In 2018 I had two words for the year, but for me the were linked and essentially told me to do the same thing. BE came from prayer and BLOSSOM came from Jen Fulwiler's word generator. After a hard, hard eighteen months beforehand the words felt like gifts from God. He wouldn't be asking me to grow through suffering or be pruned. He was asking me to do well in the place He had already put me. I could just be.
I had hoped that in the year I'd come to have more confidence in myself, to be more comfortable in my own skin, to stop deflating every time I looked in a mirror but those things didn't happen.
However, I did find peace and contentment more quickly (if I had to search for it at all) when others' successes surpassed my own. (This is most of the time, people.)
I built the habit of saying YES to my children. Yes, I will do a puzzle with you. Yes, I will hold you. Yes, I will help you with that. Yes, you can bake a cake. And if I had to say No I always had a good reason, not just my own laziness or personal comfort.
I learned to say yes promptly instead of saying "wait" or "in a second," which always meant five or thirty minutes. I turned from my computer or phone or book or show (usually) immediately to show with my actions that my family really is of the utmost importance to me.
I found that I often had to make these actions a prayer to God, pointing out to Jesus that I was taking care of Him by taking care of them, and I regularly asked Mary to mentor and intercede for me. And then at some point it became less hard and more natural.
I came to relish feeling little and hidden, doing my most important work in small moments that could not be paraded on Instagram. There was no audience to see me except those who love me unconditionally. I felt like what I was doing was hugely insignificant in the eyes of the world but immeasurably needed and wanted by those in my home - my husband, my children, and my God - and it was freeing.
I don't know what God will do this coming year but last year was so, so good for my heart.
My top posts on Instagram, top to bottom, left to right:
1 - "a baby due in May"
2 - "This picture of a healthy baby and a strong heartbeat is more than just one baby and one pulse. It leans on all my children, living and dead..."
3 - "Jesus Christ is Risen!"
4 - "praying for a miracle for Mark."
5 - "The Advent Care Package Giveaway"
6 - "long hair, white legs, a barrel of a belly, and kids running all over the place"
7 - "Happy All Hallow's Eve!"
8 - "Happy Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!"
9 - "Just like the cake Hagrid sat on!"