There is something about the “freshness” of a new year that has me looking forward in anticipation. A new calendar year ripe with potential. It’s funny how a date can do that. Something seems to switch in the brain with new resolve… plans blossom and the potential to feel as though you might get things done is ever present.

Taking a few steps back to the last month, things didn’t play out the way I had hoped before I stepped into December. My hope: enjoying some much needed time with my husband and 2 boys, having fun, being together, and getting rest. Not getting taken up in the “busy” of December that so many speak of. So as Matt arrived home from a whirlwind trip in Thailand and Cambodia, mentally I was prepared for a rest. I had been dealing with a major tooth infection, which led to a week of sinus and throat issues… When he was about 2 days off the plane, he mentioned the possibility of leaving for about a week to work out on the island (Western Canada) on a film project with his brother. My little heart was torn. I am so supportive of his work, and welcome more of it in his field of choice! It just meant he wouldn’t be home until Dec. 18… which meant, my December was slipping away.

In that moment, I realized I could allow my expectations to sour my disposition, or not! Sure, it wasn’t in my plans, but, it could be better for us all in the end. Matt ended up taking E with him, which was a very special experience for them! My heart swelled listening to E tell his brother about the plane ride, and the chickens, and this and that… And don’t worry, one day you will get to go to! My heart was so full of the love these boys share for one another. Matt came home, and we were… in a sense, ready to hit the ground running.

I would love to say that my 2 weeks off from work was restful, productive and just what I had planned. It wasn’t 😉 Let’s be honest, there is so much to be thankful for this time of year, wonder to behold, peace to rest in… but there are also sooooo many expectations! And not just our own, but those put on us by friends and family in hopes to connect during this special time of the year. This year, I really tried to enjoy the days, and be thankful for the moments and memories we did have. The fullness of each one. This year was certainly memorable… While all the snow could have made me feel quite grumpy, the joy in my boys’ voice “Mom! It’s snowing!”  wouldn’t let it be so. While it felt like we spent about 5 minutes at home, shuttling back and forth from one thing to the next, I felt so happy for the 2 days I did get at home! To be a bit of a hermit and wash my 2 pairs of pants…. I really need to pull out those maternity clothes!

The snow and icy roads did keep us from visiting my family in Calgary, but at the end of the day, I’m thankful we are all safe and sound, and didn’t end up in the ditch… Here I am, January 6, and the month feels as though it flew by. Looking back, it was also so full! Seeing my 3 year old skate on his own without holding any hands, sledding, sunny winter walks, games, laughter, praying with others, good food, sleep overs, Matt feeling our baby’s kicks for the first time, cuddles with my boys, holding my husbands hand… choosing to love one another, support one another, help and encourage. Not to bicker (such an easy default when you feel stressed or tired) but to have patience. To laugh with one another when our kids are having irrational meltdowns and saying ridiculous things… late bed times and wacky eating habits really mess with my kids, anyone else?

I guess most of all, what I am taking into this new year is what do I really have to worry or stress about? Why do that to my heart? Where does my peace come from, who is my source of strength? We have so much to be thankful for, that it seems so ridiculous to worry about things. While I really wish we had made more headway on our addition the last few months, I am giving grace to my body and heart and thankful I have a healthy growing baby inside of me. All of our projects will come together, I know they will… God will provide, my husband will prevail, and we will press on with the responsibilities and commitments we know we are called to. My heart this year… to remain faithful as He is faithful.

The value of life is not measured in possessions, money or praise. It’s purpose isn’t tied to being in the moment or making memories … I think it is measured by the condition of the heart.

above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

proverbs 4:23

Heart. I think that will be my word for this year. How about you? If you could or did choose a word for the year, what is it?

-Mizz Ash

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