January comes onto the scene each year with a lot of expectations, hopes and prayers. Some personal reflection is good I think. We could all improve on the discipline of meditation. But other reflection, over reflection, is less healthy. (Am I alone in my over reflecting-ness?) It’s bad whenever the message is “you are not enough”. While my head is full of cleaning tasks, home DIY projects, fitness goals, healthy changes (and continuations), prayers for personal and spiritual growth, I want it to be centered not on how much I don’t do, but how much God can do within me. The “experts” tell us that we’ll most likely fail. Gee…that’s so very encouraging.

But let the experts say what they want. When I look at myself many years ago and then see myself now, I see improvement!  I’m not who I was; I am better. That is most certainly not a failure! God is doing a good work in me and He will see it to completion! January is my reminder that I am human, flawed and for this life, a work in process. Shew! Breath out! In the mean time, each new day brings a little more hope, a little more encouragement and a little more progress. Perhaps I should photograph everything I accomplish in the space of a day to remind myself???

I’ve thought a lot about what I desire to see God do within me this year. It isn’t only about my time and what I do with it, but who I am. It’s the “Know-Be-Do” of my life. What I know changes who I am and affects what I do. While right now I know I can’t always get to the things I want to do, it builds in me tension (and reminds me that I am not perfect) that creates better time management strategies so I can do what I want to do! I’ve looked back at the year after I had our second child, Chase. I struggled to blog so much! Having gone through that then and looking back at it now gives me a lot of hope that I’ll pick this writing thing up again in a manner more to my liking soon.  I just have to keep on pushing through.

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” to quote the ever-lovely Dori from Finding Nemo…

Other encouragement for me came last week as my friend who suddenly is watching her three grandchildren after a serious illness and treatment for her daughter was diagnosed and treated. She said to me on the phone, “if it takes more than 5 minutes, it is NOT getting done!” What release those words brought me! It’s so encouraging to hear that other people are pressed for time with littles all around them.

The other encouragement for me came in my own son. My eldest, Cooper is 7, going on 8 years old. I love to watch him and see the things that flow from his heart. He is at that point where he is around me less. Which means I have a lot less control of what “flows” from him. Although a little challenging at first (i.e. for me to let go!), it has been encouraging to see him stand a bit on what he knows at this point in his young life. I remember the times as a baby when he would frustrate the tar out of me! Oh, how he tried my nerves! And I failed many times in how I responded. But there is a great amount of grace there.

Looking at him gives me confidence in my mothering, strength and long-suffering to continue the hard work of consistency with his younger brother (who is in his own trying and beautiful stage of life) and to even enjoy the babyhood of our little daughter who is crawling SO FAST now!

Best of all, I am finding encouragement when I make the effort to LOOK for it. His gifts are all around if we will just look.

So I write this post today mostly for myself and to remind myself to look for encouragement, to keep swimming and to get back up when I fail. It’s not about what I can do, but what He can do in me. That is limitless.

My sweet girl Cecelia in her Christmas dress! AH! She melts me...
My sweet girl Cecelia in her Christmas dress! AH! She melts me…
Our big boys watching the Santa Parade in Old St. Charles this December
Our big boys watching the Santa Parade in Old St. Charles this December
Jeremy and I at our best friends' house for New Year's.
Jeremy and I at our best friends’ house for New Year’s.
Me, Cecelia, My Sister Jessica and My Grammie fetching Christmas Trees!
Me, Cecelia, My Sister Jessica and My Grammie fetching Christmas Trees!


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