Feb. 7, 2014: ‘Fallow time’ can allow us to grow toward our goals, by Sister Dorothy Hoover

February 7, 2014 by

web-2013-DorothyHooverWinter is a “fallow” time when social events and other external activities are fewer because of snow, ice and cold. Fallow time can be an empty time, a time of darkness when one can feel down and full of self pity.

But fallow time can also be a time of reflection, of looking within, of finding new perspective on our lives, family and work. This is a time to look at our dreams and hopes.

What are the goals in our lives? Are they buried or are we steadily growing toward them? Only by determining and facing our dreams and goals and taking small steps toward them can we find peace within ourselves.

Small steps are short-term actions toward long-term goals. Maybe one of us has wanted to do something for months but keeps putting it off. By praying to God for help and spending time on it, we can we learn our goals and take the small steps needed to reach them.

God works in our lives usually in a slow, gradual way. We can’t expect to reach a dream or goal overnight. Such takes patience and persistence.

In my life, I had dreams of being a nursing instructor, but it took several years to achieve this. I was in a position that I could not abandon — plus I didn’t have the extra preparation needed to teach college level nursing. Finally, I was able to leave the position I had in the hospital and moved to another position in which an opening as a nursing instructor presented itself. For four years I taught as a struggling nursing instructor and then returned to school to obtain the added preparation — a master’s degree that enabled me to achieve the standards for teaching by the National League of Nursing. I taught nursing on the college level for 20 years as an instructor and as an assistant professor. I enjoyed working with young people and felt this teaching was benefiting humanity. I enjoyed it very much; I’d achieved my goal.

What I’m suggesting is that during this wintertime, this fallow time, to grab a few moments to pray to God for help to reflect on your life and your goals and hopes. Plan small steps to reach your dreams. In doing this, you will find greater peace with God and with yourself, and that will spill into greater peace with others.

— Sister Dorothy Hoover has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 60 years and today lives at the Nazareth Motherhouse.

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