I look at this picture, I look back on 2020 and my heart is full.
It was the year I learned to value community and face-to-face relationships like never before.
It was the year I began appreciating my three older kids and my relationships with them more than ever.
It was the year I discovered anew that I really, really like my husband and we are not only best friends but we make a great team, too.
It was the year of experiencing God’s faithfulness in a tangible way as we navigated so many unknowns and had to just take one day — or even one hour — at a time… and trust Him for whatever the future held.
It was the year of shaking my head in amazement at the fact that — after years of infertility — God gave us the gift of sweet Kierstyn Michaela. She has been the wildest surprise of our lives and getting to be a brand-new mom all over again has been such a profound gift.
It was the year we said yes to opening up our home and hearts to a precious, tiny preemie boy who has forever changed our lives.
It was the year of great grief and loss as we said goodbye to this boy who captured each of our hearts at the deepest level, but also the year that we got to be a small part of a beautiful redemption story with him and his mama. We wouldn’t trade that for all the world!
It was the year I took my first-ever 6-week maternity leave — and then ended up deciding to cut way back on my work hours and responsibilities when it was done… and it’s been so amazing to realize that I truly do not find my worth in my work (something that has been one of my biggest life struggles).
2020 challenged many of my core beliefs. A lot of what usually fills my time was stripped away. And in the stillness and the quiet, in the unknowns, in all the weirdness of the year, in all the constant changes, in the multitude of cancellations, in the ups and downs and highs and lows, I got to cling to Jesus like never before. And I learned yet again that He is Enough.
On the hard days and the good days, in the grief and the gratitude, He was and He is and He will be faithful.
Why I Didn’t Set Yearly Goals Last Year
Little did we all dream what 2020 was going to hold! I look back and am so thankful I didn’t set big yearly goals because I would have likely not been able to accomplish a number of them.
I had thought that I would continue on with just doing weekly goals in 2021 because there are still so many unknowns in the world. However, the more that I thought about it, the more that I felt like setting some goals — mostly around things that would really be life-giving (such as lots of reading!) and family time, would be motivational to me and would be just the fire underneath me I need right now in my life.
I’m still planning to break these down into weekly goals, which I plan to update here every week.
1. Go through all of the She Reads Truth studies for the year.
2. Read 3 books a week — 52 audiobooks, 52 fiction books, 52 non-fiction
3. Fill out my habit tracker every week.
4. 8,000 steps a day = 56,000 steps/year
5. Complete at least 1 craft per month (using the Annie’s Women’s/Girls Craft Kits).
5. Have a monthly date with each of the three older kids.
6. Read 5 books aloud as a family.
7. Read 12 chapter books aloud to Kierstyn.
8. Have a monthly date with Jesse (using the Date Night in a Box kits).
9. Launch my new book, Love-Centered Parenting.
10. Decide on the topic for my next book.
Photo by @emilyasheyphoto