A Year of Peace

My friends!

First things first - how was your Christmas? Maybe it was like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting, but if it wasn't, I'm here to tell you you're not alone. I spent part of Christmas in tears because my beloved grandfather is beginning to struggle against the inevitability of the aging process, and it's breaking my heart. This life, while insanely beautiful, can also be so brutal, can't it? 

So, how are you feeling about the new year? I've always been a new year junkie. I had big, glamorous plans to share my new year's routine with you in December so you could welcome 2017 with grace and intentionality, but that didn't happen. Here's the truth: I just needed to slow down, which is why I went MIA. Last year I started a new day job which has been so life giving, full of belly laughs, and so much fun I never could have dreamed it was possible, but starting anything new is tiring! On top of finding my way on the work front, I lost my footing after my struggle with pneumonia, and I've had a tough time getting back into my routines and rhythms. All that to say, I'm grateful for a new year with a chance to mindfully create new routines and rhythms. You with me?

I thought I'd share my heart as we enter this new year. Of course I created dreams and goals because that's what I do, but I also started off 2017 by prayerfully choosing my word for the year. I struggled and stressed more with my word for 2017 than I have for any other year. (Which is awfully ironic, considering the word I landed on!) But I am so excited to share the word that finally connected with my heart because it encompasses every other word I was considering. So, without further ado, my word for 2017 is:

P E A C E.

I connect with this word for so many reasons, and I will unpack it more in the weeks to come, but here is a brief overview of the areas I want to find peace over these next 365 days:

Peace with God: I want to live every day recognizing God is who he says he is and he will finish what he started in me. This truth takes a ton of pressure off me to try and do it all and be perfect every step of the process. I want everything I do to bring glory to God. I want to stop worrying and stressing and pray more. I want to trust that God truly does have good things planned for me and that he, in only the way he does, brings beauty from all things. Simply remembering this truth brings peace to my soul. I want to live from this place of peace and make all of my decisions from this place, too.

Peace with myself: Girls, I've gotta be straight with you - I am my own worst critic. I'm so tough on myself. But even more than that, I tend to cling to the criticism of others like it's a life raft, but really, it's a sinking ship, and it's going down FAST. I want this to be the season of life where I finally make peace with the truth - I am enough, not because of anything I will ever do or not do, but simply because God says I am. A woman I admire greatly posted a quote on social media this week that said, "Enough is a feast." That quote resonated so deeply with me. I'm done with begging for scraps from the table when I could pull up a chair and be part of the feast. 

Peace with others: While working with my own coach last year, I realized this is an area I want to continue to grow in 2017. Last year I learned that when I live like I'm not enough, it's difficult to let the love people pour into me all the way in. I worked on this a lot last year, and praise Jesus, I have grown so much! I want to continue to work on receiving the love people give me because this love is such an exquisite gift that I'm so thankful for. On the opposite end of the spectrum, not believing I am enough has led to me sometimes not having the best boundaries with others. Sometimes I have allowed people to speak to me in a way that doesn't benefit either one of us. Last year, I began to experience first hand all I have learned about boundaries, and this year, I am going to continue to uphold boundaries I began to implement last year. And if people aren't okay with the boundaries I have in place, I am going to be okay with letting them move on and trust that God has both of our best interests at heart. Sometimes letting go is the most loving thing of all. 

Phew. How's that for a heavy, deep start to 2017? I'm clearly not interested in tiptoeing enough the permitter of this year - I'm diving all the way in!

Here's the thing: claiming the word peace for 2017 doesn't mean every moment of my life will include a serene smile painted across my lips with harp music playing in the background. More than anything, I'm interested in long-term peace, and I know to get there I may have to slog through some muck and mire, and I am so okay with that. 

Jesus says, come to me you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. That's the ultimate peace I'm interested in this year. I just want to get to December 31, 2017 and know + love Jesus better, know myself better, and love his people better. 

So those are the big themes. How about next week we talk about specific goals?

Do you have a word of your year? Some major themes? You know me, I've love to hear them! Share in the comments below or email me!