At the risk of being cliché, I was excited by the obvious "2020 Vision" motif that many people were talking about for this year. I had thought of other potential key words, but I knew the opportunity to incorporate this into my plans for 2020 wouldn’t come again - ever!
The word 'CLARITY' came to mind as I was pondering the idea of a clearer vision for the new year, but then health issues helped make the choice 'clear'. Fatigue, chest pain, and other symptoms of my recently diagnosed congestive heart failure started to surface in November and December. I realized I needed to give up a lot of my busyness – a habit I had fallen back into in the twelve to eighteen months since my heart attack and by-pass surgery two and a half years ago. Lessons I'd learned about 'letting go' and focusing on what God wanted, not what I wanted, had become blurred.
But now I know I have to start letting go again, and in order to do that I need CLARITY as to what things I must do and what things I must give up. The choices have not been easy, but with them I have felt contentment and peace.
The first thing I let go of was taking on too much substitute teaching. Just the thought of going to the school - despite the fact that I had loved my job as a teacher when I worked full time - brought feelings of stress resulting in chest pain. The extra money is nice, but I still work part-time as an online teacher and my husband has a good job, so I decided this was the first thing that I must strike off the list.
Besides being on our local Arts Council, I was asked if I would join the regional board this year. The Peace Liard Regional Arts Council covers a wide geographic area in BC from Fort Nelson to Tumbler Ridge, encompassing six communities. They put on an annual juried art exhibit, host a writers' conference, and do many other special projects throughout the region. It would mean travelling to more meetings, but I felt excited about the opportunity to be involved in the wider Arts' scene. Believe it or not, I actually like being on boards and I am passionate about the arts, so it seemed like a no-brainer. But... I knew I needed to let it go.
Speaking of boards, I had been approached about letting my name stand at our local church's next AGM. I love my church and was thinking seriously about ways to serve. I don't plan to do so, however, and I have decided to also scale back my involvement with the music ministry in our church. I have been on a regular rotation to lead worship and often play the piano or sing back-up as well. I see clearly that it is time to let others step into these roles.
Even though I felt absolutely at ease about releasing all of these items, there was one that I had a harder time with. I was hanging on to the Easter Passion Play I had initiated.
I am a long time theatre director and have a passion for amateur drama. When I taught Drama at high school, I produced and directed two major productions each year. When I retired from public school, the thing I missed most that first year was Drama. So, in October of 2019 I facilitated a Drama Camp for children that helped fill that void, but then, last fall, I decided to organize and direct a Passion Play in my community - something I had been dreaming about for a quarter century but never seemed to have the time to do. I started recruiting and formed a local theatre group for that purpose.
But... as the new year approached, I knew in my heart that I also had to let this one go. I told myself that I was doing the play for God's glory, but when I examined my heart, I saw that any 'passion' for the Passion Play was gone and all that was left was my pride. I didn't want to admit that it was too much for me. At our first rehearsal in January, I announced that I was stepping down as director, but if anyone else wanted to take it on they were welcome to do so. I was surprised to see such relief from most of the actors. Some said they were only doing it because they knew how much it meant to me. That was CLARITY.
Basically, I am left with three things that I feel God has shown me that I should continue to focus on in 2020. 1. My own writing 2. InScribe 3. HCOS (my online teaching job)
All three are centred on Christ and afford opportunities to pour into the lives of others. I feel I can balance these three now that I am no longer pulled in so many other directions.
As a final thought, I have to smile when I think about God's timing and perhaps even his sense of humour. CLARITY, which fits so well with the idea of '2020 Vision', is ironic for me in more ways than one. As a person who was born with a congenital eye condition and who has been 'eye doctoring' all her life - even going blind for a time after multiple surgeries - I have never actually experienced 2020 vision in my life!
In February of 2019 I had more eye surgery on my remaining 'good' eye, with no guarantees that I would be able to see afterward. Thankfully, I recovered well, but it brought into focus (pun intended) my need to ‘focus’ on the important things and let go of the rest.
1 Corinthians 13: 12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (ESV)
Tracy Krauss is serving as InScribe's current President. She lives in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC, but is a Saskatchewan girl at heart. Visit her website: https://tracykrauss.com for more. - fiction on the edge without crossing the line -
You are amazing, Tracy and might I add, a very wise woman to make such dramatic (pun intended) decisions for this year. If your clarity gives you that perfect peace, then you are on the right track. Well done and keep making those healthy choices. And oh how glad I am that you are still with Inscribe!ReplyDelete
Thanks Glynis. Love the 'pun'!Delete
Thank you so much for sharing about how God is giving you clarity. It's a struggle many of us face. Especially when we enjoy a variety of activities!
I'm grateful for you, your leadership, and the way you are listening to God. Keep listening, leading, and being you!
I'm following in your footsteps, Ruth - a wonderful example.Delete
I'm glad too, that God said yes to continue with Inscribe! May God keep revealing His new vision for you throughout this 2020 year.ReplyDelete
Hi Tracy! A true leader leads by example. I see this in you without a doubt. I know you are not asking for applause but I do applaud you. I know from experience stepping back takes time, prayer, and resolve. I'm taking similar action to you this year as well. I'm getting to be an older guy and I know I'm letting go of a few of my dreams. I have to add I'm super happy you are staying on as our Inscribe President. Bless you and your family, Tracy. Love and hugs to you.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Alan. I appreciate your encouragement.Delete
Wow Tracy, some hard choices to make but you came through each one victoriously. Thank-you for sharing your deep personal testimony. It is encouraging to read. God Bless :)Delete
Way to go, Tracy! I too have a way of taking on too much and then having a hard time letting go. You've inspired me to take a closer "look" at my own overflowing plate. Here's hoping I can "clear" it a bit... ;)ReplyDelete
Yup, we often take on too much, that's for sure. God bless.Delete
Thanks for sharing your story, Tracy. Taking on too much is a common mistake for many of us, and letting go is tough on the ego (although we may not have the clarity to know that's what's driving us). I wish you a gentle and peaceful 2020 from this moment forward.ReplyDelete
Thanks Yvonne and thanks for visiting here! You'll note I didn't mention Ridge Writer which i thought of later, but c'est la vie. I don't feel too much stress with it so I'm still in!Delete
I think your Clarity will bless you as you have more time to devote to the areas that you have highlighted. Also I think of those who will rise up in your stead and be blessed by those opportunities. Hard to think of I know, but when we step away and say no, it becomes someone else's yes. God provides grace in both the no and the yes moments!ReplyDelete
So true. I really don't need to hole up the entire world, do I?!Delete
I too am so glad you are continuing with InScribe. You are a gifted and encouraging leader, who leads by example, as shown in your post. I’m thankful for the clarity you’ve been given, and will pray it continues through the year for you.ReplyDelete
On a side note, I once heard that most people can only do three things well. If you take on more than three, you won’t be able to do any of them well. So, hurrah for narrowing your activities down to three!
Three is the perfect number then!Delete