Thursday, January 26, 2017

Something New and Exciting

I wrote my first blog post on October 11, 2005.  That's eons and 738 blog posts ago.  I can look back at the number of posts I wrote in a year and often tell what season of life I was in: the year I met and married Sean there were zero posts, the year I took a blog course and played around with it lots was by far the highest, and since I've had my shop I've written only about a third as much as before.

At various times I've thought of being done with it, but usually decided I enjoyed it too much as a creative outlet to give it up, even if I wasn't posting regularly; other times I heard from an unexpected person that they read / follow / enjoy my blog, and that was motivation to keep it up.

This season of my life is a time of wondering what's next.  My girl is 17 and graduating this year and making her plans for life after high school.  My boy just turned 5 and is going to be starting Kindergarten in the fall.  It's the age old mama question - what will I do with myself?  Find a job once he gets to full days?  What do I want to work at?  And for the more immediate future, I've been wondering about how I can best serve my God, outside the roles of being a wife and mom.

I keep coming back to blogging.  And I feel it's time to write a new chapter.  I've bought a domain and am in the middle of putting something together over on WordPress.  I thought of moving this blog over there, but decided to start a whole new thing, so I will keep this space for family updates, creative stuff, book recommendations, and what ever other random obsessions I indulge in, just as it has been.

There are a gazillion voices online; mine will be one more that chooses to bring hope and light and points to Jesus.  There will always be room for more voices doing that.  My new blog will be about living with faith.  I'll be sharing what I'm learning and noticing in God's word and in my life.  One verse that jumped out at me as I've been figuring out what this should look like is Psalm 105:1, which says:

Oh give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name;
make known His deeds among the peoples.

Thankfulness, prayer, and telling His stories.  I want to do that.  It's been a few months of bouncing this idea around already, and I'm sure it will continue to be refined as I go, but I'm excited to be at the point where I am almost ready to launch.  Tuesday, February 7 will be the big day!  I will make sure to post a link so you can check it out.

Thank you for hanging out with me here this last decade and for sticking around.  I sure appreciate you.

PS - There's a Part II to this!  I'll let you know about that in a couple of days...

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

One Word 2017

I have a few projects in the works that have me thinking about words and main ideas and titles, and I had one of those picked as a good option for this year's word.  But then as I was thinking of writing about it, a new word emerged that better described the direction I was wanting to go.  The word I choose to have for this year as my reminder, motivation, prayer, and goal, is LOVE.

It's a simple word, and oh-so-common, but the depths!  And I do feel that this is really something I need to dig into this year. 
  • Parenting a little boy - how can I express love in the midst of discipline effectively?  How can I teach him to love well?
  • In marriage - we just celebrated 10 years, but in marriage, how to love well is always something to think about.
  • Loving a big kid - how can I love well and effectively when big changes happen like high school grad and new adventures after that?
  • Ministry - loving those outside my four walls - This is where my projects in the works come in, and I need to see it all, the whys and the hows, through the filter of love.
  • Extended family, church family, friends - how am I doing at loving?  What can I do better?
  • Loving God - He is unchanging and knowable, but there is always more to discover about our Lord.  I want to dig into learning to love him more.
I didn't write about my word last year, but I did have one: Receive.  After a few tough years, it felt like we had a chance to breathe easier, and I felt God was saying that was not just all right, but what he wanted for us.  To receive healing, peace, rest.  To receive good things from him.  And it was a great year.  We did receive reconciliation, which was at the top of my list, and healing from a long suffered physical pain.  We bought a trailer and enjoyed more camping than ever before, which felt like a gift in so many ways.  My business was more successful than ever before.  We even won a garden tractor from a hardware store's grand opening, then sold it for the exact amount we needed for our property tax.  I'll receive that!

I am reading in Job at the moment, and 1:21 says "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."  I imagine many of you read that and immediately think of what has been taken away; I know I do.  We all have ups and downs in life; the truth is that there are seasons of grief and pain, and that there are also seasons of rest and refreshing.  I am so glad to have come through a season of Receive, and I think that's why Love is a natural fit for this year.  I feel like paying back - paying forward - all the good we've received lately.

May you have a wonderful 2017.
XO, Carolyn

PS - Do you have a word?  Leave me a comment and tell me a bit about why you picked it.