Things have been quiet for me over the last little bit, partially because we have been busy, and partially because my heart has felt jumbled as late. There has been so much going on inside this little old soul of mine, that it’s been hard to know what to say or how to share. However, I want to find peace and stillness in this little sacred corner of mine…a piece of the world carved by my hands. In many ways it seemed easier to write when I felt like I was just writing to and for myself. And then I started to sense more eyes, and it got a bit harder. Ya know?

So, I thought I would just hit the keys, and unwrap the box that was 2016. What a year it was.

Earlier this week I was looking at a post from the end of last year ( I can’t seem to find it now, or remember what is was titled)- and I realized that every December just seems to be a bit nuts for us! I always think it will be so peaceful, and filled with the gentle awe of the season- yet I always seem to come to Christmas Week, and find myself in a puddle of tears somewhere around the end of it all. While they aren’t always sad tears- I think that family life is different than it used to be. Sometimes its simple, and others complicated. I think most families are like that- and ours is no different.

This year in particular, I have been feeling the pain of loss. Loss of my dad. Loss of deep friendships, and loss of loved ones who we used to do life with in a very close way. However, I have also been so very encouraged by the gift of my husband by my side- holding me tight and walking with me through it all. Encouraging me to keep sight of the dreams God has placed in my heart, and breathing the breath of faith to keep the flames alive. I felt the Holy Spirit’s gentle reminder that He will never leave me, or forsake me. He is always right with me. What a comfort in those times of trouble.

So, now that I have shared a bit of where my heart has been rolling around- I want to reflect on this year.

Film Life. WOW. What a learning experience. I think few people outside of Matt and I can appreciate how much of a team effort this is for us. For Him to be travelling to the other side of the world for nearly 2 months- and then to be living and breathing the editing of a feature film- not to mention being the Co-Director and a Producer on the project… let’s just say it has taken a lot. We have three young children, and this has not been something for the faint of heart. I really believe God will, and already is, using this film to set captives free and to light a fire in the hearts of many to see an end to the exploitation of children in the sex industry. It is so dark, and unthinkable. I am so proud of my husband and thankful for the perseverance that brought this film to the finish line.

Married Life. This year, more than any other, I am reminded of why God brought Matt and I together. I truly see how he uses each of us- ok, especially I see how he uses Matt- to sharpen me, love me, lift me up and help me stay close to the heart of God. As a mother I don’t know where I’d be without him. Which leads me to…

Mama Life. I won’t lie- this has probably been my most stretching year as a mama. Maybe its me, maybe its my kids- maybe its our lifestyle… Perhaps it’s just the perfect storm of beauty and chaos- but I have questioned myself more this year than ever. I have never felt so capable and ill-equipped all at once! How is that for honesty. Schooling our boys is one of my great joys in life. Entertaining a very strong willed two year old, well…. I sometimes miss the days of her being content to sit on her blanket and play with books, or napping for 4 hours a day! It’s a season I am trying to savour, all while keeping my sanity and gentle heart.

Blog Life. This little space seems to roll with the tides. Whatever I am feeling most- it seems to exhibit. Some days I write more, and others I share more projects and pieces of our home. This year I really wanted to try and help our home feel more put together, and clean up the chaos of living in a reno for the last several years. Working on the Boys Room, Loft and our Bedroom really helped. I also spent time doing non pretty things like organizing under our stairs, burning scrap wood and taking a few trips to the dump. Honestly, it feels so good to start to clear the carnage of construction! Thank you guys for sharing in my passions, and encouraging me along the way. I really am enjoying working with flowers, designing rooms, staging and photography. I have been published on a few of my favorite sites and magazines, and I am truly floored to be a part of the opportunities this blog has provided.

Life Life. Oh my heart. You know, there are projects and dreams I have had for many years- and I am starting to see some of those take flight coming into the new year. 2016 was a bit of remembering some of my first loves. I love working as a choreographer- and have had more opportunities to do that in 2016. I also am back teaching dance- and it is just what I needed this year. Sometimes it is tricky to juggle with 3 young kids- but I am so thankful to Matt for always making it work for me. Truly. I have been writing more, dreaming more, singing more and painting more. All good things.

2016 was a stretching year for me, and also a time of finding contentment to just be. If I am in Joy, or in Mourning- I am learning to accept where I am at. If I am feeling like super mom and we are uber productive- or I am needing to take a little more time to just sip tea and scroll through a favorite blog or instagram feed. It’s ok to be there. I have been reflecting on seasons- both in time and of the soul. As I was talking to God about feeling stuck- why in a wintery season of the soul do I find myself feeling old feelings for example- I was reminded that every Winter it snows, and the cold winds come. Every Spring we wait for the warmth of the sun with fresh rains- yet it is unpredictable and may snow, or rain, or start with a drought as we did this year. I found grace in this reminder- that finding myself in a new season with old thoughts or feelings didn’t mean I was stuck- just feeling the wind or the rain that is to be expected. If that makes sense.

I have high hopes for this year- in the sense that I have set a resolve to savour my littles, to kiss my husband more, and to dream a little bigger. I want to soak in the presence of my Jesus, and exhale more prayers. I don’t really think of myself as a huge goal oriented person- but Matt and I are ticking some of those “somedays” of our list lately, so I think it’s time to soar…

Which brings me to my word of the year.

Fly

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to fly- and I think dear friend, this just might be the year I do.

-Miss Ash

Past Reflections

Reflections on 2015 (Finding Creativity)

Reflections on 2014 ( Make Believe)

Reflections on 2013 (Heart)

6 thoughts on “My Reflections on 2016 and Word of the Year”

  1. You are a “real” person, and I love that. You are dong soooooooo many things for a mom of young children and homeschool teacher. You write a blog and teach dance. You rock! Keep up the good work, kiss more, pray more, enjoy your precious husband and children. I will continue to enjoy your visits in my e-mail box.

  2. thx u for allowing us into ur soul…

    i would like to turn back time for a day and place u in the backyard, with ur basket and hat, on another secret garden adventure as a young girl, such sweet memories ✨✨✨

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