A FRESH NEW YEAR

Hi, friends! I hope you all had an absolutely wonderful Christmas season. We spent time with both family and friends, and were able to relax a little at home by ourselves while Troy was off work. It was so great!
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it has been so nice to slow down a bit, get the house back in order, and contemplate what this brand new year should look like. I am typically not one to set New Year’s resolutions, as I feel that I always want (*ahem*…need) to be looking at areas where I can improve, and operate better in my life and in myself. I think reflecting on those things can and should be done throughout the year, and don’t necessarily see the start of a new year as the answer that will solve all of life’s problems, or magically transform me into a different, better person. However, I do understand the feelings of hopefulness, and even inspiration that a new year can bring. Looking ahead to the year can often impart excitement about what is to come, or what could be, and I think it is a great time to harness that new-found passion and set some goals. I thought I would share with you some of mine, along with just a few pics of our coffee table/living area refreshed a bit for the winter season. This is a bit more of a personal post, but I hope you’ll still pull up a cozy seat and read along with me.

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. Read More .

I have always loved reading. I remember when I was younger, I could spend hours and hours getting lost in a good book. Often in my teen-early twenty years I would go through a book in a weekend (or even a day sometimes…hermit much?). I have found as I have gotten older, and have more life responsibilities, reading is no longer second nature to me. I find the little time I have to just sit and relax, I am more prone to turning on Netflix, so I can turn my brain off. And while I don’t think there is anything wrong with that every so often, I feel I would better serve myself, and my mind, to choose reading. Whether that be non-fiction, spiritual growth books, or even fiction (I love mystery novels), I think when we read we allow our minds to grow, and it is so much healthier for us than to just watch television or scroll on Facebook. I feel a noticeable difference in my overall joy, and even energy levels, when I finish some time reading, versus when I have wasted time watching a meaningless show. This was one of my goals last year, and I SO did not follow through, haha. So this year I have found an app on iPhone called “Goodreads” that allows you to set a goal for the number of books you want to read for the year, and to add books to your bookshelf that you hope to read. You can update your progress as you go (this is great for us type-A personalities who need to feel that sense of accomplishment, haha), and it will also recommend books for you based on your profile. I chose 12 books this year, as I figured one book a month should be super attainable, and if I go beyond that, then great! I have already finished one of my books and am on to the second, so I’m feeling awesome about it so far.

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. Pray More .

This one doesn’t take tons of explaining. I find I am not someone who regularly remembers to be prayerful throughout the day. I can often go an entire day, and realize at the end of it that I didn’t really talk to God much. I don’t know if this is a trait of my personality, being someone to be more high-strung and in need of efficiency as I go about my day, but I find that those things certainly make it more difficult to just sit and rest in the presence of God. I think this is something that needs to be practiced, not only to be able remain more naturally in a state of prayerfulness, but also for our overall connection to the Father, which impacts every area of our lives. I am sure this is something that I will always have to work on, and that is fine! But I am hoping I can get to a place where this is more normalized in my life, rather than an area of struggle for me.

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. Serve More .

Last year, I became part of a local ministry in my city called The Walk. It strives to build relationships with those caught up in the sex industry, with the goal to eventually see them out of it. Anti-trafficking is something I have been passionate about for many years, but other than giving financially, or praying for worldwide ministries in this, I didn’t know how to tangibly get involved until this opportunity was revealed to me. I began going in the fall, and from the first night I was a part of it I just felt so drawn in, and so committed. Like, this was where I fit. This is a place I am needed, and where I am meant to serve.
Typically a walk night is at the end of the month, but this year the opportunity has just opened up for a few people to be part of an additional evening mid-month as well, and I am going to get involved in that. The fact there is a need for this now feels as though this is a direct call for me to step up and serve the kingdom in this way, and I have never felt more excited about any ministry before in my life. I am thankful my sweet husband is okay with me doing this, as it is quite a risky and hands on ministry, but I believe we have victory in Christ – he has already won. So that is something I am more than okay with stepping into.

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. Live More .

This one may sound strange at face value. But, I want to choose life.
I am an extreme homebody. Honestly, if I had it my way (and didn’t care to, you know, be a semi-productive member of society) I would be fine with never leaving my house. I am sure some people couldn’t even fathom that, but I know all the other homebodies out there get this. And going along with that, I am also very much an introvert. This means it is very easy for me to go days on end without talking to anyone (other than my husband when he gets home from work). This is something I won’t even really notice on a regular basis. Because of these traits of introversion, also paired with anxiety, I will typically want to just stay in my own little bubble and not really make many plans, or venture out. As I am writing this I realize it makes me sound extremely socially awkward and like a big weirdo, haha, and while perhaps that is debatable, I actually do love people and connection, as well as a bit of adventure. I think that in order to live more fully, to experience more joy in life, and to ultimately carry out my purpose, I need to choose those things, rather than choosing my own comfortable little box. To see friends and those I value more regularly, to not be afraid to make more connections, to go more places – to just step out and experience more. I know that at my best self, these are things I cherish, and that in turn those things help further me toward becoming my better self, if only I’ll make the choice.

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. Blog Better .

I want to spend more time on my blog this year. I know this will be a challenge for me, as sticking to my one blog post per month goal last year was difficult at times (though I did it, and even posted 4 times in December! Yay, me… haha), but if this is something I want to grow, I have to plan better, and then follow through on that plan.
For this year, I have already written out 2 blog post ideas I want to do to each month (ish – I categorized them seasonally). The main thing I think I may struggle with will be the execution of those posts. Sometimes it can be tricky finding the materials you want or need… then maybe every day for a week it’s super cloudy out, so then taking photos can get pushed back, etc. There are a lot of things to consider in a home decor or DIY blog post, and it can often feel overwhelming for me, but ultimately it is something that brings me joy and leaves me feeling more fulfilled in life because I am pursuing a passion. And I think that any time you are going after something you love and you have a gifting in, it is worth the challenge! So that being said, this is something I am going to try to do. And I definitely couldn’t do it if I didn’t have my friends & family, and my readers on this journey with me, cheering me on as I fumble along through. Thank you for being part of this!

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I have a few more smaller goals for myself as well that I have written down, but these are my biggest ones this year that I want to be sure to stay the most focused on. Read more, pray more, serve more, live more, and blog better.
Though these seem to have the overarching theme of “more”, I think they ultimately will allow for less as well. Less wasted time, less disorganization, less apathy, less worry, less fear. While my goals can add more to the joy and fulfilment I feel in life, I believe they will add less to the areas that don’t serve me as well – I just have to decide to live it out.

I am hoping that this new year has brought a new sense of inspiration and hopefulness for you as well, and maybe even a renewed sense of purpose. Let’s make it a great one, friends.

Thanks for stopping by,

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7 thoughts on “A FRESH NEW YEAR

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are a gifted writer and an amazing photographer. I am looking forward to 2017 with you — let’s try a few adventures together.

    Liked by 1 person

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