August 15, 2016

Six in Sixteen: What I've Learned This Year

I was texting with Cassie the other day, and she mentioned wanting to write about the things she's learned so far this year. I suggested a title for the post, and then I started thinking about my own list of lessons from this year. Thankfully, she was up for me joining in! Be sure to check out her blog to see what 2016 has taught her. There were so many things I felt like I could have chosen, but these six definitely stand out:

If I had to choose only one thing I've learned this year, this statements sums it up. This year has repeatedly reminded that I'm not in control. I've had some scary health stuff going on (I'll probably write about it later), and it's forced me to confront this truth. It's been hard, but it's been good for me in a way, too. It's easy to think I can have a plan for everything, but life doesn't work that way. As hard as this lesson has been, it's also been the one that's teaching me to trust God more fully and to take my worries to Him.

This is such a cliché, but it had to be included. Everyone told me that a baby changes everything, and they weren't kidding! Becoming a mom has been one of the most rewarding, challenging, humbling and amazing things that has ever happened to me. I can't put into words how much I love my son and how much joy he's brought into my life. From day-to-day things (it takes so long to get ready to go anywhere!) to big stuff (it feels like my heart now exists outside of my body), nothing will ever be the same!

Growing up, I remember saying something to my mom about how I wanted to read my Bible more. She pointed out that if I wanted to do it, I would. What she meant was that we spend time doing what we want, so I'd make the time for it if it was truly important to me. I keep coming back to that idea this year. If you care about something, you'll find the time to do it. For me, one example is doing my best to read every day - even if it's just a page or two. I'm a better version of me when a spend a little time doing something I love!

I'm an introvert and a homebody who prides herself on being independent. I'm the kind of person who wants to make sure my house looks perfect before someone comes over, and I don't easily talk about the heavy things that are on my heart and mind. But I'm slowly learning that I can't do things alone and I have to invite people into my life, even if that means they see the mess. People can't show up for you, can't support you or surprise you, if they don't know you need them. I'm working on becoming a little more open.  

With everything that's happened this year, both good and bad, it's made me more thankful than ever for my husband and my parents. I've always known that I married a good man, but seeing Nick become a father and having him by my side the last few months has just made me love him even more. Plus, I was already convinced that I have the best parents in the entire world, and it's just been confirmed this year. I want the people in my life to know how much I appreciate them because I can't imagine my life without them in it.

This lesson circles back to the very first one, and it's definitely easier said than done. This year, I have to keep reminding myself to take things one day at a time. I don't want to spend each day thinking about the unknown because the what ifs and the what nexts can be overwhelming! So, I remind myself that worrying about the future will keep me from being present - and I don't want to waste the here and now. But when that doesn't work? It's good to talk about what's on my mind (and maybe cry a little, too).

What has 2016 been teaching you?

9 comments:

  1. Those are all good lessons to learn. I need to do better on so many of those things.

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  2. I hope your health issues resolve well, Hannah. Thinking about you!

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  3. Beautiful post Hannah. Just want to say I'm thinking of you. May you have the strength, love, support, & faith to carry you through :)

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  4. These are such good lessons, many of which I've been thinking about too. Especially "you make time for what you want to do." I keep saying that I want to write more, to finish my book, but I have not been good at making that a daily goal, and I need to refocus and do so, or figure out what it is I really want to do. I worry about the future too much, it's hard not to and not to skip ahead. But taking each day at a time and appreciating the little things feels good and I'm trying to concentrate on that more. I'm so sorry you've been having health problems, I hope you'll be alright and I'm glad you have a good support system. If you ever want to talk, I'm a text away <3 And I'm so happy for you and your baby! I can only imagine how much he changes your life and I hope I get that joy myself someday :) I'm also trying to learn to be more patient, to think before I blurt things out, and to apologize if I do say something hurtful in the moment, even if I didn't mean it. It's easy to make excuses instead of just saying, "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings." Anyway. Miss you friend! I'm glad you're still posting here and there.

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  5. It's seriously so good to see a post from you in my feed, my darling Hannah! I've missed your thoughtful, eloquent posts. I love the six lessons that you've shared here; they're all very important indeed, and definitely stuff that I'd like to keep in mind too. Personally, I'm always haunted by the thought that I make time for the things I want to do - so anytime I haven't done something I aspire to (like finish a story or do a small project), it's because of my own lack of commitment to it. Definitely something to think about.

    As always, lots of love for you! Always around if you need a chat <3

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  6. This is sucha great post and it's that point about finding time which I love. It's so true, we manage to find time for the things we care about even if it's just a few minutes we can spare. If it's important to you you'll work for it.

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  7. Really love this post and these lessons. Thank you for sharing them, and hope your health issues resolve themselves!

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  8. Oh, Hannah, I love this post! (Miss you, too, by the way!)

    I like all of the points you've made, most especially #4: inviting people in. My friend Amanda had a baby around the same time your son was born, and she (once an extrovert) immediately clammed up. She didn't want people to notice she hadn't showered in days, hadn't washed the dishes or cleaned the house, hadn't read a full book in a week, didn't see that trailer for some awesome movie coming up. She felt GUILTY about being a mother, about letting things get a little out of control, that she pushed us out. She's learning to let us in, to let us help. The people you love in your life love you back, no matter what! <3

    2016 has taught me to, most important, not fear the future (must like your #6). There are too many factors, too many scenarios, too many outcomes, that fretting about something I can't control makes me fear it more. That state of mind isn't healthy! I've also learned to utilize time management skills. I've noticed I tend to get a little ADD at times (especially in the summer) and need to buckle down and work when it's time to work. Compartmentalizing. If I don't, things get a little...jumbled.

    I hope you're doing well! And that the health scare is gone or under control. I'm sorry to hear about that, but I'm so thrilled to hear you're enjoying life as a new mother!

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  9. wow so simple an idea but it says so much about what we choose to make time for in our lives. Good luck with everything! God bless!

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