Friday, January 4, 2019

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Let's see if I can write this post without typing out the lyrics to the song that's in my head from The Clash!  Or if you can read it without the song on repeat in yours...

Anyway, Happy New Year!

NYE 2018 dinner & dance getaway 

In doing my year-end retrospect, I realized I've neglected this little blog the past couple of months.  As such, it's caused me to reflect on whether or not I should continue posting in 2019.

This blog was a much-needed outlet for me after losing my son.  Starting with a memorial blog for him, I found myself awake in the middle of the night and set on a mission to find joy again.  Austin's blog was raw, in the moment, and I shared any emotion felt during those early days of child loss, even if it worried my family and regular readers. 

Starting Joyfulchallenge, with determination and direction from God, to seek, find and share the joy in every day guided me to the next chapters of grief.  Writing held me accountable, despite my sorrow.  And this blog has helped me more than I could've imagined.

Over the years, I've met others on loss journeys of their own or those who just needed an extra dose of joy.  Blessing after blessing, I could list.  I never dreamt of connecting with people all over the world nor did I expect what I wrote to touch or help others.  In the beginning, it was just how I chose to heal.  In the end, it was those connections and having a purpose to help others that did so.

As with anyone, over time I grew and changed and so did the blog.  It's literally a timeline view of my walk through child loss and other life events the past eight years! Along the way, I picked up writing for an online grief magazine, Still Standing, which is dedicated to helping those who face child loss.  My dream was to someday be a published writer, I just never fathomed it would be on this topic.

And now, I'm currently writing for a local online magazine, the OC Monitor.  There I share monthly stories of life in a small town and the continued pursuit of joy.

I guess I share these links with you to have other ways to read my work, should I decide not to continue writing here.  For those of you who have been with me all along, I have no words.  To tune in year after year and share a part of my life has meant so much.  Your continued support and encouragement were hugs to my broken heart.  For those who are new, linger around.  There's almost a decade of material here to peruse!  Use the search bar or favorite links.  It is guaranteed to fill you with a dose or two of JOY.

And may your year be ever-filled with it...

Our biggest JOY in 2019 will be in the arrival of our first grandchild - a BOY!

A boy...and they plan to name him AUSTIN!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Invested, Year End

The past several years I've focused on a #oneword instead of a resolution.  This time of year, I like to reflect back and see how I did, recap the highlights of months gone by, and celebrate the turning of new adventures.

INVESTED was the one word for 2018.
My goal was to be invested...

in my Relationships
-with God, my marriage, motherhood, family, and friendships
*A funny family post and a first for some.
*May days, busy but full of family
*We celebrated our 25th anniversary

In my Health
-this year sparked a change and I want to see it to fruition
*An unexpected diagnosis threatened to alter my health goals but instead it fueled me farther 
and Tim joined in too!
*practicing self-care with a staycation

In my Passions
-dreams can no longer be dusty from sitting unrealized
*I took time to capture the beauty of a winter storm, 
by going against my comfort zone and getting out on the roads.  It was so worth it!  
*A few steps closer to my goal of writing a book, I began writing for a local online magazine this year.  

In my Priorities
-does it make a difference? bring me joy and Him glory?
*Continued focus on finding JOY
*checking a big health goal off my bucket list

In my Future
-and remember investments sometimes take years to reap rewards
*completing an education goal
*unexpected blessings in career and family

In Service to Others
-if I'm deeply invested in each day, help me notice those with the greatest needs
*Making a new-to-me batch of elderberry syrup has found it in the hands of others who are ill
*Driving my Grandma to get her ears pierced
*Hosting a family Bible study

Less Projects, More Focus
Less Tech, More Personal
Less Scattered, More Strategic

Infuse, Devote, Provide, Endow, Plunge, Entrust

Reflecting back, I can say I accomplished this #oneword better than expected.  I'm proud of the positive changes made in my life and the strengthened relationships formed.  I give all the glory to God, for without Him I would achieve nothing!

Not sure if I'll have a #oneword for 2019 or what it will be.  
I do know after a solid year of health focused on nutrition, I am ready to take it to the next stage.  I'm holding myself accountable to stick with a workout plan next year!  
This "grandma-to-be" has a new generation to get younger for.  :)

I hope your year was memorable and full of JOY and if it wasn't, 
I wish you many blessings in the New Year!

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