Always Moving Forward…

by | Dec 20, 2020 | Family Life, Society

This is the time of year that I start to get reflective about the past year and begin dreaming about the year to come.  I am not somebody who makes New Years Resolutions, I failed at those way too many times.  However, the last several years I have chosen a word to focus on and grow with each year.  In 2020 our family chose a word together for the first time.  Our 2020 word was kindness!  The mission was to grow in treating one another with kindness and in turn be a happier and kinder family to others.

As I reflect on 2020 and the challenges that all of us faced by this crazy year, I cannot help but giggle!  God knew that the Brooke six needed a lot of opportunities to work at being kind to each other, so He shut the world down and made us hang out with only one another!  I have always said, “God has a great sense of humor!”  There were many, many opportunities for us to grow in kindness this year.  There were many successes, and many failures!  Thankfully for those times that we failed; we were able to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

We are now about two weeks away from 2021 and I have been praying about what word will come with the new year.  As I have reflected on 2020 there were many areas that I knew I needed to improve upon, for it seemed I was taking the same things to confession each time I went.  Two of my biggest struggles are self-moderation and temperance.  Self-moderation is defined as, restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance. (Temperance is even in the definition!)  Temperance speaks only of moderating food and drink.  Though I can certainly work on moderating my food intake and wine ?, I also over-indulge in many other things.

I waste way to much time on my cell phone and am way to addicted to what is happening in what I call “Facebook Land!”  I struggle with letting good enough be good enough and though that is not always a bad thing I take things to an obsessive place at times.  For example, we began homeschooling this year and I want to be perfect right out of the gate, I do not want to fail my children or my husband, so I spend too much time lesson planning and making sure I am doing “enough”!  I have an all or nothing mentality and I do not feel as though that shows my children the best example.  I need to grow in the virtue of self-moderation in order that I may be a more virtuous Catholic, as well as a better mother and wife.

As 2021 approaches, if you, like me, fail at making resolutions, I challenge you to a simpler, yet just as meaningful approach.  Choose a word that helps you grow as a person.  Though this family did not always succeed in kindness, we always had a word to fall back on as we moved forward.  I know that I will not always succeed at moderation in 2021, but it is an area I want to grow in.  When I fail, I can always realign my life and move towards moderation again.  If you do choose a word, I encourage you to share it with someone who can always help push you forward.

So as 2021 approaches, what are your hopes and dreams for you and yours?  No matter what, may you always grow closer to Christ and know that His love is everlasting.  May 2021 bring you peace!

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Tara Brooke

Tara Brooke is a wife, mother, educator, and child of God.  Tara has worked in various aspects of ministry in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, her last years as a Director of Marriage and Family Life for her local diocese.  She now stays home and tends to the needs of her growing and beautiful family.  She has three biological children and two adopted children, both with Down Syndrome. She loves helping engaged couples grow in their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as helping enrich already married couples in growing in holiness together.  She resides in Bismarck, ND with her amazing husband, Deacon Dan! 

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