the year of: hygge.

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Resolutions? Bah. Never really works out for me. No one needs a huge list of goals at the beginning of the year set with great intentions but then becomes some odd to-do list and you feel like a failure when you don’t do something so you give up altogether (yes, that was a long run-on, I don’t care). Keep it short and simple. I just have a word.

Five years ago, my word of 2013 was light.
Four years ago, my word of 2014 was release.
Three years ago, my word of 2015 was nourish.
Two years ago, my word for 2016 was presence.
This past year, my word for 2017 was authentic.

This year? The word for 2018 will be HYGGE.

To me, HYGGE is

  1. slowing down. taking a breath. calm.
  2. togetherness. community. connecting.
  3. thankfulness. embracing the small things.
  4. coziness. warmth.
  5. well-being. happiness. health.
  6. comfort. peace. being. simplicity.
  7. all these things rolled up into one word.

There are two things about 2018’s word that are different than my previous words:

  • It’s not an English word. It’s actually Danish. But, who cares.
  • It’s somewhat of a trendy word. But I just heard of it a month ago. I’ve stopped caring what people think (can you tell??), so what if it’s a trendy word. I like it. And I think it encompasses just what I need.

I also have a secondary word: intention. Within this hygge [pronounced “hoo-geh”] year, I want to include a specific purpose, and intention behind everything I do. Really connect with others. Pay attention. Manage time better. Waste less time on things that don’t matter.

2017 was an incredible stressful year for us. Actually, the end of 2017 added a lot more stress (hello, everything breaking and tight finances) and we rang in the new year on a somewhat icky note (stress and sick). I really need to let go, calm down, and find peace again. I carry a lot on my shoulders and it really weighs me down. I am not myself.

In 2018, I need less electronics, less stress, less mess, less worry, less distraction, less debt. I crave more community, more candlelit evenings, more writing, more bread dipped in olive oil, more wine, more cake, more time with those in my life, more Jesus.

Time for hygge. Cheers.

Too Many To Count. [770-1000]



770. arriving to our destination safely with dog and baby in the car. 771. seeing our families. 772. sweet zoo surprise from an online friend across the country. 773. cool, rainy day for temporary relief from the hot weather. 774. checking items off my list. 775. summer break. […] 995. my little boy crawling! 996. his tiny hands on my face, to get my attention. 997. his infectious laugh. 998. bright orange sunrise over misty fields of horses. 999. having my job. 1000. an abundance of blessings. so many.

So. It looks like I cheated a bit by not listing items 776 through 994…. but here’s the thing, in that huge span of time, there have been so many, endless blessings. Many of them through my sweet, precious boy who brings me joy through his own joy at the world around him. His laugh is the best thing ever! Many blessings through my husband, my parents, my family, my friends, my church, my coworkers, everyone…. and God.  Because that’s from whom all blessings flow. Everything I have is a gift. Everything I don’t have is still a gift. And everything on this earth that is beautiful is still only temporary. But because it’s temporary, I am trying to cherish the good and beautiful things that are here while they are while simultaneously fixing my sights on what is unseen. But I also wanted to step away from this feeling of “I have to write this down” or “get this done.” So, another reason I decided to skip the list. I know what’s out there. I know what the gifts are. I am looking for them constantly. Noticing them all the time. Noticing what a beautiful life this is. And being thankful for where I am and who my savior is…..

In the midst of all of this wonderfulness that I just wrote about, I have also felt frazzled, pulled apart in many directions, tired, unsure of who I am, angry, exhausted, overwhelmed, and did I mention tired? It’s been brought to my attention lately (through words from others, scripture, songs, books) that I need to change something. Remember how I used to be so focused on simplicity? Simplicity became messy and full…. and not in a good way. Time to get back to that. I like full — but not the nasty, soul-sucking kind of full. I want fullness in joy. Fullness in life. Fullness in peace. In love. In God.

I am going to try to be more intentional with this short life I have.

I also want to write. But there is so much to do and only so little time and a little boy that needs to be to there for him. This is not my time to write. This is my time to be. I’d like to soak up every moment that I can, especially with my child. And he is only on loan, not mine forever. And I need to work on my relationship with Jesus, my husband, and family, everyone in my life, and taking care of myself, as well.

Cheers, friends. Much love to you, always.

the year of: authentic.

Awhile back, I was introduced to the concept of a “word of the year”  (or “one word” as some know it) and absolutely loved it. I dislike resolutions and while I enjoy having goals, I hate feeling pressured by myself to achieve several goals. Instead, I thought about how I wanted my life to look for the year ahead and searched for a word that would encompass that vision.

Four years ago, my word of 2013 was light.
Three years ago, my word of 2014 was release.
Two years ago, my word of 2015 was nourish.
Last year, my word for 2016 was presence.
This year? My word for 2017 will be AUTHENTIC.

To me, AUTHENTIC is

  1. being honest with others.
  2. being honest with myself.
  3. letting go of holding back and letting myself flow.
  4. embracing who God made me, instead of creating an image of self.

I typically hold back my weaknesses, negative thoughts, and stressful events as to not dwell on them. I’d rather focus on the good things. But the problem with that? It appears that everything is fine, even when it isn’t. When I hold back these things, it just builds up inside me. I don’t let it out, I don’t share the struggles, and then, I have mini outbursts or breakdowns at home and feel even worse…. withdrawing and hiding more. Not healthy at all. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Most of us probably do this. Don’t we?

I don’t know how much I will be able to write this year, but I hope that when I do, I am honest about what’s really going on in my life and the emotions I am feeling. I hope I can be open with you about joys and my struggles. There are plenty of joys, and I know how wonderful life is, but I’ve also had dark moments of internal struggles these past couple years. As much as I just want to focus on the positive things, I also don’t want to deceive anyone into thinking that things are better for me than they really are. I have hurts. Doubts. Struggles. Disappointments with self. Stress. And so forth.

And I want to be able to share these things without fear of judgement.

If there’s one thing I noticed, it’s that being open invites others to say “me too!” and connect. We are never alone in our struggles… and this is a reminder we all need. I know I need this right now as I deal with sleepless nights and a tiny one depending on me for everything while I try to manage my own life. It’s exhausting. Honesty draws out honesty.

Above all, not only do I need to acknowledge and shed some light on my struggles, but also release them to God. I do an absolutely terrible job of worrying instead of praying. Even when I pray, I still worry. I worry, stress, worry, stress. It’s awful. I need to let that go.  I need to depend on Him.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

I already expect that this year will have challenges. The last two years have been difficult, so why not this year? We have a new baby, jobs are changing, finances are changing, and there’s a lot we as a family and I as an individual hope to accomplish this year (including some things we weren’t able to accomplish last year). I know my plate will be full. I know I’ll be frazzled. I know I’ll also be excited and happy. And I pray that I let myself feel it all sometime, instead of ignoring the downsides and trying to keep it together.

Time to be real. Let’s go, 2017.