2016 Focus: A Little Gratitude

I'm starting 2016 off in a different way, sorry not going the way of resolutions and weight loss. (Not ignoring that weight loss has been a consistent theme, it's just not my focus for the new year, it's been going on and the holidays ruined it!)

Instead I wanted to spend the first part of the new year changing my daily focus and my spiritual focus. I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go with this, I started searching and browsing for something to inspire me.

I found it over at She Reads Truth, the moment I saw their study on Gratitude, I felt it in my heart, this was it.

What better way to start the year, instead of focusing on changing things or what I want out of the year, show thankfulness from everything that's already in place.

I'm not bashing anyone's goals and resolutions, everyone has their own way, their own needs. This is what I needed.

All the rush of the holidays with several birthdays in the mix, it's easy for me to lose sight of everything. My mind is running a constant race trying to keep up with who invited us to what, what we are doing, when the man is unavailable due to hunting, does the baby have a new tooth!? [She got three teeth for Christmas, my goodness!]

So now, with everything but my own birthday said and done, I can finally breathe, take time for peace and schedule myself to do almost nothing.

Shout out to pajama days!

I haven't been the best about devotions my entire life, I remember quiet times always being stressed at church. And I'd start off well, hang in for a few weeks until life started to intervene. I'd miss a day, then two days, then three and before I knew it, I hadn't touched a thing in months.

Maybe it's because I'm stubborn, maybe I have a medical issue that causes my skull to be thick. It's just a little thick.

I honestly think I didn't like someone else telling me how I had to live my life, how I had to live my faith.

But this time just feels completely different for me. I'm drawn in, I want to study, I'm eager for the next day. This is something I wanted to do.

Plus I totally scored on journalling supplies in the target $1 area and that's fueling my fire to read and write! It might be materialistic but it works for me!

I woke up today, day 2 of my study, ready to read. Wondering when the baby might take a nap so I could jump in. I read everything and excitedly opened my book to write my feelings and my thoughts.

It feels amazing to be excited! And I know why.

I think, for the first time in my life, I'm starting a study because I want to.

It's not because someone told me to.

It's not because life has thrown me one more catastrophe and I'm desperately searching God's word for answers.

I just wanted to have a study time, just for myself.

And for that.... I'm thankful.

I'm a Stay-At-Home-Mom with a 7 month old baby fireball and I'm homeschooling my 6 year old.

I seriously don't get much free time. Ever.

The legends of never peeing without an audience are true and frightening. [5 minutes guys, that's all mom asks!]

My study from the other day. Headphones on, one of my favorite worship albums playing and actually wrote two paragraphs before the baby suddenly woke a mere 40 minutes into her nap. That coffee is probably cold too.

But my study time, it is mine, even when chaos continues to ensue around me and it does. It always will.

And you know what, I am so thankful for that chaos.

Chaos.

In my home.

Chaos in my home causing messes behind me as I clean, clinging to me at every turn and begging me to give it my undivided attention.

Chaos just wanting to sit in my lap and bounce or wanting to snuggle in a homemade sheet tent.

I love chaos.

Two days in and I am really starting to look at things in a new light.

Six months ago, I was sitting in my home, most likely in tears with a tight feeling in my chest. Life was giving me the sourest lemons it could dish up, they were still green and under developed. Life was just being nasty.

My husband's job was in question. My home was in question. I had a colicky infant that couldn't sleep, so neither was I. There were money woes. There were none of my clothes fit because I just had a baby woes. And there was that unspoken tension of it all, weighing on my normally happy marriage but we're both so tired and exhausted from worrying about and fighting against all the bad, that we were just existing around each other. Plus, throw in some postpartum depression and you've got yourself a nice witches brew for unhappiness.

And to sit here today, feeling the warmth of happiness inside is really invigorating.

Not everything is fixed. The baby sleeps better, the clothes almost fit, the job is safe, the home is safe and there is much more snuggling at night. Sometimes I still feel a tinge of sadness or longing for I don't even know what. Occasionally my husband gets off work early and I feel the worry, the panic arise because I fear the job is gone, which leads to worrying about the house again.

It's a daily fight.

But instead, I'm digging into the Lord everyday. I'm finding my happiness in Him. I'm searching my heart, His heart, to find myself.

Instead of being in the constant mode of worrying if there is enough, if it will stretch, if we can make it, I turn it around. I see what we have, where we have come from, what we have gained. No matter what happens tomorrow, I'm so glad to see the journey we have made so far.

What we did as two.

What we did as three.

What we dream to do as four.

As I pull in closer to God, I feel like my dreams are closer than ever. I feel hopeful, as if around the corner is a solution to all of our troubles.

Like life is about to make a big change.

What better time to focus on gratitude?

- Amanda

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