2014 has arrived! Another brand new year to start fresh and clean. All this emphasis on beginning again but little reflection on the past year. Each new year I make a detailed list of resolutions which go through a vigorous editing process until I settle on a final draft. Each new year I focus so hard on my resolutions that I don’t think to look back and count my blessings. It’s easy for anyone to get caught in this trap from one new year season to the next. As humans we often live in a stage of discontent or even regret. Why is it so easy to zoom in on the mistakes and trials, and why do we immediately write them off as flaws from the past year, months, weeks, or days of our lives. Are our difficult times not our defining moments? Do we not desire to be motivated, inspired, and changed? And is the best way to achieve all three not to glide through life effortlessly, but to overcome obstacles and accept our circumstances; making the best of them that we can? I’m not sure what exactly changed my perspective this year but I can tell you this, I am so thankful it has been shifted. This year I made no resolutions, I didn’t even “cheat” and make a to-do list, though I admit I was tempted. This year, if there’s anything I want to achieve it is to give up my need for control and perfection. I want to strive to “go with the flow” more, learn from my mistakes, and let go of unattainable goals or expectations. What if this year I lived in the moment? No dwelling on the past and reliving mistakes over and over, flooding my mind and conscience with guilt. No dwelling on the future and what it may or may not hold. What freedom there is in the present moment and how often it goes unnoticed or taken for granted. It’s easy for me to get caught inside my head where doubt and fear are planted and when I allow can prosper, growing and spreading fast like a weed. How sad for me to listen to a voice of falsehood when I could just as easily listen to my heart, where my God breathes words of truth and life for the sake of my soul.
That being said I still think it good practice to reflect on the past year and to remember all the moments it brought, both good and bad. When I look back on this past year I see that it began with a lot of anger, bitterness, and jealousy. My 2013 began rooted in all the grief and pain that I had weathered throughout 2012 – battling depression, anxiety, and trying to move past the loss of our first child in an early miscarriage. 2012 was a tumultuous year, thus I had high hopes for 2013, expecting it to make up for such a difficult year in my life. Did I have another thing coming. 2013 I realize now, was somewhat of a transitional year. Instead of arriving at a destination 2013 was all about the journey. As I said, my 2013 did not begin well. I was still dealing with the aftermath of numerous trials and struggling to do so. Most of all I hated myself for feeling depressed and I hated every pregnant woman I saw, whether I knew her or not. Though I didn’t deserve to be blessed, I was. April brought with it a new job which I quickly grew to enjoy and friendships with my co-workers blossomed effortlessly. It didn’t take long before I felt that I “belonged” there. July brought with it a new arrival, as we learned that we were expecting. And all the months after that were a constant challenge but a challenge I am grateful for, despite the occasional whining that may have escaped my lips. Morning sickness hit me hard and our lack of air conditioning at home and the business of work did not help lighten the load, but I made it past the summer months and the coolness of autumn brought some relief. As the weeks passed I began to slowly improve and gradually I could eat more regularly and choose from a greater variety. By the end of October I was more or less free of morning sickness and as my belly grew I began to enjoy the process of pregnancy. As we heard our baby’s heartbeat and saw baby’s tiny hands and feet and button nose on the ultrasound screen the whole thing suddenly became reality. I wasn’t living in a dream world, there was a child growing inside me that we would in the coming year hold in our arms. When I first began feeling movement I was shocked and couldn’t believe it was what it was. Then as I watched my husbands face as he felt our baby move for the first time, I saw how much he loved our baby already and my heart was overflowing. These are moments that I will never forget and moments I would not trade for anything. I have learned so much of strength and resilience in the past few months and as each week brings us closer to welcoming our little one into this world, suddenly I see all the things that are truly important. Not a fancy house or a fancy car or a skinny body, but love above all else. I have learned to cherish the real treasures this life has to offer and that is a lesson I will value till I die.These are thoughts I carry with me into this new year – 2014.
As we prepare for our lives to be changed dramatically in the coming weeks I look to the future with hope, optimism, and eagerness. I cannot wait to hold our sweet baby and look into the face that will change our lives forever and in an instant.
May you each be blessed in the coming year and not let any moment pass you by. In a fast-pace and materialistic world, may we all learn to “stop and smell the roses” and to value what truly matters. Thanks as always for reading!