There is so much going on right now! This year has been a season of tremendous growth and stretching for me, and I'm so glad for what God is doing in my life right now. I've had some blog post ideas bouncing around in my head, and I'm still working on them. For now, here's a general update:
:: Robert and I are praying and planning for our next step: a house! We are trying to figure out which direction to move in regarding purchasing or building a home and/or land. We own our own business and for the first two years we had an accountant that was not the best, so our income looks different than what it actually is. So far this has been a problem, and we'll find out in the next week or so if that can be resolved or if we'll have to wait another year to move forward on a home. Honestly, either way, I'm so excited because Robert and I have spent so much time in the last few weeks dreaming and wishing and hoping together for something special. It's brought us closer and sparked a lot of good conversation. I didn't realize until we started going through this process that we can do anything we want! I know that statement is partially obvious, but I truly didn't realize it until recently. I don't have to do the things my parents did and buy the same type of home and live the way everyone else does. We can figure out our own dream and make it happen! It was amazing for me to let that sink in.
:: Last year I participated in OneWord365 (and failed miserably by the standards I was hoping to meet). I didn't write much about my word (love) throughout the year, but it was on my mind quite a bit. I know I've grown in my understanding and practice of love throughout the year. God taught me a ton about love and the importance of loving others throughout the year. I'm not great at loving people, and I get easily annoyed. I'm still not the best at it, but He's definitely been working on me. With all that said, I've chosen my word for 2013: Identity. One thing I've struggled with a lot lately is knowing my own identity and knowing my identity in Christ. I've spent my whole life having labels put on me: sensitive, emotional, smart, funny, tomboy, selfish, incapable. We've all had them, and we still label ourselves and others every single day. These labels are not doing anyone any favors. My goal for 2013 is to remember more often that my identity is in Christ. I so often find myself believing my own labels for myself and not remembering that I am a child of God and that He loves me regardless of anything I do. I am His, and my identity is in Him.
:: For some reason this Christmas season, I'm really wanting to get away from my family traditions. I've been very blessed my whole life, and growing up, my brother and I received so many presents from our family. Every year, I expected more and more from them, and I always treated Christmas as a time to get everything I wanted. I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood that I wouldn't trade for anything, but as I grow up and start thinking about the traditions I want to have with my future kids, this tradition of excess and extravagance (in terms of material things) is not the direction I want to go. This year, God has really started speaking to me about getting rid of our stuff, having less, and living with a bigger appreciation for what we do have. I know a lot of people are going through this right now, and I'm excited to see how different people approach it. Rob and I have been talking about what we want to teach our kids and what traditions we want to have, and I'm excited to start some new ones with him.
I feel like there's a lot going on inside of me right now, and it's really awesome. God is so good, and I'm thankful that I've been in the process of truly opening my heart and eyes to all that He's doing around me. When we really dig in and form a relationship with Him, there is never a dull moment!