Mentally? Socially?

2). What’s one thing I can begin to change today in each area that will help you become more of the person you want to be?

3). By January 1, 2019 – I would like to _________________________________________.

4). What steps do I need to take to ensure this becomes a reality?

5). Why is this important?

6). How will this change benefit me?

7). How will this change benefit others?

8). How will this change glorify God?

9). Who can I ask to hold me accountable to this goal?

10). How will I celebrate this new change in my life this time next year?

This is truth:

Friend, I want nothing more than to help you discover or rediscover the person God made you to be.

What a tragedy it would be – for you and for me – if this time next year, nothing in our lives have changed for good.

But rather, let us be women that embrace change boldly, courageously, and confidently.

Together, may we look forward with great anticipation and excitement about this new year God has set before us…and let us fill our blank-slate chalk board with every good thing possibly.

My prayer is that your 2018 will be an above and beyond kind of year that brings much growth and goodness that will bless your life and the people God has placed in your life to influence, love, and serve.

I’ll be here to cheer you on! So let me know how I can help.

And …please feel free to share one thing that challenged you most in this week’s Midlife Monday.

I’d also love to know how to be praying for you.

Until next week…be reminded that your midlife journey matters greatly. It really does.

God bless you as you become more of who God made you to be!

Betsy

Can I ask you to pray for me?

Beginning January 18, 2018 I’ll be launching a new ministry at my home church called, Next Chapter.  This monthly gathering will be a place for midlife women to gather and be encouraged to grow in becoming the person God created them to be. It’s will be a place where they can bring all that they are to the table – in order to discover what the next chapter of their lives looks like and the steps they need to take to do so.

If you’re a local subscriber / reader to Above and Beyond MIdlife, I invite you to join us. Fee free to message me or email me for more details (elizabethduncanstretar@gmail.com).

Thanks for your prayers. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Blank Slates and 10 Ways to Begin YOUR 2018

  1. Anna says:

    Thank you so much. A beautiful and thoughtful post. It was especially interesting because, as a teacher, I always find and empty classroom a good place to think, plan and reflect. Have a blessed day. : )

    Like

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