Wow, where did another year go? I look back at all the many blessings and I choose to FOCUS on them – the blessings and not the hard times. (Focus was my 2016 word so it is only fitting ). I took a leap of faith and left a job I thought I would retire from. I walked through the door God opened and let Him close it behind me.   This summer we put in a swimming pool – life changing! For the first time in my life I left down my worry about our home and opened the doors wide. Those that came knew they were stepping into a crazy house, but we were there with our arms wide open full of love, acceptance, and friendship. LIFE CHANGING!!!! I could easily focus on the years that I missed those types of friendships, but I choose to FOCUS on the now. Our whole family has felt the most amazing return on love from the people who have swam in our pool, sat by the bonfire, shared at our table, played zombie apocalypse (An original game by Sam), etc… The church family, the youth group, and new friendships. The tears truly run down my cheeks of the deep friendships and the richness they have added to our lives.   When you are a momma to children who don’t fit the “normal” and your children discover genuine love and friendship it is life changing. Had I left my guard up and not opened our home and left myself be vulnerable to judgement, the friendships may not have happened. Instead, at any given time friends are welcomed in… around the table… in any room of the home…   Food will be offered from peanut butter filled pretzels to tacos and if it is warm bonfires provide hot dogs, campfire pies, and smores. Sam developed friendships that are indescribable. Hours on end spent playing with other kids who either “get” him or don’t really care there is a difference. Mary’s friends are like my children. The table is always open – I may need to dump everything into a laundry basket to clear the seats – but it is always open. The table has been a place of many conversations, games, and even a place to stand for Nerf wars. We got to meet the incredible guy that Mary has fallen in love with as he spent time with our family over the summer. Sam describes him as “he is like my brother”, and honestly he just fits right into our craziness. It is hard to see your children grow in some ways, but when you know they have chosen a good partner to go through life with, who respects and loves your child, then you have done your job. It is Mary’s Senior Year and though she does not have all the directions in life figured out, she has a great head on her shoulders, an incredible heart to share, and has a huge future in front of her to live out exactly as God has planned. We also got to spend an amazing week at Virginia Beach and another two weeks out to Yellowstone and South Dakota area. So much family time and we did amazing! FOCUS was an amazing word….

So onto 2017, another fresh start… For 2015 and 2016, we started the year off at Virginia Beach. We had plans for a small get away to Gettysburg this year, but my temporary “crud” put that on hold. I was even a little slow at creating a list this year of possible WORDs for the year. I usually mention it to a few people and that will trigger me to start hearing words that make me go “oh, that is a good word”. I think what happened is when we went out west I read a book Present Over Perfect and deemed Present would be my word and that held me back from entertaining others. I still love present because I often get distracted when I am doing one thing, so… the list began of possibilities:

  • OPEN – I could open my home more, my heart more, my hands more, etc… I could be OPEN to other’s ideas and OPEN to new things for me and my family
  • CLEARING – this is a great word and thought of clearing my home of more stuff, clearing my schedule to make room for people, clearing my mind of unnecessary clutter
  • NOTICE – I want to notice more details of life, little things people say and do instead of rushing thru life and missing those things about others
  • RESTORATION – I have some relationships with people that could be restored, my spiritual life could use some restoration, and so could my physical body
  • PUSH – I need to PUSH myself often to accomplish little and big things. It is so easy for me to get comfortable where I am and not push or challenge myself. I also could use to lovingly Push others in the direction they need to go
  • BIG – I was listening to the radio and they mention how God did not make us to do small things but to shine BIG. I have a mug that says PRAY BIG. I am guilty of doing things at a minimal level. I don’t think I shine BIG for others to know God through my life.
  • CULTIVATE – This is the one I thought I would be doing. I listened to some videos by Lara Casey and she talked about cultivating what matters. Cultivate them by spending time doing little by little to build up relationships, habits, etc… Hearing her and my childhood on the farm, I was sure this was the one… until God kept laying a word on my heart.


DELIBERATE will by my word for 2017.   I heard this word on a podcast and I thought that is a good word and put it on the potential list, but really was trying to convince myself on my words present and cultivate.   But over and over, God made things happened that made me realize I really need to be DELIBERATE in my actions. Deliberate to control my procrastination. Deliberate in every area of my life – my spirituality, my health, my relationships, our home, our marriage, our children, my time, finances, and the list goes on. I can be deliberate in being open… clearing… noticing… restoring… pushing… making life BIG… cultivating… I want an even more amazing life. I don’t want just to take life as it comes, but be deliberate in the things that matter.

I always try to pick a scripture that goes with my word, and I could not narrow one down. Then, I thought of Proverbs 31 about the virtuous woman and thought how deliberate she was in her life. Then, I found this commentary and it confirmed it – “ The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 can best be described as deliberate in her actions and duties. Her decisions and undertakings are purposefully in line with her calling, resulting in such a well-run family…” My goal in being deliberate is Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her!”

Look out 2017, here I come….

p.s. I have plans to be deliberate with some blogs too….


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