This Year

By Natalie

Each year I try to give myself a little more grace than the year before. Rather than focusing on specific resolutions I ask myself what I want out of the year. Last year I focused on being more intentional and while I succeeded in some areas I still lacked intenionality in others. This year I want to succeed in those areas I was lacking. More intentional with my time, my words, my prayers. I want my time with Felicity to be spent in a way that we both enjoy, my love towards Brandon thoughtful and gracious. I want to look back on each week and say, “I spent my time well. I spared the words that didn’t need to be said, I said the words that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I did what I could with what the week threw at me.” I want God’s grace to fill me up to pour me out each and every new day of this year.

Before this year’s end I want to complete another yearly reading goal. I want to schedule more date nights so Brandon and I can take a breather from our busy little toddler. I want to make time as a family to show Felicity the world around us. I want to take time for myself and stop feeling so stinking guilty about it. Mostly I want to be exactly who I know I am, with zero shame. May this year breath new life revitalizing me in every way possible. That’s my word for the year for those of you who do that sort of thing.

Revitalize. A new year, the same me, just a little refreshed in every sense. How am I going to feel refreshed in every area of my life? By continuing to practice what I fought so hard for last year, by being intentional. By giving in to the positive things that are pulling me. Sometimes this is literally Brandon pulling me in for a hug. When I just want to finish dinner, or I just want a moment to myself I have to remind myself that there once was a time when I ached to hug him again. Now I have ample opportunities to find him, in our very own home, embrace him, tell him how much I care for him and find it difficult to leave the security I feel in his arms.

I’ve also felt pulled in to serving at church again. We’ve had a lovely break after Felicity was born but I knew God was telling me it was time. I gave in, because I want to meet more people at our new campus and I also really want to snuggle babies again.

Giving in and letting go. I’m letting go of way too many things to count but mostly things that are in the past. Nothing I do now will change the reality of what they were. It’s a long road to acceptance I’m realizing. I’m accepting that my childhood is what it was and I’m looking at it with fresh eyes. Finding the sweeter moments, like sleepovers with my sisters, my aunt teaching me how to flip a flan. I’m coming to understand that in all of those times that I felt alone as a child was when I learned to hear God’s voice, it’s why without a shadow of a doubt I know when he’s speaking to me today. I spent so much time with him when I felt lonely, when I longed for my very own father to wrap me up God truly enveloped me. He sat with me, he comforted me and though today I want to be angry for my past I can’t be. I feel grateful for it. Grateful to have been given such a gaping hole that only he could fill.

As a child I remember I’d often sit alone, close my eyes and ask God to comfort me. I imagined myself on a swing, alone in a windy green field, except that I wasn’t alone, God was there. He was behind me, pushing me on the swing. Maybe this is a little heavy for you, maybe this isn’t what you were expecting from me today but for some crazy reason I feel compelled to share this big part of my testimony today. As a little girl I felt lonely, trapped, sad, abandoned. The little girl that I was felt unwanted yet when I closed my eyes there he was, pushing me on a swing reminding me that I wasn’t alone, that he was with me and he’d never abandon me.

I hadn’t thought about that in a while, not until I attended a women’s conference last fall. We were given an opportunity to be still and rest in God’s presence. I closed my eyes and there I was again at the swing, but this time I wasn’t the one in the swing, Felicity was. I had led her there. To the place where I found him, where I learned his voice. I felt so strongly that though my children might not have the gaping hole that I did, they would still come to know him through my faith. If I had to go through the tough stuff, to encourage my own children of what trust in God looks like I would gladly go through it again.

Sometimes I need this reminder, sometimes I think we all need this reminder that our lives don’t always pan out how we’d hoped. But that’s ok, we’re not forgotten, we’re not less than, we will one day reemerge strengthened.

So.. I want to be revitalized. I want to be intentional, for me and for the future of my family. I want to read books to my heart’s content. I want to knit in the winter months, I want to soak up every ray of sunshine in the summer months. Picnic in the spring, camp in the fall. I want to live a life that makes me happy and I want to keep writing. For me and for you. Year two thousand and twenty, you’re going to be a good one, I just know it.


2 Comments on This Year

  1. Nadir Lawrence
    January 23, 2020 at 7:12 pm (1 year ago)

    I love that word for the year! And I know God is going to pour out & use your story to reach everyone you connect with as you willingly share your beautiful picture.

    • Natalie
      April 3, 2020 at 11:49 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you!


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