Ramblings: the turn to 2017

Yup, forgot this thing existed. Really I’m just annoyed that I don’t understand how the formatting works. I do love talking (everyone knows this about me), but I do NOT like feeling incompetent (everyone knows this about me), and this site is pretty good at making me feel like an idiot.

Anyway, this Sunday marks the start of 2017 and I can’t wait for it to get here.

Can. Not. Wait.

2016 was full of a lot of things for me; lots of incredible, lots of terrible, and even more average stuff. With 2017 just around the corner, I am truly grateful for a God who knows that I *need* fresh starts.

What I really don’t need, though, is a forgetful start. I’m an Enneagram 7, so forgetfulness is dangerous (and really easy) for me. When I forget the places I’ve gotten it wrong – the places I’ve broken relationships or taken advantage or overindulged – I walk myself right back into the same patterns that got me into trouble in the first place. I’m aware that everybody does that to some extent but for me, that can be a pretty dangerous trap.

[When I say “fresh start,” I don’t mean “an erasure of everything that I’ve been through/done up until this moment.” Does that distinction make sense? It’s an important one for me].

Over the past few months, God has revealed a word that will shape 2017 for me: wisdom.

God gave me that word at an Enneagram retreat (I’m obsessed, okay? You’ll be fine) at Western Theological Seminary this past fall. After learning a bit about each number and how to apply the Enneagram to the teaching church setting, we were invited to partner with someone who had the same number as us to answer some application questions.

My fellow 7 was a slim, older-than-middle-aged white guy with cool, hipster glasses and a generous amount of sass. You can absolutely smell his 7 energy from across the room. It was weird to watch him bop around, jumping from one quick conversation to the next, and wonder if the way I perceived him was similar to the way people perceive me: fast, energetic, a bit frantic, making people laugh and producing anxiety in introverts.

Obviously, I LOVED HIM.

Anyway, we were asked to answer the following questions:

  1. How do you think people see you?
  2. How do you want to be seen?

I, being proudly intrusive, answered first.

  1. “I think people see me as approachable, overwhelming, and fun to be around. Sometimes, I think people assume I’m not very deep.”
  2. “I want to be seen as smart and faithful.”

My new friend said something I don’t remember in response to the first question, but his answer to the second really stuck with me:

I used to want to be seen as smart, but now I want to be seen as wise.

The more I wonder about it, the more I realize that, for me, being seen as “smart” reinforces the lie that I need affirmation from others to prove I’m ______ enough. There’s something about “smart” that feels temporal and brief and judged.

When I think of “wisdom,” I think of persistence in one direction over a long period of time. I think of sitting with something or someone and listening. I think about taking time to learn the narrative of those around me instead of forcing mine on them. I think about planting small seeds and being content to do so. I think about releasing the pressure to be the center of attention. I think about valuing the people I love in every decision I make. I think about knowing my limitations and protecting my boundaries. I think about pursuing God daily.

In 2017, I want to boldly chase after wisdom. I’m not exactly sure where that will take me, but I imagine/hope that it will bring me closer to my truest self, to the place where God dwells.

That’s what I have for now – thankful for the brief distraction from sermon-crafting.

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Author: aedewaard12

Wife. Pastor. M.Div. Reformed. Feminist. Runner. Enneagram Activist. Mediocre Writer. Lover of the Bible. People call me Aud (it suits me).

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