Each year I choose a word versus a resolution. Actually, are you curious what my last resolution was? I believe it was in 2011(ish) and it was to floss my teeth daily. A. Yuck. B. It was my LEAST favorite thing to do, and I thought if I tried to make it into a resolution, I'd get better. Where did that lead me? Striving to grasp hold onto a word because a whole phrase was too much of a letdown.
Words are my love language. They fill me up when given the proper amount and drain me empty when there's a lack thereof.
So what's in a word? Life. Breath. Love. Hope. A simple nudge to keep going.
Who knew one word could mean so much, but when you sit with it for awhile, let the syllables roll off the tip of your tongue and feel the vibration travel through your voice box as each letter is placed together, you find there's a whole lot condensed in such a small item, such as a word.
In 2014, less was all I could focus on. When you have a newly formed family of four, sleeping in two twin beds pushed together, or no sleep as you nursed your newborn baby I should say, you find the true meaning of "less is more." There was a time in my life I longed for more. More work. More friends. More money. More house. More love. More, more, more, all until I lost it all.
2013 was a transition not only for my family but my heart as well. More pushed me up against a wall and slapped me in the face. I'll call it my wake up call to what God really had in store for my life vs. all the things and relationships I held onto ever-so-tightly.
I realized the only thing I needed was the three other beings I shared that room with, love for myself and the One that gifted me life. My needs were brought to the surface and my wants subsided. I longed for less.
2014 was a year filled with heartbreak. A dark cloud hovered over me as I walked through my new journey of grief and longing for my babies I could no longer mother here on earth. I lived with a static-filled brain and a racing heart. My life had become chaotic and I was suffocating beneath the surface. I tried to fight back against the grief that chased me down, every hour of the day, but it wouldn't let me go. It kept pursuing me and it's alarming calls were loud. I found myself unable to escape. This lead me to my word for 2015, peace.
The peace I tried focusing on was the "I no longer hurt, I've let go" type of peace, you know the kind that only Jesus can actually give you if you allow him, but after lots of trial and error, I found that I was chasing the wrong peace. Just as grief sprinted towards my heart, my heart sprinted for quiet and escape. And it wasn't long until I finally realized that until I actually allowed grief into my heart, my heart wouldn't actually experience the peace and quiet it longed for. Healing wasn't going to start until I learned to live with grief and allow it in. At the end of the day, or year, I have to admit that I did end up finding peace by the end of the year. While I still battled anxiety as 2016 began, and a loud messy home, the true peace, given by Jesus, filled my heart and the fog that once lingered began to lift, and before I knew it, I could do life normal again. Well, a new normal, but also a healthy normal.
As the Fog began to lift I longed to put the pieces back together. You know, me. I wanted to master my to-do list, the never-ending tug-of-war between being a "work at home mom" and a "stay at home mom," and I wanted to master my life. I craved balance in it all. So, as I began to write my word for the year, balance, God spoke through a sermon at church and his words shifted my whole outlook. Balance doesn't exist in this real world. You will find yourself chasing it in a game of Red Rover, Red Rover, but you'll always find yourself caught, stuck in the middle, never knowing how you got there in the first place. I didn't need to "master" my life and/or conquer balance. I needed Jesus, and that was it. If I couldn't long for Jesus above it all, then I wasn't doing life right. I'd be chasing these words, over and over again, starving myself of the one true Word I've needed all along. Jesus became my word, and in 2016 Jesus brought me life.
I've never felt this close to him, ever.
And that brings me to my word this year. I've got Jesus, all that I'll ever need, peace within my healing, a longing for less & all things minimalistic, so all I want to do is LIVE.
My word for 2017 is LIVE.
I want to live my life to the fullest, as God intended me to do. I want to dance with my family, like a rockstar of course, and not worry who is laughing at me. I happen to think I'm funny, so I'd probably just laugh along with them. I want to write the blog and not worry what their thoughts are. I want to burn the candle (I read this not too long ago from a writer and I laughed at myself. How many times have I bought a wonderful smelling candle and waited until a party to burn it. What the heck!) I want to burn the candle that I love and buy another one for the party.
I want to forgive, freely and love others beyond their love for me. One of my spiritual gifts (take the test if you haven't people!!) is mercy. God gifted me the gift of mercy and I cannot fight it. I'll forgive you a thousand and one times (even if you hate me) and I want to do so without others looking at me with the stink eye and reminding me of all the wrong doings. I want to live a life full of mercy and grace. And I will.
I want to live a life that's full of memories, even if that includes mistakes. We all make them, but I want to live a life that's full of lessons learned from my mistakes.
I want to go on that trip, go for that dream, pursue my family, kiss a little longer, sleep in a little longer, drink the coffee while it's hot and live my life full of God's hope.
I am twenty-eight years old, and when I look back on my younger years I find a girl that didn't live her life to the fullest. Yeah, she took risks and fell in love. Yeah, she created beautiful memories and the cutest darn babies ever, but she lived scared. She lived based on how others thought she should, or how she thought she should live based on a standard she gave herself, but guys, life is more than that. Life is meant to be full of joy, even in the heartache, because we only are given one chance.
I want to live.
When we lost the boys, I almost lost my own life. I remember begging God not to take me. I literally pleaded because my children at home needed me. I remember fading in and out, grabbing Nick's hand telling him not to let me go, not to let me die.
Recently I met with my nurse who was there with me that day, and as I listened to her describe the day's events through her eyes, for once in my grief journey I saw myself on September 19, 2014, vs. the boys. I saw myself through her eyes and my heart broke. I almost died, and even though God had saved my life, I was living as though I never fully grasped what that meant. I was given a second chance and with that, I want to live it.