what. a. year.

It’s incredible to sit back and remember where you were at this time last year. Looking back and reflecting always has a way of reminding me how faithful the Lord is, even when I’ve struggled to see Him at moments throughout the last year.

It’s beautiful to see the places and areas you’ve grown in, and how every moment and experience, every good and bad lesson, has shaped you into becoming the incredible person you are today, tomorrow, and each day forward.

Last year was the first year I really sat down to reflect on what I learned in 2016 and what my goals were for 2017. I’m so happy and content with the fact I was able to accomplish the majority of those goals too! Now it’s time to step into 2018 with new goals stemming from the learning I’ve had in 2017’s lessons:

  • R E S T. You’ll never be able to thrive in your relationships with family, friends, and the Lord until you learn to rest. Resting isn’t bad, and taking a break to refresh and refocus doesn’t mean you’re incapable.
  • Accept H E L P. You weren’t made to do it all alone, and you don’t have to take on the world to prove something to everyone else around you. Pushing away help doesn’t make you seem stronger, it can actually hurt the relationships with the people around you who care and want to help you. If you want to always be the one other people come to for help, then you need to accept help as well.
  • Accept G R A C E. God doesn’t expect perfection, and neither should you. We will all make mistakes and fail, but this is where you learn and grow. See each failure as an opportunity to learn and grow into being a better daughter/son/student/employee/husband/wife/friend. God loves you more than you can ever imagine, with the flaws!
  • Never be A F R A I D to put yourself O U T T H E R E. You never know where a conversation, opportunity, or place will take you!
  • Being H E A L T H Y and F E E L I N G good is about B A L A N C E. You’ve got to eat the dang doughnut sometimes! Get a burger with a bun &&& French fries. Take a day, or two, or three, and don’t workout. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and enjoy each and every day to the fullest.
  • Stop striving to B E them, when God made Y O U to be Y O U.
  • L O V E others with all you have. Never be afraid to lean into loving others. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, welcome uncomfortable, and celebrate relationships.
  • D O N ‘ T push down emotions. You have to let yourself feel what you feel. Pushing down the sadness, grief, frustration, stress, will be worse off for you in the long run. Welcome all the feelings and feel all the feelings!
  • P E R M I S S I O N slips are P O W E R F U L. I’ve started writing down, like physically writing down, permission slips for myself each day. I have a reminder in my phone to do it and this action has become really important to me each day. Brene Brown, one of my favorite authors, talks about how she will write permission slips for herself and how the action of writing it down and seeing it allows her to actually feel like she has permission to be. I am one who takes myself too seriously so lately my permission slips have been: “Permission to be free” & “Permission to be spontaneous” & “Permission to be goofy”. Seeing it on a sticky note, which I often place on the back of my phone, is this reminder and accountability partner when I start second-guessing or doubting or acting too uptight! It can give me those 10 seconds of courage to just be!

goals 

  1. Have quiet time with the Lord daily. Even if it’s just 5 minutes.
  2. Read 8 books (last year my goal was 5 and I did it!) & continue learning/being curious about the world around me.
  3. Walk with a quiet confidence.
  4. Use those permission slips.
  5. Travel to 5 new places.
  6. Be present with others (phone down!) so I can be better at pouring into others.
  7. Rest and take care of myself. Listen to what my mind, body, and soul need! God also gave us Sunday as the Sabbath for a reason.
  8. Cut the critical self-talk and allow myself to see me the way God does!
  9. Try speaking more, writing more, and taking on opportunities that push me beyond what I think I’m capable of. Take the risk.
  10. Love others well.

Stepping into a new year can be nerve-wracking because of the unknown and uncertainty. Maybe 2017 was a hard year for you. Or for your family. Or for your relationships, health, or finances. Maybe 2018 is scary as you learn to live life with one less person in your family, or maybe it’s one more person. One thing I’m holding tight to as I see 2018 right around the corner is the fact that the Lord is in control and I’m excited to see all He has in store for 2018. I don’t know what He has planned for you, and sure don’t have any idea what He has planned for me, but there is something quite incredible and exciting to the unknown as well! He has more than we can ever imagine planned for this next year and I’m challenging myself to walk in with arms stretched wide!

cheers to the new year!!

xoxoxo,

shay