While 2017 was a good year to us, I am ready for a new year and new chapter. I know every year is a new beginning, but I feel as though I've been given a fresh start in 2018. The last three years have been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs, bumps, twists, turns, and just full of a lot of change.
When 2014 turned into 2015, I didn't make any real resolution or goal-- I just wanted to survive. My job had become very difficult and I dealt with a lot of drama. I just wanted to finish that job strong and not quit. Then, mid-January, we found out we were expecting our first baby. And that's when everything changed (for good, of course!).
Here is a pic of us from Christmas 2014-- at this time, we didn't realize it, but this was our last "just the two of us" Christmas!
When 2015 turned into 2016, Dan and I had just gone through a job crisis. He had been employed for five months and I just wasn't making enough at my current job. I'll be honest. While Elli brought so much joy into our lives, the last half of 2015 was stressful. We had to put our talk of "hey, just trust in God" into action. Thankfully, the Lord gave both of us jobs at the end of 2015 and we had the same start date in January. So, again, I didn't make any resolution or goal. I just wanted to figure out our new norm.
Here's a pic from 2015 with lil Elli. :)
As 2016 started wrapping up, we were surprised by the news that I was once again pregnant. I wasn't planning on having kids close together, but obviously, God had other plans. Once again, on top of caring for a toddler, balancing work and changes that happened there, and then being pregnant threw resolutions and goals out the window. In 2017, I just decided to go with the flow.
Here's a snapshot of our attempted baby announcement photoshoot. We didn't take a family picture this year because I was so sick and not feeling it. Also-- do you know how dang hard it is to get a one year old to pose the way you want her to? I think I took 60 pictures and 5 turned out decently. Haha!
And, I guess it's a good thing I made my mind up early in 2017, because, man! More changes! I mean, I thought I could handle it, but there were moments where I thought, "No more change, Lord! Can't I just master one thing at a time?" But, in 2017, God really stretched me and taught me how to be flexible. He showed me that His ways are greater. And I would still come out stronger at the end of the year.
As 2017 started to wrap up, I started to reflect on the last three years. It had been a whirlwind of events and to be honest, I was a little scared of going into 2018. What changes are going to happen this year? What crazy, wild thing is going to occur? In my panic, Proverbs 3:5-6 came to mind:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
And that's when I came up with my word for 2018.
Trust the Lord. Lean on Him. Seek Him more.
Despite having grown up in church, going to a Christian school and college, I've never been great about reading the Bible. But I want to make my time with Him intentional. How can I learn how to trust the Lord if I don't delve into His promises?
That leads me to a few of my Goals for 2018...
The first goal is to read my Bible cover to cover.
Lindsay Dryer from the Let's Be Real podcast inspired me last year. She committed to reading her Bible from cover to cover and did it in-- wait for it-- 62 Days.
YUP. 62 DAYS.
I followed her instastories and goodness, Lindsay is SO uplifting and encouraging. Was it easy? No. Was it doable? ABSOLUTELY. Seriously, if she can read her Bible in 62 days, I can read it all in 365. I'll be chronicling my journey throughout my blog and also on Instagram. (@Blissfulsouthernlife)
My second goal is to blog once a week.
Once a week isn't a lot, but it's manageable. I love writing. But, putting out content that's worth writing and reading takes time and I get burned out trying to blog everyday. So, what you can expect is a post every Tuesday morning. A sub-goal for blogging includes being on Instagram and Facebook a little more consistently than I had been. I'll be using Facebook to share my blog posts and share interesting and encouraging posts from my other blogger friends, and Instagram is just going to be me unfiltered. You can follow me @blissfulsouthernlife!
My third goal is to form community.
As a kid, it was easy to say to the random girl on the playground, "Will you be my friend?" But now, as an adult, it's hard. And as an introvert, it's painfully hard. However, forming your community is so important. And biblical! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."
Y'all. We need each other. We need each other to build each other up in the faith. We need to help each other when we struggle. We need to be lifting each other up and not tearing each other down.
I've been there... feeling alone in a personal struggle isn't fun. It's hard to get out of that rut! And you know what? In the last year, I realized that there are others out there just like me-- struggling to find that community. I've noticed that there is a lot of emphasis on moms needing community, but honestly, all of us young Christian adults, whether married or single, need community too. Regardless where one is in life, we can learn from each other. We should stop dividing up the singles and marrieds, but rather be putting them together.
There it is, y'all-- my three main goals for 2018 and my word and verse for the year in a nutshell!
Anyone else do this sort of thing? Link it up in the comments! I love hearing from you!