MY WORD FOR 2019

Choosing a word, one word, to describe what I am anticipating for this new year is not an easy thing to do….usually.  But this year it came to me in such a simple way that I couldn’t ignore it.  

Change is always challenging and these last four years have been all about navigating a lot of changes in my life.  2019 begins year number five and as it was nearing a close in December a lightness and anticipation began inside of me.  There wasn’t any one thing I can identify that made me realize my “word” for the year but this “lightness” was so noticeable it made me pay attention to it.  The last few years I have felt the exact opposite.  A heaviness has seemed to envelope me in so many ways and affected my everyday life in a way I had never experienced before.  So feeling “light” was such a change it was easy to notice.  No one around me commented about it but it was something inside that made me realize there is a change in the air and I began to be excited about it.

Some people say it takes up to five years to begin to adjust to a lot of change and maybe that is true.  I just know that I like it….whatever it is.  I wouldn’t trade all that I have experienced, in 2018 especially.  It wasn’t the easiest year, that is for sure.  But easy isn’t always the best and I know I have benefited from the difficulties and have become a stronger, more secure person because of it.  There is good in everything….especially when you trust God with your life.  His faithfulness and goodness never ends and I experienced so much from those attributes last year.

This year I am excited to experience whatever He brings my way.  My word for the year is ENJOY! Enjoy life, enjoy God, enjoy my family, enjoy my friends, just ENJOY.  I know that isn’t deep or necessarily profound but in my practical, ordinary way it means so much to me.  God has been so good to me and I have ignored His goodness because it wasn’t what I wanted or necessarily expected.  There is so much enjoyment to be had in my everyday living and I have been one who has not taken the time to even consider enjoying them.  Well, this year is different!

So….my word for 2019 is to ENJOY EVERYTHING THAT COMES MY WAY, EVERY DAY AND IN EVERY WAY I POSSIBLY CAN!  This picture says it all!!img_8554

Fulfillment in this Season

In this season one of the most rewarding experiences I have had is the one of becoming NANA! Below are ten of my rewards.  I remember when Judah was born 14 years ago.  He was our first.  I had no idea how exciting it would be to have a grandchild.  He could do no wrong!!  He was perfect in every way!!!   The Bible says that “Children’s children are the crown of old men (and women), And the glory of children is their father.) Provide 17:6.  I felt that crown and have been blessed with nine more and there is another on the way.  One after the other, each have given me such joy.

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Last week I have so enjoyed helping out my son and daughter-in-law by staying with their two children while my son had surgery.  We have had fun and my week flew by because I had my days filled with homeschooling and getting meals ready (although my daughter-in-law had everything prepared for me), playing games and watching the Olympics.  We laughed a lot and enjoyed each day.

BUT I was not mom and dad.  I did my best to fill their shoes but I am Nana and not a parent.  Even my hugs aren’t like their hugs and my teaching wasn’t quite like mom’s teaching.  I’m not saying I didn’t do good but I am saying I can’t take the place of mom and dad.

One of the things I’ve seen women do is to find their fulfillment in this season by overstepping their bounderies and infringing on their kid’s families.  It is hard to sit back and watch your kids being stretched with parenting issues and it’s hard not to try to rescue them from hard seasons.  But our kids need support,not rescuing, and encouragement, not criticism.

I remind myself all the time of the hard times my husband and I went through in our critical parenting years and all the lessons I learned that I am now leaning on in this season of my life.  I only learned those lessons because I had to walk through them and figure out a lot of it on my own.  We didn’t live near either of our parents for most of our kids growing up years and as I look back I see all the good that brought to us.  We learned to lean on people in our church and also treasured each visit from extended family.

This season in my life has been a time of refocusing and reviewing what my priorities should be and what brings me fulfillment.  At first I struggled with guilt that I wasn’t always available to help my kids as we moved from the midwest to Southern Florida.  As I searched my heart, God began to remind that my first priority is to the great guy I married almost 44 years ago.  I had to be reminded of this even though it should have been very obvious to me.  You see, I had filled my life with all the things that kind of take over when you have kids to raise.  Now that I am free of those demands I have had to refocus and decide how I want to spend these fruitful, yet not quite so demanding years of my life.

My husband isn’t the kind that likes me hovering over him and taking care of him but he does like a companion that has time to travel and do life spontaneously with him.  We aren’t tied to a schedule.  We eat when we feel like it.  We aren’t distracted by many responsibilities.  We just enjoy being together.  He is once again my first priority!!  Who knows how long we will have these years together?  It’s our chance to be a young married couple again…..without the pressures youth brings! These are the years we talked about when we were first married, as we had those “growing old together” conversations.  I had just forgotten them and have had to be reminded.

I so enjoy my visits to both my kid’s homes.  We have fun for a couple of weeks at a time and then I leave.  My kids love me more and my grandkids are so excited when I come.  This is what has worked for me.

Oh yes, the best part of this season is that my husband has my full attention and he loves it!  We are reinventing and rediscovering each other.  Life is good!

Me & Jerry in CO IMG_7783

Why another blog?

Why blog?  I guess I have a desire to begin writing about some of the things I have learned over my lifetime.  I turned 60 this year and began to realize I actually might have something to share with others.  The other reason I want to write some of my thoughts is to record them for my grandchildren.  They are all pretty young at this point but there will come a day when they will have their own families and my words just might help give them some insight on how to live life to the fullest and embrace each challenge that comes their way.  It would absolutely thrill me if they looked to the blog of their Nana and found a few words of wisdom to help them along life’s way.

Why make this blog public if it’s primarily for my grandchildren?  Well, maybe, just maybe there is a young mom who needs to know she will survive to the next season of her life.  Maybe there is another woman just like me who needs to know her thoughts and emotions are similar to mine and embracing them will give her the confidence and foundation she needs to get her into the next season of life.

What is the real reason?  I need to tell my story.  I know it will bring hope to others because it has brought hope to me.  I have found that God is so good to prepare us for each season of life.  He loves us so much and promises to be in the middle of the “good” and “bad” of our lives without judging us or condemning us but by teaching us as we embrace each season that comes our way.

Thanks for reading my story!

Susan