welcome 34

Each year on my birthday I like to carve out a little time and space to write a bit and to review the past year as a way to celebrate the beauty of life and think over things I’ve learned and to ponder over my blessings as well as things I want to work on becoming better at being and doing.  Life is such a gift.  I get a little teary-eyed as I type that sentence.  This last year has been a wonderful year.  I have grown and stretched a lot.  Not everything has been easy—in fact some things have been really difficult, but much of it has been truly a joyful experience.

This past year my two little boys have grown more.  One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be their mother.  They have a vibrant way of living, and they give so much love and light to me!  I want with all of my heart to be the mother they need me to be. And my husband.  Somehow I love Jeremiah even more.  He is an incredible man, and I am blessed beyond measure.

I love the scripture in John 10:10  "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."  That verse of scripture has a lot of depth and meaning, but I think at least one meaning is that God intends for us to have an abundant life here and now! Through Christ we can have an abundant life. To me that doesn’t mean having a lot of stuff.  And it doesn’t mean living a life void of difficult experiences (though I’d prefer to not have them)!  Abundant life.  I love that phrase.  Here are some thoughts on what I believe creates an abundant life.

Being grateful.  To me it means being grateful—noticing all of the big blessings and also noticing the small blessings that are easy to overlook.  Things like driving to the home improvement store with my whole family as we laugh and talk and listen to music—just being together.  Or things like when my Abraham comes and wraps both of his arms tightly around my head and gives me a slobbery kiss and says “I love you so much.” Or when something comes together unexpectedly. I have started trying to say a little prayer of gratitude when I notice these little blessings—it has opened my eyes to goodness everywhere.  It is incredible!

Living wholehearted.  I don’t want to just survive or get through; I want to live wholeheartedly!  Wholehearted living is living life with enthusiasm!  Not holding back, but giving freely.  Celebrating now.  Being present.  Wholehearted living helps make everyday richer and fuller.  For me, a big part of living wholeheartedly is being deliberate about creating the life I want to live and doing the things I love.  I feel empowered to create the life I want to live.  I believe in the importance of dreaming (see a previous post on that here), and to me, living wholehearted requires that you have dreams and have made life decisions to pursue them.  

Seeing myself the way God sees me.  This may sound strange, but the older I get, the more I come to understand myself.  And the more I come to know myself, the more I begin to see myself the way God sees me. Coming to see myself more in that way is so liberating!  And humbling. It also helps me see others—including my family and children—and that also changes everything!  It helps me know He is there to lift and bless me even though I make mistakes and fall short everyday.  His grace is sufficient.

Here are some of my favorite photos from last year.  Here’s to 34!  xo