As I write this post the Christmas lights are still flickering on the tree and the entire house is quiet save for the sound of the washing machine. Being able to write in the early morning hours with a steaming cup of coffee and quiet reflection feel like stolen moments of luxury. It’s my favorite way to start the day.
When I look back on this year, the words that come to mind immediately are “intentional growth.” You may remember way back in January my Word of the Year was “intention” and I can honestly say with every decision we made good or bad, intention was front and center in my mind.
There are parts of this year that were really hard. It seemed preposterous the day before we were leaving for the cabin after spending six intense weeks participating in the One Room Challenge that our beloved Talladega, our oldest dog and keeper of my heart would need emergency surgery.
I never could have imagined we would lose 2 loved ones less than a week apart. I couldn’t have imagined our home would be struck by lightning setting off a series of events that took months to recover from. It never dawned on me we would still be cleaning up from Hurricane Hermine and Matthew or that The Pickers Market would close and I would be left with soul searching decisions to make.
And yet…we survived and in some cases thrived despite all the setbacks.
What I’ve realized from going through all of those events is that life continues to happen whether you are ready or not. Whether you have the time, the money, the resources, the stamina or the fortitude to handle what comes your way. Joy and pain, love and loss, victory and defeat will find their way to our doorstep regardless of our state of readiness.
Which leaves us only one choice…to celebrate all things big and small.
I know sometimes in the moment, it’s tough to even think about celebrating. Believe me, I was a total wreck during some of these events, so I get it. I guess what I’m saying is I’ve learned you can work through the hard stuff and celebrate the blessing at the same time. The only catch is you have to choose to do so.
Here’s a look back at 2016…
Given we’re just a few days away from 2017, I challenge you to look back on the events of 2016 that seemed hard and find at least one thing to celebrate, however big or small. Because better days are coming your way, new adventures await, there are simple pleasures to discover, promises to keep and a purpose filled life to live.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your love, support and encouragement this past year. I’ve received hugs, phone calls, text messages, emails, direct messages, Facetime dates and Insta chats that have warmed my soul. You are the reason I wake up every day and do this creative job even on the hard days. Your comments, input, ideas and messages keep me going and it’s been an honor to have been part of your life this year.
Here’s to 2017, a milestone year and one worth celebrating!