1. 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.
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.
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,