In 2015, I stopped making New Year's resolutions and decided to accept the One Word challenge. Instead of making a long list of goals each year, now I pick one word to focus on. It has made such a positive impact in my life, so every December I start thinking and praying about what my one word will be for the next year.
When I started this blog 3 years ago, I wasn’t sure if anyone would read my words….but I wrote anyways. The more that I wrote, the more people shared their own personal stories with me.
Surprisingly, the hardest blogs to write have also been the blogs that people have related to the most.
We often convince ourselves that no one will else will understand what we’re going through, so we struggle in silence. Blogging has helped me realize how much we crave honest connection. Let someone know if you relate to their story. Hope is ignited when we realize we’re not alone.
Or, if you’re feeling really brave, give someone the gift of going second. Share your story first. It will usually give someone else the courage to share too.
The Christmas shopping season has begun! Some people love shopping so much that after eating their Thanksgiving meal, they head straight to the stores. I head straight to my couch.
Others prefer to relax on Thanksgiving day, but the next day, they love waking up before the sunrises in order to get the “Doorbuster” savings on “Black Friday.” You know what I love to do the day after Thanksgiving? Sleep in.
Some people love to brave the crowds and get excited to spend hours shopping. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I am not one of those people. When I shop, I usually know exactly what I want and try to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. And if I can find it online and have it directly shipped to me, even better!
Is your life exactly how you imagined it would be?
For me, my life looks very different than how I envisioned it. My dream of becoming a teacher came true, but nothing else has gone according to my plan. Growing up, I thought I would get a job teaching in Northeast Ohio, live close to my family, and be married with a few kids by my late 20’s.
What does my life actually look like? I teach on the opposite side of the state and all of my family lives hundreds of miles away. At the age of 36, I’ve never been married, and I don’t have any kids. In fact, I’ve experienced years of singleness. I’ve heard some people say that singleness is a gift, but many times, it honestly has felt more like a struggle. (Check out my blog series called The Single Life.)
In Annie F. Downs' latest book, Remember God, Annie says, “I struggle so much when my expectations of God don’t meet the reality of my current experience with life.”
Annie then goes on to explore the question, “Is God kind even when my circumstances don’t seem to reflect that?”
I recently had some remodeling done in my bathroom. I quickly learned how expensive remodeling projects can cost (and the thought of living in a tiny house started to sound even more appealing).
On day 1 of the project, a worker arrived at my home. He was prompt, friendly, and hard-working. I felt bad for my neighbors, as I’m sure they weren’t too happy about hearing 8 hours of loud noises coming from my home. Towards the end of the day, the project manager stopped by. Everything was going according to plan, and the job was expected to be completed by lunchtime the next day.
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.