Welcome 2017

2017Just two short hours until the new year is here. I feel different this year. Calm and hopeful, with this quiet excitement that just bubbles up inside of me. I know so many people have complained about what a terrible year 2016 has been, although I’m sorry that it’s left so many weary, this year has been a year of incredible growth for me. I felt like I started to wake up from a listless dream I’d been stuck in for far too long.

I’m so thankful for the lessons 2016 had to teach me. It was my first full year in therapy, I made some deeper connections with people who had only been acquaintances before, but 2016 turned them into dear friends. God has grown my trust in Him so much. It hasn’t always been easy, I’ve had some extreme lows this year, but I’ve also been kept above the water, able to breathe at least some of the time. There have been positive changes in my marriage as my husband and I have started to figure some very painful issues out. I feel stronger now than I was last year at this time.

God is so good, and so faithful. I look forward to all the blessings to come in the new year. It’s weird to think how much this year could change. Some tough decisions are going to need to be made, but I trust that there will be growth and peace as a result of them. I don’t know whether my life will look similar to what it does now, or if I will live in a completely different world.

I don’t know what the future holds. It’s scary, and hopeful, peaceful, and exciting. But this time, I’m beginning to accept that I can’t control it, that I don’t know what it will be, and that’s okay. Sometimes the adventure is in the journey. Let’s embrace every part of it and turn it into something wonderful.

Happy New Year to you all. 🙂 I hope and pray that your new year is blessed and you reach new heights you never thought possible.

How was your 2016? What are you looking forward to next year?

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The Waters

sunset-1634101_640The waters rush back in their calm serenity. I’m no longer in their grasp. I stand on shifting ground, sand that melts beneath my feet. With every step that cold chill spikes up through my heels and into my legs. But I can stand. I haven’t fallen.

I look out over the horizon, the pinks and orange blend with the pale white of the sky. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s the end or the beginning. Maybe it’s both. One phase passes and another begins. I may be out of the waters, but I’m still lost on shore. Maybe it takes a while to gain our footing, to find our way out beyond the sand, onto the rocks that stand secure.

Hope. I see it. I feel it.

As one day closes, another begins. So is life. Tomorrow may not be ours, but tonight, we stand. We stand here together, hand in hand, and hearts entwined. Never alone. Never forgotten. Perfect peace that floods our soul.

This isn’t over. Life isn’t over. We pick ourselves up and begin again. Because that’s what humans do. We fight, we struggle, but we grow stronger. And next time the storm comes, it won’t so easily blow us over. Caught in the tide, yet here we are. Holding on, still fighting for a better future.

And in that moment I realize — I’m freed.

2016 Coming To A Close

sunset-1634101_640As 2016 nears its close, I’m found deep in thought, yet hardly connected at all. So much has happened this year, so much has changed. As I look back, it’s as though the beginning were many years ago, when things from last year feel much closer.

It’s weird how that can be. One year is split in segments. 2016 has been challenging, and amazing, and it’s opened my eyes to so many things, yet distanced me from others. I’m very much of the opinion that everything happens for a reason, even when I don’t understand it.

As I begin to look back, so I can begin to look ahead, I’m so thankful for all this year has been. The lows have been low, the highs have been high, and yet I’m caught somewhere in the middle, peaceful. Held in a lullaby.

I feel excitement for the year to come. There’s some reservation, but also a joy that I can’t describe. I don’t know all that this coming year will contain, but I’m counting on one thing for certain: Hope.

How do you feel about the close of 2016? What are you most excited for in the new year?

Christmas Eve

lights-1088141_640Ah, Christmas Eve. Isn’t it wonderful? The busyness of the season has faded away and I’m found wrapped in the warm glow of a Christmas tree, soft music playing, lots of sweet treats around, and alone in my home with the one I love. These are the moments I live for.

I love the quiet, peaceful moments we can find. We can create, we can explore, all the striving in the world cannot compare to those simple moments, filled with peace and joy, closed in for the time (until the candlelight service this evening), know that after that I’ll once again return to the peace and safety of our home.

So much can change over the course of a year. And I’m so thankful for the newfound hope, love, and joy we find. Beginning to look to the future, but for the moment, living in the moment. Fully present. Fully content.

And I feel safe. This is love. We have this because He came. Because the perfect God chose to visit us, to come in human form to let his love be known.

Tonight, I hope you’re all wrapped in that peace and safety, secure in knowing His love for you.

Time

clock-407101_640Time is slipping away from me, I can feel it. One day slips into another, soon a month has gone by, six months, a year. It’s all a blur, and it’s all too fast. Then I take a moment, sit back, and time stands on its head. It doesn’t move, it doesn’t waver, just surrounds me in its bubble, and I’m kept safe.

I strive after so many things, and end up feeling like I’m failing at them all. Maybe that’s okay. Failures always serve to teach us something we otherwise wouldn’t have learned. I can’t keep up, yet no matter how many times I tell myself to stop, I can’t stop trying.

It’s like life is a race that I’m desperate to win. And I know that desperation must be off putting to those around me. I’m insecure, I feel incompetent, yet I have no actual proof of an absolute failure.

Sometimes I think that would be easier. At least I wouldn’t be stuck in this limbo, back and forth, chasing one dream, then another, never committing to any of them because I’m always so torn. And yet, each of those things holds a part of me, and I don’t want to let go of them completely.

Maybe my form’s wrong. Maybe it’s my methods. Maybe I don’t truly care about anything at all. Maybe I care too much.

The weight of people’s opinions weighs heavy on me tonight. I feel like in not being more, in not being better than what I am, that I’m letting everyone around me down. Even if they don’t notice, I’m letting myself down.

And then it hits me just how short life can be. A year since the passing of someone I had so much to learn from. Others sick, dying. And I wonder when it’s going to be my turn. Almost like I can’t escape. Like I don’t believe I’m worth living.

Then, none of us escapes. The clock keeps ticking. Echoing louder and louder as our vision swirls and everything gets brighter.

Darker.

In.

Out.

Never ending.

Tick.

Tock.

Breathe.

In.

Out.

I talk my way through, because I don’t know what else to do. I know this is a phase, and not all are pleasant. And yet, there are so many simple joys and pleasures all around me. Smiles and laughter, those that come from the heart. A hug from a loved one. A season of lights, and love.

And I’m thankful once again, that my hope does not rest in this world, or in my abilities, or my failures. My hope rests in the Creator of time itself. And my life is in His hands.

Christmas Season Begins

child-1867394_640The Christmas season has officially begun. 🙂 I think this was exactly what I needed after an absolutely crazy November. There’s something so calming about this time of year. It’s a time we can just sit back, relax, reflect on our lives over the course of the past year, and look ahead to the future for all that it might be.

There’s that warm, cozy feeling in the air (okay, not in the air… That’s freezing, but you can imagine it is), and it feels like all the cares and worries can be washed away as we’re wrapped in the warmth and light of the season. Cozy sweaters, deep reds and creams, blankets, tea and hot cocoa. The soft glow of lights on the tree.

We can capture the feeling of being a kid again. Where everything is magical. Everywhere we look, we find new things to be excited about.

Everything is beautiful. Blissful. Simple. And yet it’s in that pure and simple calm, that we find the strength that we’ve been needing. The light that makes all things right. The security and safety being cozy with the ones we love. Where we can count our blessings, even if just the soft glow of streetlamps through a cold and lonely night.

Hope rises up again, as the beginning of a new year nearly dawns. New chances, new beginnings, and we wonder what the future will hold, and yet, this moment, this pure and simple moment, is still everything we could ask for. The peace and safety. A calm with no end.

What do you enjoy most about this time of year?