It’s so natural for me to look ahead to what’s next that I often forget to stop and celebrate how far I’ve come. I love planning, dreaming and taking forward action, but there is something powerful about looking back and reflecting on how we got where we are. To truly celebrate the gains we’ve made, and learn from where we fell short.
2018 was a year of establishing new ways of thinking and operating. I changed and grew SO much in 2016 – 2017 but this past year was when all of those new patterns and habits became a little more familiar. Instead of bushwacking my way down new pathways, those trails become well worn and more natural.
If 2017 was about breakthrough, 2018 was about taking more ground and actually inhabiting that space – making it my home. When I really think about it, that is such a beautiful thing. Not as dramatic as the initial breakthrough, but definitely just as important.
Here are some of my highlights from this past year:
In January Alex and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary, which was a huge accomplishment. We didn’t do anything crazy as Byron was only 3 months old, but hopefully we’ll get to celebrate this summer when we take a trip to Iceland for my brother-in-laws wedding. Anyone have any tips on what we need to see and do in Iceland? Another accomplishment in January was completing my book proposal.
February had some fun little adventures like taking Cohen out on a Valentine’s date and having a quiet weekend at the cabin with a few girlfriends. Alex and I also started back to marriage counselling which was super life-giving and helpful for us. I’m such a huge fan of counselling as apart of the regular rhythms of life, like going to the doctor or the spa. In fact, I call counselling the “soul spa”. It always feels SO good after.
The highlight of March was taking a family trip to Mexico with my sister-in-law and her family. Our kids had such a blast and it was so nice to escape the cold. A few weeks after getting home, my best friend Alisha came to visit and meet little Byron. Time with her is always a gift and her visit was a highlight for sure.
In April my book was officially turned down by the publishers we pitched to, but it was also the month I found four more amazing contributors to be apart of it. Looking back I’m actually glad I didn’t end up with a traditional publishing deal because I’m pretty sure my vision for full colour design on every page would not a been a possibility. But more on that in another post. In April we also celebrated Claire and Alex’s birthday’s with friends and family.
In May we sold our house and started preparing to move into our rental property on the river. The initial plan was to stay where we were until we could tear down the rental house and build new, but we realized that was still a few years out and wanted to simplify. So we find a private buyer, got our asking price and did the deal with no drama and very little upset to our lives. This was a HUGE blessing. I also attended my first Babes who Brunch event, met some amazing new friends and starting packing to move.
June was the busiest month of the year. We packed, moved, hosted a Father’s Day bbq in our new backyard, and Cohen’s 7th b-day party. We also hosted Alex’s grandparents for a week, and had our hot water tank flood our basement (which meant moving everything that we’d just moved in – out! Total pain in the butt.) I also finished my manuscript for Letters and submitted it to a publishing contest.
July was all about the cabin, family time and enjoying our amazing new backyard. August was much of the same. One highlight of the summer was finding out my book was shortlisted for the publishing contest and deciding to publish with Word Alive Press.
In September I spoke at Babes who Brunch and launched my coaching business. I had offered coaching in the the spring and it just hadn’t really taken off. So when I started offering it in the fall I didn’t have high expectations, but it grew quickly and has been one of the biggest blessings of the past year.
In October sweet baby Byron turned one! It was so much fun to look back on the first year of his life and be able to genuinely say I enjoyed every single day of his life thus far. He really is a dream. Alex and I also took a trip to San Diego to visit our friends Dave and Summer and spend some time by the ocean. It was the perfect time of reconnection for us even though it was hard to be away from my sweet baby boy. I also travelled to Toronto to be apart of the Gather Women’s event there.
The highlight of November was travelling to Lethbridge as a family and speaking at my in-laws church. God showed up in some incredible ways and we had a great time catching up with our Alberta family. In November we also wrapped up all of the book edits and revisions which felt like a huge accomplishment.
December was full with my birthday (spent at the spa with Alex), preparing for Christmas, movie night with the kids, Christmas concerts and lots of family time. Even though it ended with THE worst sickness I’ve had in the last 5 years, that didn’t overshadow all of the goodness.
Moving into 2019 here’s what I’m looking forward to most:
- Launching “Letters from a Big Sister” into the world!!!
- Continuing to grow my coaching business and creating more life-changing content for my clients (think online courses, webinars and more!)
- Travelling as a family, with Alex, and by myself. Travel is one of my favourite things and I’d love to try to go somewhere at least once a month.
- Reading more books. I’m planning to read 1-2 books every month in 2019.
- More one-on-one dates with the kids.
- Working out three times a week instead of two. One of my goals is to be able to do unassisted push ups regularly by the end of the year (push ups are my weakness for sure).
- Deepening my current friendships and maybe even making some new ones! One way I’d like to do this is by hosting more people in our home.
- Spending more quality time with my husband and growing deeper connections in every aspect of our marriage.
To some this may look like a lot, but I’m a person who thrives on having a lot to do. I have a pretty high capacity and find making and accomplishing goals really life-giving. But here’s the caveat to all of that.
The driving force behind everything I do is intimacy with God.
With each and every one of these goals, I’ve prayed and asked Him what He wants, and come up with this list in conversation with Him. And the motivation isn’t to gain His love, or the approval of people, or even to feel significant. A few years ago, this same list might have been all about those things.
What motivates me now is knowing that I am loved. I am significant. I have peace. And I want to help others find that love, significance and peace too. I want that for my family, my community and anyone else I cross paths with, online or in real life in 2019.
My word of this year is Presence.
Focused on His Presence and out of that place, able to be fully present in each moment of my life. The beautiful ones, the joyful ones, and the painful ones too.
What is one things you’re looking forward to in 2019?