Happy New Year, friends.
Whether you went to bed early like I, or stayed up to see the ball drop, we are all in 2022 now. As I’ve gotten older, my views on holidays like Christmas, Easter, and my birthday have changed (for the better, if you were wondering) while my view of New Years remains the same.
We get a fresh start when we become a Christian, and that fresh start is constantly renewed by a sovereign, merciful God. A new year is realistically no different than any other day for a Christian, except another reflection of the greatest gift As a Christian, New Years is a reflection of the greatest gift we’ve been given and a new covenant. Ephesians 4 calls us to unity and maturity in the Body of Christ, but also instructs us to “put off your old self…” and “be made new in the attitude of your minds…put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness“.
At the start of every new year, I do like to reflect on the path I’ve been on, the goals I hope to reach, and whether I’m living up to God’s standards. The answer for the last one is always no, but that fact isn’t void of hope, for, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3).
God has done a lot of refining in me through the past few years, much of that growth I can see just by looking at my past resolutions. Three or four years ago, my goals were self-centered. I wanted to be a famous writer, famous journalist, famous Youtuber or influencer (funny how things change, I cringe at all my goals to be well-known and famous). I was sucked into new age living, where “manifesting my dreams” was at the forefront of my life. In reality, I felt as lost in 2017 as I did in 2009. I tried to manifest a new car, a ridiculous goal weight like everyone else in January. “Me” was at the forefront of my life. Funnily enough, I can’t explain the refining that God made in my life. I can’t explain what started it, or when my opinions changed, when my priorities changed, when my political views changed, my interests, my daydreaming…one day I just found myself focusing on “things above” more than I ever had. I stopped struggling with imposter syndrome in every area of my life. I’ve never felt more confident in my life. The difference being, I stopped trying to find confidence in myself (which will never be truly found), and look to Him who has created. ‘Confident in the Lord’ is what you could say to summarize my 2021.
I started studying scripture to seek Him, instead of seeking answers in my own selfish desires. I read Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus. I deeply studied Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I was present with my family. I read 23 books this year, almost all of them theologically rich. I watched Season 2 of the Chosen. I watched the new Marvel shows on Disney. I made new friends. I started head covering. I started watching Little House on the Prairie. My son was diagnosed with autism. We had adventures at the Lions Den and Port Washington. I spent many days hunting butterflies. We found a new private swimming spot with a sandy beach. I carried a sobbing 4 year old through a muddy nature preserve and then went to visit my husband at work with muddy clothes. I rode a horse, then I rode a different horse because the first one decided to not listen. I hiked Holy Hill. We visited the museum and the zoo. My son got a covid test and I sat through my son’s oral surgery at Children’s. We visited the library over 50 times and checked out hundreds of books. I helped a family member get sober, pet a chinchilla, helped my grandmother move again, became best friends with a baby duck, and had a date night at Casa Tequila. I went to Holy Hill again, celebrated my niece’s birthday, went to the fair, grew a butterfly garden, and watched our favorite park get destroyed to build new homes on the land. I took a trip to Appleton, went to the pumpkin farm, made a whipped cream strawberry cake, watched my sisters walk in the homecoming parade, helped my sister pick out her first homecoming dress, listened to my sister sing, danced with my husband in the living room, became the owner of a fish named Daisy, took my son to his first movie at the theater, marked one year of working as a Children’s Ministry Director, and went to brunch for my husbands birthday. I found a new coffee spot, and then found another new coffee spot. I joined a local homeschool group, then joined another local homeschool group, then created a new local homeschool group. I went to Bible study and made more friends. I taught myself how to embroider, crocheted a scarf, baked a peach pie with peaches our neighbor gave us from Georgia, and witnessed the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen. I listened to the audiotapes of Chronicles of Narnia, shared a speaking role at a christian women’s event, caught a horse that escaped from it’s field, watched my son and sister’s soccer games, and proclaimed the Gospel. I ran through a sprinkler, celebrated my 27th year on this Earth, celebrated 7 years of marriage with a man that I fall more in love with every day. I watched my sisters and son ride horses, played with baby goats, …and I saw the goodness of God in the every day mundane tasks of a stay-at-home, homeschooling, mama and became saturated with the love of Jesus.
2021 may have been another bad year in the books for the world, but in my little world that God blessed me with…it was a fantastic year. It truly was. As I type this, I can’t recall much of the bad, the good outshines it.
I don’t know what God has in store for 2022, but I’ve written my hopes and intents.
I intend on reading the entire Bible in the month of January.
I intend to write more.
I intend to learn how to preserve food (I asked and received a canning set for Christmas. I love the idea of pursuing hobbies that can impact the life of yourself and your family…and hobbies that point to God – harnessing His creativity, ambition, and productivity. Not to mention what a good way to be a steward of this Earth).
I intend on fine tuning my new embroidery skill.
I intend to play the piano.
I intend to regain some control of my health through functional medicine.
I intend to focus on homeschooling.
I intend to grow a quality herb garden with chives, oregano, mint, lavender, lemon balm, sage, chamomile, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, fennel, cilantro, calendula, and basil.
I intend on tending to yard work. My mother in law has a beautiful lilac bush that has started to die, most likely from a fungal infection based off of my research and I’d hate to see it go especially since she’s so fond of it. I brought her rosebush back to life, hopefully I’ll be able to restore her lilacs.
I intend on continuing on focusing on things above and living with John 3:30 in mind.
I intend on continuing to document the year with photos, but this time being in them myself.
I intend on being a better steward of our grocery budget, which I let go over every single month.
I intend on sharing the Gospel and praying for the lost.
I intend on applying scripture to my life more than I did in 2021.
I intend continuing to say yes to adventures and spending as much time as I can with God, with my family, and outdoors.
I intend on 2022 be Soli Deo Gloria!