5 Things 2015 Wanted Me To Know

100_4469.21. NOD TO THE NOT (it’s ok to pause)

It’s ok NOT to choose a word for the year.  I had chosen a word in previous years but at the beginning of 2015 it just wasn’t a priority.  I survived the year without a special focus word.

Taking a blogging break is ok.  I trusted that my loyal readers, those that are my community, would not forget about me and would be waiting to encourage me when I came back.  They didn’t, and they were.

2. THE WORDS WILL COME, GIVE THEM TIME (After all, you are a writer)

I rediscovered the joy of using a pencil on paper.  Nothing can compare to that sweet, scratchy sound.  I need to practice this art more often.

Even though the writing was meager in 2015 and not writing scared me a little, I learned to trust that, in God’s time, the words would flow again. Because I have to write.

I want my writing to make people feel as if they have come home.

Hope*ologie was great, but Hope*writers is even better. I need a writer(ly) community that says what I do matters.

3. PRACTICE CONSISTENCY AND OBEDIENCE (how hard can it be)

I’m not a morning person, and there is no shame in that.  Not being a morning person may sometimes mean that I do better with my quiet time in the evening rather than the morning.  One thing I’m learning about quiet time is that consistency is key.  Regular time in the word is beneficial no matter what time of day you engage.

Sacrificing for Lent is not the point.  Sacrifice is nothing without obedience.  Obedience is a daily submission to God’s will for my life.  Godly obedience is not the kind of obedience that sounds like a bunch of rules.  Rather, it is a willingness to give Him complete control  It is 365 days a year, including the forty days of Lent.

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4. EMBRACE  THERAPY, ACCEPTANCE, AND RESTORATION  (God is your buckler)

Binge watching 7th Heaven preached to me in lots of ways; it was my therapy for a large chunk of time during the first half of 2015.  One of my favorite posts in 2015 was What I Learned From Watching 7th Heaven.

Y’all, I fell in love with Southwestern Virginia.  We spent some lovely days visiting a friend and explored the back roads near her hometown.  It was restorative and gave me much Joy In My Father’s World. And, lots of pictures.

Back in 2013, I realized that I need to make peace with My mom having Alzheimer’s, but it wasn’t until sometime in 2015 that I was able to accept that it is what it is, and only God has all the answers.  Instead of wasting time grieving over what we’ve lost, I’m starting to embrace the path we are on and I’m beginning to realize that you can never truly lose someone, you just adjust to a new normal.

More than ever in 2015 the truth in Psalm 18:2 sustained me:

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I  also relied on Psalm 91 and knowing that he covers me with his feathers; He is my buckler which according to Merriam-Webster means “one that shields and protects.”  I have discovered that I love the word buckler.

I also found strength from the support of my husband. He takes care of me and loves me well. I love doing life with him.

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5. ENJOY A SEASON OF STRENGTH AND QUIET (embrace the real you)

I’ve always loved Autumn, but this year I realized that the way I describe Autumn also describes me.  Makes perfect sense.

I see Fall as both a little bit spicy and practical.  It is no-nonsense, but serendipitous all at the same time.  It is a warm hug as well as a brusque nod in passing. It is a steadfast heart that loves without condition, but won’t be trampled.  It is chaotic and fragile, but stands strong in the storm.  It is a little rough around the edges, as well as gloriously beautiful in spirit.  Like me.

2015 taught me that by God’s grace I am stronger than I think.

October loves me – she sent me several postcards this year during the 31 Days Writing Challenge

November is a melancholy month when the skies are gray and somber, and the first real chill is in the air.  Lights come on earlier, and we settle in for quieter evenings. I’m ok with that. Because I’m a little bit melancholy.

Advent is a time of waiting for “Emmanuel, God with us“, or as my mother says, “I’m so happy, God is in the house.”  A welcome note of praise to celebrate the arrival of the Christ Child…

and then, we slipped quietly from one year into the next.

Growing in grace,

Teresa

Linking up with Emily for What I Learned in 2015

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What I’ve Learned From Watching 7th Heaven

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We just finished 7th Heaven.  All eleven seasons.  For the past few months that is all the TV we have watched. My husband is a great man. He watched the entire show with me without complaint.

It became my therapy of sorts.  It was how I slowed down at the end of the day.  It got me through one of the most stressful seasons in which I’ve lived. It preached to me in ways that sermons and fellowship with others could not. It met a need I had that I still can’t quite put into words.

It was a great season, but now it is over and time to move on, although I will miss checking in on the Camdens.  I do have some take aways  that can be applied to living life well, so I thought I’d share with you a few of the lessons 7th Heaven can teach us all.

1.  Family should be there for you no matter what (and you for them).

2. Family can be anybody that you open your heart and sometimes your door to.

3.  Your secrets are not really a secret, somebody always knows.

4.  Your sins will always find you out (Numbers 32:23).

5.  Forgiveness is a wonderful thing – to receive and to give.

6.  You should not be afraid to take risks and try something new.

7.  You should always honor your commitments and keep your word.

8.  Prayers are always answered; sometimes even the way you hoped.

9.  Helping others is necessary for living a balanced life.

10. Breaking bread around the table with friends and family is therapy, even if it’s just Pizza from your local Pizza parlor.

11. Death is certain and brings pain, but there is healing in the grief process.

12.  We all make mistakes, but we are not defined by the mistakes we have made.

13. Life is beautiful in all it’s messy turned upside down glory.  Especially, in it’s messy upside down glory.

14. Falling in love is wonderful.

15. There is a God who loves us unconditionally and he has a sense of humor.

16. Sometimes you need to go home again.

17. Life is a miracle to be celebrated.

18. When you’ve done all that you can do take a road trip to gain perspective.

19.  Choose to live well.  You do have a choice.

20.  Everything is going to be fine.

I’m sure there are many more lessons to be garnered from 7th Heaven, but these seem to be the overriding theme and I for one needed to be reminded of these truths.

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Finding grace in my own 7th Heaven,

Teresa

Linking up with Emily P Freeman of Chatting at the Sky.  Click on over to read what others have learned.