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.
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 :)