There is just something about the start of a new year. . . Maybe it is the feeling of positivity that is swirling around or the idea of getting a “do-over.” Whatever it is, it is nice and fresh and new and exciting. I am not one to make resolutions. I just don’t feel the need to. I guess because resolutions seem to be so temporary. But I love setting goals and having aspirations for the new year.
Before moving forward, I think it is important to take a look back and reflect on the year past. 2016. 2016 will be a year that I never forget. It saw the birth of our baby girl-the greatest blessing of my life so far. There were so many incredible highs, and there were also quite a few lows. 2016 was a year of change and discovery and newness and amazing-ness and struggles and weakness. . . There was so much bottled up in those 12 months. Giving birth to my sweet baby, dealing with postpartum hormones, battling postpartum anxiety, struggling in my personal relationship with God, accepting that our family and closest friends were a thousand miles away from our new little family, adjusting to motherhood, becoming a SAHM, learning SO MUCH about my marriage, starting this blog. . . 2016 was a whirlwind! I’m looking back at 2016 thankful for what I learned; I learned so much about myself. And now, I’m going to carry those lessons learned with me into this new year.
When I sat down to think about what my goals were going to be for this year, I wanted to choose a word for the year. A word I could carry with me throughout the year to motivate me and inspire me, and to remind me of my goals. I thought this would be really hard to come up with, but the first word that stuck out to me and kept coming up was EMBRACE.
EMBRACE (verb): To take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly; To avail oneself of, to adopt, to welcome, to seize.
I think this word held special meaning for me; because, in 2016, I did a lot of running and a lot of ‘backing down’. . . I got comfortable living timidly and running from and fighting the hard stuff. This year I want to embrace all that gets placed in front of me. I want to embrace the journey. Embrace the struggle. Embrace the change. Embrace the surprises. Embrace the beauty. Embrace the love. Embrace THE NOW.
On January 1st, I opened my Bible app praying that God would lead me to a passage of hope and promise, and this was the verse of the day:
I felt God speaking to me so clearly, that what happened in 2016 is nothing compared to what He will do in 2017. He is working on something new in me right now! Friend, if you think you are waiting on God, think again. He is waiting on YOU! He has already begun a work in you. Maybe 2016 just didn’t feel like “your year.” Maybe it was full of heartache and struggles and trials. Or maybe it was the best year of your life, and you don’t know how any other could top it. Let me tell you, God loves making things new. He creates beauty out of ashes. He makes paths in the wilderness. He makes rivers in dry wastelands. He is waiting for you to live new! Whatever goals and dreams you have for 2017, He wants to lead you to them. He wants to give you the desires of your heart. And friends, the path to our goals is not going to be easy. That path through the wilderness. . .well, it might be dry and bumpy sometimes but its leading you to where you want to go. So embrace the journey, not just the destination. Embrace the struggle. Embrace what you will learn along the way.
This year, I am committed to LIVING NEW and loving well and embracing ‘the now.’ I am holding onto the promises of God’s goodness in my life, I am praying over my goals and dreams, I am living in the freedom that God gives me to live and love, and I am trying to bless others along the way.
I’d love to hear from you! How are you living new in 2017? What are your goals and resolutions? Do you have an inspiring word to live by this year? Let us know in the comments!