Tag Archives: New Year

2020 Reflections

2020 was a lot. A lot of discomfort, change, loss, pain, challenges and the unexpected for so many. It was a lot.

Throughout #2020, I’ve learned a lot too:

⁃ A lot of people had struggles and experienced loss this year. I learned that even when I don’t know how to comfort someone or the right words to say, #praying is something I can always do. It is something we all can do. #alldayeveryday #everydayfaith

⁃ I learned that I #love and miss hugs more than I thought. (Guess I am a hugger at #heart.)

⁃ I learned that #healing is possible. I saw miraculous healing and protection this year in family and even in myself. I saw the #powerofprayer !

⁃ I learned that waiting is not time wasted. Instead, it is time to grow. (I learned #patience is still an area I’m working on.)

⁃ While on the growth topic, I learned that we limit ourselves when we stay inside our comfort zones. Growth often happens in the discomfort.

⁃ I learned different ways to connect through virtual teaching. I learned different programs, techniques and platforms to use. I learned a lot of technology that I otherwise would never have learned! (My eyes may argue that it is too much #technology though.)

⁃ I learned how to connect with loved ones on a different level and also that it is okay to need space and quiet time too.

⁃ After 15 plus years, I learned to not be addicted to #running and that stretching and core is so important too. I learned to not be reliant on working out (even if it took a knee injury to get me there.) @ thanks for helping with your great videos and workouts too. And for helping me think outside the box.

⁃ I learned that when a dream is on your heart and won’t go away, chances are- it’s waiting for you.

⁃ I learned that even a baby step is a step. Each step is important to the process even if it involves some backward steps too.

⁃ I learned to appreciate quiet moments, and the loud ones. I learned to appreciate the small moments and the big. And that sometimes the quiet, small moments turn out to be the greatest.

⁃ I learned how to #selfpublish a #book! Thanks to @ helping me through. #illustrator #talent

(❤️ This book is now available on Amazon here: Book 1: How to Be Kind

⁃ I learned to lean in more and #trust #God!

⁃ I learned that while our world and country needs a lot of work still, I learned that there are really a lot of #good and good people all around.

⁃ I learned that while I still have a lot of work I need to do, I can do my part here and now (just like everyone can)… despite the mess… despite the imperfections.

So 2021, I pray you bring blessings, laughter, health and love to everyone. I pray and believe for God’s hope and joy !!! I pray and believe. ❤️❤️❤️

#dreambig #hope #bethegood

#howtobekind #childrensbook #bookone #series

#speakup #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood #authors #authorsofinstagram #writers #author #writersofinstagram #books #writer #bookstagram #writing #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #reading #book #write

(My top 9 pics were totally cut off but I decided to let it go… to let it be… and to embrace the #beauty in the #imperfections instead !

#theartofamessyhouse

#happynewyear

2020 Reflections

2020 was a lot. A lot of discomfort, change, loss, pain, challenges and the unexpected for so many. It was a lot.

Throughout #2020, I’ve learned a lot too:

⁃ A lot of people had struggles and experienced loss this year. I learned that even when I don’t know how to comfort someone or the right words to say, #praying is something I can always do. It is something we all can do. #alldayeveryday #everydayfaith

⁃ I learned that I #love and miss hugs more than I thought. (Guess I am a hugger at #heart.)

⁃ I learned that #healing is possible. I saw miraculous healing and protection this year in family and even in myself. I saw the #powerofprayer !

⁃ I learned that waiting is not time wasted. Instead, it is time to grow. (I learned #patience is still an area I’m working on.)

⁃ While on the growth topic, I learned that we limit ourselves when we stay inside our comfort zones. Growth often happens in the discomfort.

⁃ I learned different ways to connect through virtual teaching. I learned different programs, techniques and platforms to use. I learned a lot of technology that I otherwise would never have learned! (My eyes may argue that it is too much #technology though.)

⁃ I learned how to connect with loved ones on a different level and also that it is okay to need space and quiet time too.

⁃ After 15 plus years, I learned to not be addicted to #running and that stretching and core is so important too. I learned to not be reliant on working out (even if it took a knee injury to get me there.) @ thanks for helping with your great videos and workouts too. And for helping me think outside the box.

⁃ I learned that when a dream is on your heart and won’t go away, chances are- it’s waiting for you.

⁃ I learned that even a baby step is a step. Each step is important to the process even if it involves some backward steps too.

⁃ I learned to appreciate quiet moments, and the loud ones. I learned to appreciate the small moments and the big. And that sometimes the quiet, small moments turn out to be the greatest.

⁃ I learned how to #selfpublish a #book! Thanks to @ helping me through. #illustrator #talent

(❤️ This book is now available on Amazon here: Book 1: How to Be Kind

⁃ I learned to lean in more and #trust #God!

⁃ I learned that while our world and country needs a lot of work still, I learned that there are really a lot of #good and good people all around.

⁃ I learned that while I still have a lot of work I need to do, I can do my part here and now (just like everyone can)… despite the mess… despite the imperfections.

So 2021, I pray you bring blessings, laughter, health and love to everyone. I pray and believe for God’s hope and joy !!! I pray and believe. ❤️❤️❤️

#dreambig #hope #bethegood

#howtobekind #childrensbook #bookone #series

#speakup #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood #authors #authorsofinstagram #writers #author #writersofinstagram #books #writer #bookstagram #writing #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #reading #book #write

(My top 9 pics were totally cut off but I decided to let it go… to let it be… and to embrace the #beauty in the #imperfections instead !

#theartofamessyhouse

#happynewyear

Some Days Just Stink

Every January people ring in the New Year with high hopes of it being the break-through year of dreams taking off and miracles happening. And this past January 1st was just the same. I believed the great blessings that this year would bring as soon as the clock struck midnight. While I had tried to stay awake, I had only made it to 11:41 pm.

Hmmm… maybe my lack of endurance had been to blame for what soon happened…

Anyways, I woke up that first day with anything but a restored attitude. Instead, every ounce of my body struggled to get out of bed as I woke up with a massive headache. We had been with our friends and their kids the night before so maybe the two drinks I had gave me a headache? How could I be hung over? Wow, maybe my age was really catching up to me.

Still, I pressed on as parents do… cooking and straightening up, packing and prepping for the upcoming school week after being off for winter break. It was brutal. I told myself I would watch my former student and his Kentucky football team in the Citrus Bowl as I wrote and prepared this blog. However, I found myself freezing under covers watching the game with a heating pad along my spine and my eyes fighting to stay awake.

Soon enough, when the aches began, the thermometer told me different story, a 101 fever! Great! It was the first day of the year …the first day for a restored attitude …

and I could not work out because I felt so terrible…

I could not write (I always started mornings off by praying and writing)…

I could not spend time with my kids…

could not have a romantic evening with my husband…

I could not even eat…

I was not productive…

I just laid around and waited for bedtime.

The virus passed quickly as usual since I had worked hard in building up my immune system after having the kids. Now, I was back at school still not feeling like myself, but functioning and sweating actually more than I would like to admit. I was trying not to feel discouraged. We had so much to look forward to…

My husband had a potential new job offer much closer to home…

My daughter was finally getting to try straight cow’s milk with our allergist the following week …

TJ’s annual blood work for allergy levels would be back soon and for the past two years they had dropped significantly for eggs and dairy…

So much to look forward to! So much to praise God for… just around the corner…

If we could just get to the corner, everything would be okay…

Then the next week came and my husband Timmy took our daughter to try cow’s milk with her doctor. I had it planned out; since I was working until late we would go to church the following day to go to the alter and praise God for the outgrown allergy, a tradition we had done for all of the other food challenges TJ and Madison had passed and allergies they had outgrown. I mean she already ate chicken francaise, Hersey kisses, pizza, baked products, a bunch of items with cow’s milk in it, there was no doubt in our minds that she wouldn’t pass…

until that exact thing happened.

She didn’t pass….

…after just one drop, her mouth got red and itchy. We would have to try again in August…

Then, TJ’s annual results got back and they had stayed pretty much the same. The same!?! I believed… we believed they would drop drastically again…

To make matters worse, Timmy still had no news on the job offer that was given over a month ago.   They had been negotiating back and forth … until finally it fell through …

Jen, breath, it’s all just around the corner.  Just not yet….

 

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And then I read TJ’s report card: “He has a kind heart. Sometimes, he gets frustrated because his friends don’t understand him. I love his art work!”

WHAT!?!?!? Great sandwiching of the comments … but why was this the first time I was hearing about this. Sure, we noticed certain sounds were lacking like tr and k but he was our first, we had no idea what was typical and what wasn’t. As a special education teacher, I tried my hardest to not overanalyze and diagnose my own children.  Maybe, I was wrong…maybe I should have asked…

Guilt and frustration were having a field day…

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So I lost it. 2019, what were you trying to do to me? It had only been a week, but bad news after bad news plus the pile up of responsibilities on my plate at school, built up for a meltdown.

I started to think …
What a “great” year this is going to be?
Now what… will this year bring?
Can we restart?

And even something I totally had wrong:

What had I done wrong?

Then, as I stopped myself to pray. These words spoke to my heart…

“Be present and stay patient in prayer.”

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

It was the time to start declaring the year was going to be one of blessings.  It was not time to be fooled by a bad day, week, month or season. It was certainly not the time to stand around and wait to enjoy “the right now.”

The whole time when I was waiting for the perfect news to praise God and to declare how blessed we were, I had it all wrong.

It’s not about waiting for the thunder to pass …

it’s not about waiting for the good news…

it’s not about waiting for the prayer to be answered ….

the allergy to be cured … the money to come…

It’s about seeing the beauty of the storm itself.

It’s about accepting that some days, some weeks, some seasons just stink, and

that. is. okay.

But what is not okay is believing that those days and storms will always be. Instead, it was believing and knowing that they all have their purpose. That they do transform us into who we are called to be… into our best selves … and for that we can genuinely smile through it, knowing storms do eventually run out of rain.

So get those rain boots on and walk proudly through those puddles. Find laughter through all seasons. Embrace the storm as you learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. 

 

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To 2019… even though we got off on the wrong foot, every day is new chance to start over and for that … we are just getting started!

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm...” – Mark 4:39