2014 only has 30 days left and I am grateful. Grateful that this year is almost over and grateful that this year occurred. That sounds weird, doesn't it? I don't want to rush through this Advent season like we usually do. Scurrying around trying to get custom orders out and busying myself with tidying and stocking the stores and barely seeing Mr. Wags in the passing because we are both tied up in our own lives that we don't slow down until January. But then January comes and we start the crazy race to February Affair of the Heart...and then it comes and goes and we are rushing through the Spring as he hits tax season and I scamper around trying to juggle all of the other things that are happening. I want to live each day of Advent knowing that Jesus is coming. That Christmas is almost here. It's time to celebrate. I want to close out 2014 tucking the happiness and joy of the season in my heart to carry into 2015.
It's been a tough year...one that started with such hope and promise. I had big plans and ideas and thoughts on how to recover from 2013 and make up for it in 2014. And this will sound even weirder and crazier...but I did. Yes, I had another stroke. Worse than the first one. Yes, it caused my business to close for 6 months (re: lost income, learning to walk again, etc...) but this year is ending with even more hope and promise than it started with. A guided hope that is clearer and stronger and getting moreso every day. You see, I firmly believe that God used Stroke2 to move me in a different direction. I was very much becoming an ugly, bitter, angry person who created arts and crafts and guarded my heart because I couldn't trust most of the people I surrounded myself with in that world. I'd like to think now that I'm moving more to a happier, more open person, that is creating art for God's world to see. This has been a very difficult change to make. It has, and is still, requiring me to prune away the old dead pieces of my life that are no longer beneficial...including some acquaintances and colleagues that I was used to being around. I refuse to allow the drama of insecurity and jealousy to play a role in my life. If you are upset over something that I've done, come tell me. If you are upset with somebody else, tell them. We are all adults. There is no reason to hold the grudges and bitterness toward anybody. Let it go and move on. That's a really hard thing to do, by the way.
The past couple months I have been diving deeper into the purpose and intention of things and people. Especially myself. One word that keeps coming up is Grace. We all need it. We all need to receive it. From God, from others, from ourselves. I know that sounds weird, but really...why do we forgive other people for things but continue to beat ourselves up over the minute details of daily life? Give yourself grace. Allow it to seep into your soul and warm you like a hug from a best friend.
My words for 2015 (yes I'm one of those people that has decided to focus on a word for the year, but I have 2 that keep echoing off the innermost parts of my brain and coming back) are Grace and Intention...This is going to help me keep my boundaries that I'm still learning to live within and still setting after Stroke2 and it's going to help me focus only on what is important for myself and my family for 2015.
I'm ultra excited to start the new year. I have a couple new projects and groups that I belong to and I will be continuing to teach classes (hoping to add more to the schedule in the coming weeks) which is something that I would have never seen myself doing this time last year (or the year before or the year before that). Wag's will still be strong and active, and I pray, healthier than in years past. Come share this journey with me. Let's walk through Advent with Grace and start 2015 with Intention.