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?
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