Hello again! Long time, no post… Let’s be honest, 2016 was a tough year. But, for many of us, the tough times are often the most informative. I’ve spent this last week reflecting over this past year-the ups, the downs, and the in between times and each year I try to summarize it by one word. Sometimes its a good word and sometimes a bad word, but either way it helps me formulate some goals for the coming year.
This year my word is: limitation
1.a limiting rule or circumstance; a restriction.“severe limitations on water use”
2.LAWa legally specified period beyond which an action may be defeated or a property right is not to continue.
A weird word to pick I know, but bare with me…
2016, more than any other year, has taught me about limits. You see, most of the time our limitations are viewed as something keeping us from accomplishing a goal or stopping us from going further in a certain areas. A good example is running. Fun fact: I am SUPER slow… In Middle school my track coach made me run a 400 meter dash…and I failed….miserably…. every. single. time. No matter how hard a train I will never be a Usain Bolt and thats just something I have to live with. My running is a limitation, especially if I ever have to out run that scary person in the scenario every girl has nightmares about.
For me, limitations have always been a sore point. I’m a prideful person and admitting a limitation isn’t something I’m good at. I’ve often let the fear of failing because of my limitations keep me from trying things. Im afraid of what people will think of me if I end up not being able to perform. What if they stop liking me? What if they can do it, but I can’t? I’ve always been worried about those pesky limitations.
This year, something changed in me, almost like turning the light switch on in a dark room. What if our limitations are actually our allies. When my husband and I got married, he gave me a camera for a wedding present along with a 55 mm lens. I love it and continue to use it now. Its a great lens too, but it presents problems when I want to take wide angle shots or photograph in my tiny house. At first, this frustrated me… I can’t take photos of what I want! Why does it have to be so hard to photograph what I want?! But over time, I began to see the lens as a challenge. How good could I get at taking stills, close up shots, and details? It began to excite me, challenge me and push me to see the limitation of no zoom as an asset to my learning. And over time I learned more and more. I’ll never be a Henri Cartier-Bresson or a Dorothea Lange with the camera but with each shot I continue to learn more and continue to grow.
If I had always viewed my lens as a set back rather than a challenge I never would have kept trying. An easy lesson, but a hard one for someone as stubborn as me. Maybe you’ve already learned this or are born with an innate sense of challenging ones self, but for me limitations is a scary word. But I think for 2017, I want to challenge all of us to nail down some limitations we have and try to see how those limitations might help make us better. Maybe its a stinky job, a lack of experience or connections. Whatever it is, try to make 2017 the year you rethink your limitations and begin to use them to propel you into the next great idea or project. Don’t let another year go by where your letting your limitations be a bad word.
Ultimately, my limitations have made me put greater faith in a limitless God; trusting that He knows best in all things and has made me perfect for what He wants me to accomplish. It is for His glory we have been given everything! So, I guess that means even our limitations too… Maybe in our limitations He is challenging us to look to Him in all things and trust that He who began a good work in us will continue it to completion.
Happy 2017 and God bless!