A couple of days ago I sat down with my new wall calendar, planner, computer, and a variety of pens to begin sketching out the new year. Armed with the kids’ school and scouts calendars I began filling in the blank spaces of our lives. Time passes quickly. Before I knew it I had scheduled a couple of out of state trips for me, camp for kids, and summer vacation has arrived. My children will turn 12, 15, 16, and 19. Wow. WOW! That just happened. My kids are already grown and yet those days of toddlerhood and of hard things seem to last so long.

The days are long, but the years are short.

I have spent much of my life trying to control and predict the outcome of nearly every situation. Even as I attempted it I knew it wasn’t possible. Yet, I would remain paralyzed by fear of the unknown while life just kept on going without my consent. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

That changed for me in 2014. Somewhere along the way I began to learn to embrace the unknown and plow ahead. Lots of change happened. I completed a 90 day challenge and made weekly videos of the journey. That was a huge thing! Then November hit and I opened the door to fear. I stopped making videos, I stopped losing weight, I was waiting for the holiday storm to hit my home. You see, in the past I have had a really hard time when the holidays approach. I kept saying that this year would be different, but I felt powerless when the old feelings came. While I was beginning to go down the old path, I was also wanting something different.

Then something amazing happened on Thanksgiving. I woke up that morning, remembered that it would have been my 20 year anniversary, and I felt nothing negative. I thought I’d feel sad at least for the fact that I had lost my ideal life. I didn’t feel sad, angry, or regretful in any way. I felt joy and freedom for the first time since my husband and I separated. I am healed and that is beautiful.

Later that day I sat at the table of my good friends as we celebrated our traditional Thanksgiving meal. I couldn’t even tell you how many years we’ve been doing that, but I think it’s over 10 years now. We all sat there with our growing children and 3 new guests talking and laughing. I sat there watching all these people I love so much. Some have walked with me through my darkest moments. These are my people, my tribe representing dozens more that I’d love to share a meal with.

Thanksgiving 2014

How did I get to be the luckiest girl in the world to have such friends? 

That day I knew that the rest of our year was going to be stellar. Guess what? I was right. I believed it and so it was. Were things perfect? No, not at all. I felt some stress due to finances and other family issues. I often went back to read my gratitude journal to see how God had provided for me in the past. I saw again the evidence of the amazing friends I’m surrounded by. I began to text several of them to let them know how grateful I am for them in my life. Financially things worked out over and above my expectations. Then I came down with the flu only a few days before Christmas. I wasn’t able to do everything I had dreamed up to do, but again, it all worked out splendidly. It was our best Christmas ever!

Tree Decorating

Now here we are in 2015!

I am hopeful, but better than that I am excited. There are so many things I am looking forward to! First of all, I’m shooting the wedding of a good friend of mine today. In the beginning of February I’ll be heading to Tennessee for the Zurvita national conference then later that month I’ll be heading up to Washington to the Refresh Conference for foster and adoptive parents. I’m continuing my health and fitness journey, as well. I’ll begin making videos in the next week so stay tuned for those! I’ve made some goals and the one I’m most excited/nervous about isn’t something I can predict or control because it involves building relationship with someone in my family. Guess what? That’s okay. I’m embracing it, all of it, even the ugly parts.

Thanks to all of you that made 2014 my best year yet. You know, to be perfectly honest I’m pretty darn proud of myself for all the changes I made last year. I used to think it was arrogant to say that, but I did the work. I had a strong support and couldn’t have done it without that, but while that support has always been there I’ve not put the work in before. This time I did and will continue to do so.

I’m not the only one making changes. Ireland and I spent a couple of hours changing her hair color. We did it last summer, but I did a pretty poor job and then she went swimming in a chlorinated pool so it faded pretty quickly. This time I did a great job and she won’t be swimming anytime soon. She’s my sunshiny Strawberry Shortcake. She’s also my biggest fan and I’ve gotta say that I love how much she loves me and likes being with me.

Ireland's Red Hair-5091

Won’t you join me in embracing 2015? What story are you writing in this coming year?

May it be of peace, forgiveness, joy, gratitude, and facing those challenges courageously.

I’d love to hear about what you’re looking forward to this year!

Love to you all…