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Reflections on 2014: Grace

Here we were at the close of one year and the start of another and I felt it was a fitting time to revisit the poor, old neglected blog and see what my brain was thinking a year ago.

I came merrily along, subconciously feeling like I had accomplished a lot of what I set out to do....then I reread my entry on lessons learned a year ago and suddenly I didn't feel so accomplished. 

In a lot of ways, I feel like I could just hit copy, paste, and republish for this year.  I felt like I needed a massive do-over on all the life lessons I thought I had already learned.

"Did I really learn anything?" I asked myself.  "I don't feel like I made much progress."

And then I paused...yes.

A year ago today, life looked status quo and stable. Plans were laid, ambition was high, and everything seemed like it would work out without a hitch.

Then life throws you a curve ball--we said goodbye to my dad in a turn of events that none of us really saw coming.

Yes, after his diagnosis of cancer, we knew  that this curve ball was coming sometime, but a year ago, everything had seemed so stable... like we were just going to continue on as-is for the foreseeable future.

Funny thing, that phrase. The future is never very foreseeable....and then you are reminded that this life is fleeting and fragile.

Don't get me wrong; a lot happened in 2014.  Babies were still born, the move to the county was still accomplished, progress was still made.

But, when first perusing my post from this time year last, I felt that the "Department of Learned Life Lessons" was a bit neglected.

Then I realized I had begun to learn one of my hardest lessons--to say "no."

--I learned that I am human and I have limits.
--I learned what it was to be bone-tired.
--I learned to count the day a success if everyone was fed, clean, and dry--ish.
--I learned to be ok with having a bad day.
--I learned to (somewhat) cut the clutter from my to-do list that was really just self-inflicted performance.
--I learned to pare down, to focus on the bare minimums, and figure out that was essential to me, to my family, to my life and time constraint.

And everything else? All the pinterest-worthy clutter that eats away a your days and doesn't keep husbands fed, houses in a semblance of order, toddlers played with, or babies loved on?  Unnecessary commitments that don't truly matter or add to the most important pursuits of being a wife and mother, of stewarding the life, body, and relationships you've been blessed with, of deepening your walk with God?

I let it go...and gave myself some...

Grace.

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