Saturday, December 31, 2016

Three Ways That I'm Starting Off the New Year

Merry Christmas, everyone! 
The Christmas Octave has been flying by, and we've been having so much fun. Between flying out of state (and back!), having a friend from out of state visit us in Oklahoma for an afternoon, and unpacking/cleaning our living room before relatives come over in a few hours, it's been an epic whirlwind, full of joy and lots of peaceful relaxation. And while I've been mostly absent from the internet, I noticed that many bloggers have been focusing on their goals for the new year. I don't have anything super profound on that front, but there are a few ways that I'm choosing to greet the year 2017. 


I'm not making mountains.
You know the cliche, "Don't make a mountain out of a molehill"? I've heard this so many times and I know the wisdom of it, but do you know what? I often make those mountains anyway. In the grand scheme of things, ___________ isn't that big of a deal. Neither is _______ or _________. While I've been improving in this regard, there have still been occasions where I slip up. For example, in 2016, I got my first-ever speeding ticket. Instead of accepting my husband's ready forgiveness, paying the fine, and being done with the issue, I spent days agonizing over it. I believed that I was the Worst Person Ever for doing such a thing. I did not see any way that I could ever move beyond such a horrible act. Well, while a speeding ticket isn't a "molehill," it's not the huge mountain I was making it, either. Only God knows what 2017 will bring, and with His help, I can undergo whatever crosses my path...so there's no reason to make things bigger issues than they really are. 

I'm quitting the comparison game.
Why do I (and so many women) struggle with comparing and contrasting ourselves to others so much? Even though I try and try to avoid this, and I hold the saying, "Comparison is the thief of joy" close to my heart, I still find myself jumping into that nasty game. Well, I've had enough. Lately, if I find myself starting to think of another person in a compare/contrast way, I say a quick prayer and stop in my tracks. There's no need to sit around and ruminate about what other people do or don't do; God will take care of all of us, and I need to focus on how I can become a holier, better woman. 

I'm embracing simplicity and silence.
When life is peaceful and simple, I really enjoy it. So why do I fill life with more noise than it needs? Simplicity and peace has been a recurring theme this year. I thought about the need to make peace a priority. I traveled to a monastery and realized how much chaos I've been letting in. I put a solid boundary in place of only having 2 tabs open on my computer at a time (this has been awesome, btw). And still, I find myself making life noisy and complicated. After a couple of different conversations I've had recently, I finally took the plunge yesterday: I no longer have a Facebook "news feed." I wanted to keep my account, I still want to have "Facebook Friends" and keep up with various events and groups, but I did not want the time suck that is the news feed. So, I managed my news feed, and now it's just an empty space. It is so refreshing! So freeing! I love it. I already have much more silence (especially when I'm on the internet). 

Even with difficult and moments that have come this past year, 2016 was still really amazing. I am so excited to see how God is present throughout the year 2017! On that note, I'm off to dip some candy in chocolate. In case anyone is wondering, it's not a great idea to make homemade caramel candy while wrangling a rambunctious six month old, because it's hard to give boiling candy one's full attention while trying to appease a baby and keep him from becoming too cranky. On the bright side, even if the candy-making didn't result in caramels, the mixure turned into toffee, which is pretty fantastic and exciting :)

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