Sarah Lysne: The joy of perseverance

Published 5:21 pm Friday, January 7, 2022

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It’s that time of year when a church group that I am in has a workshop where we each choose one word that will define our year.

Last year, my word was “possibilities.” I spent time thinking about all of the possibilities I had available to me in my life. Things that I knew I could do if I put my mind to it. This year my word is perseverance, and it goes with last year’s word because I have implemented new things into my life. For example, routine exercise, routine prayer times, and eating more calories to keep my weight on. But the hard part comes when trying to continue these practices, and that’s where my word for the year, perseverance, comes in. There are days that I don’t feel like exercising. There are days that I forget to pray. There are days when I don’t feel like eating all the right things. But, keeping this word in mind will help me continue to be the healthiest that I can be.

Sometimes I have to really dig down deep into my soul to gain the strength I need to persevere with these habits. I sometimes think back to all of the different experiences and challenges I have had in my life that I have overcome or completed, sometimes to my surprise. When I think back to my college days, I remember how I ran for student council secretary. I actually went around and campaigned, wearing my red suit and handing out information about myself. I did secure the title of secretary of the student council, and it was something I was proud of. It allowed me to become more active in my school. Another milestone was putting together a fashion show as part of my completion of my marketing degree. It was a lot of work. I organized about 30 people to go to retail stores and find their outfits for the show. A nice crowd came to watch. It was something I never imagined myself doing, but it gave me courage to know I could be successful in uncharted territory.

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When my kids were growing up, I took on new challenges. I didn’t know anything about the game of soccer, but I was asked to be a volunteer soccer coach, and I learned as much as I could to help my son and his team have a successful year when they were in fifth grade.

Another challenge I had was when I was working as a substitute teacher. I was teaching second graders two days a week in a music class. It was a long-term subbing job, and mid-way through the year I was asked to put on a spring concert. That meant getting 80 kids ready to sing. I met with four classes twice a week and it was a challenge to get to know the students and get them to perform together. But when the concert was complete, the parents were happy and the kids seemed proud of themselves, so I knew that I had done my job.

These are the events that I think about and ponder as I pursue my new challenges in life. As I said, sometimes we really need to look back and dig down deep to remember all the courage that we have had throughout our lives. May you have joy in finding a way to pursue your challenges in the new year.