Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Goodbye 2016

This past January I wrote about how our family’s motto for 2016 was “Patient Endurance.” Since God revealed that to me, I shouldn’t be surprised of its relevance, but it was spot on for our past year. In March 2016, I was diagnosed with major depression, and the road to recovery has been a long one. While I’ve made incredible progress, I’m still healing and learning how to manage my illness. One of the therapeutic tools I’m using is writing. I’m eager to share with all of you what I’ve been working on, so stay tuned.

I shared my 2016 goals with all of you to keep myself accountable, so here’s my self-assessment reflecting on this past year:

Physical: Establish a weekly routine that allows time for rest individually and as a family, exercise and abide time with God. Completed. I’ll soon be posting about a fun, albeit nerdy process my husband and I went through to refine our schedules in 2016.

Emotional: Pray fervently whenever I experience negative emotions, so I better train myself to go to God first and not fall into the trap of believing the devil’s lies. This is a work-in-progress, but glancing down at my new tattoo (pictured above) helps. If you have trouble reading it, my tattoo is an ichthus that says, “Be patient. Trust God. Give thanks.” My husband and I got this same tattoo on my birthday this past June. The meme comes from the sermon he gave on Palm Sunday 2016. You can listen to it here.

Spiritual: Pray before interacting with others, so I can better reflect God’s character and offer grace even when it’s hard. Honestly, in all the work on myself in 2016, I forgot about this one. However, I have been working my prayer muscles a lot this past year, including times before I enter into a crucial conversation with someone.

Hello 2017

As we start 2017, I’m beginning a new chapter as a stay-at-home mom. At the end of this past year, I quit my part-time, work-from-home job. This decision came about as I was working on my schedule, trying to find time to regularly exercise and write—both are healing activities for me. When prioritizing what God has called me to do, it became obvious that I needed to make healing a higher priority. If I don’t heal, I won’t be able to do anything else well.

Since I tend to have high expectations for what I can get done in a finite amount of time, I had to try out a new routine of prioritizing healing while working part-time. After about three weeks, I realized there just weren’t enough hours in the day to do both well in this particular season of my life. So again, I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. I guess I’m still learning that “I Can’t Do It All,” as I wrote about in my very first blog post in June 2014.

Through our huddles, both my husband and I have been challenged to come up with a word or phrase that guides our family in the new year. After prayerful consideration, we chose “overflow” and this verse from Romans 15 to meditate on throughout the year:

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT

Last year we hung up the verses supporting our 2016 motto, “patient endurance,” in our master bathroom, so we could see them everyday. This year, I went out and purchased a frame we could hang to make this verse a more permanent part of our home decor. While it’s not hung yet, here’s what will be displayed between our bathroom mirrors for the remainder of the year:

 

This indeed is my prayer for each of you, dear friends, who take the time to read my musings in this little corner of cyberspace.

For those of you who also select a word or phrase to guide you in the new year, what is your family’s motto for 2017? Please share in the comments below.

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