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New Year…New Beginnings

When we moved this summer Andy and I talked about how this would be a fresh start, a new beginning, a time to implement some positive changes for ourselves and our family.

One of the practical areas I have tried to improve on is staying organized.  I would not consider this a strength of mine, but I know that this is important to Andy.  In fact, a recurring theme I heard Andy repeat time and time again as we were building the house is, “I can’t wait to have a place for everything“.  As I was unloading boxes I tried to keep this mantra in mind.  If you were to visit my home I believe you would get the impression that our house is fairly organized, at least compared to what it was.  🙂  Just don’t judge me if you open any closet doors.

One of my favorite and more noticeable changes that has taken place is how much time we spend outside.  Previously, we lived downtown, and although I loved our location and our home we did not have much outside space.  We were fortunate to have more room than many others, but our new home has given us ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

I’ve been able to rock on the porch while watching the kids ride scooters and bicyles in the driveway.

We spread a blanket on the porch one day and did our reading time for school.

The kids play independently outside as I check on them by glancing out of the windows.

With the inclusion of our new bikes, we’ve enjoyed some additional family time walking with the kids as they pedal down the road.  Being fairly new to the neighborhood we still have several families to meet, but I guarantee you that many of the houses in close proximity have now been introduced to me as I yelled,

“Car!”

“Get on the side of the road!”

“Don’t ride in the middle of the street!”,

“Come back!  You’re too far!”

There will definitely be a learning curve for the kids (as well as myself). 🙂

As I consider this new year I remember our recent move.  The hope of new beginnings, starting with a clean slate, enjoying the day to day.

I’m ready.

I’m ready to move into this new year.

As I was writing this post an older and wiser friend, who I have been sharing hopes and dreams and realities with, texted me these astute words.

It was so meaningful I immediately stopped what I was doing, went and grabbed construction paper, glue, and scissors and created an art project.

IMG_9621

Here are her words as I asked for insight into balancing my time, desires, and callings.

“If you feel called to ______, then that is the big rock that needs to be put into your jar first, along with your marriage and your relationship with Jesus.  The smaller pebbles then would be your ____________, ____________, and other activities you want to participate in.  And then the sand that fills any extra space would be your free time activities.  Be in communication with Jesus and He will help you set these priorities.”

I need a tangible picture of this.  I need a daily reminder of what my priorities are.  I’m sharing my “jar” with you.  I purposely left some rocks and pebbles blank so that you can fill them in with your priorities.  Maybe you’re more creative than me or have time to actually get a “real” jar and find “real” rocks and pebbles to write on.  Or maybe you will just look at this jar and consider your rocks and pebbles.

Whatever you may do, this is a New Year with New Beginnings.

Dream big.  Stand firm.  Begin again.

…And let the Lord lead.

He never disappoints.

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