What I Learned in 2014

2014 was a year full of new challenges, grand adventures, goals met, lessons learned, and a whole host of moments where dark chocolate was desperately needed! I’m including my favorite posts from each month. But, I have to tell you – it was not easy to choose which posts to include. In fact, reading through each month sent me running for the tissue box more than a time or four (not to mention the stash of dark chocolate chips I realized I was going to need to keep on hand just to get through the month of June!)

So, grab your favorite cup of something warm (or cold) and join me as I reflect back on 2014.

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In January, I learned that I was one in a million. I also realized how very deeply I love my Dermatologist.

February reminded me that Sweetman is wicked smaht, and that I need to pay better attention during our conversations.

March was the month where I finally pursued a long-held goal of mine to enter the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. And, although the outcome wasn’t what I’d hoped, it felt good to give it a go.

And, of course, in April, Dentists became dead to me, as we learned of sweetgirl’s boo-boos on her teeth.

May was where I reflected on the BOOM created by the very different Myers-Briggs personalities in my marriage.

June brought a painful lesson in turning the other cheek, from Sweetboy, and reminded us how Autism can have painful ripple effects for a parent – but that it doesn’t win!

July reminded me that Sweetgirl is always watching, and that Autism can sweeten the interaction between siblings – especially when a yoga ball (or two) is involved.

August is when I finally realized where my mission field is. And, OH, how I yearn to work it well!

September was the month where I learned that I can both set a goal and reach it and set a goal and fail! The women’s triathlon was successful. The goal I set afterwards was not. (There is always 2015!)

In October, I proved that I can indeed get along with Commitment, after all. I accepted the Write 31 Days challenge. Because, Grace, I know Him well.

November was full of masks, casts, and WINS! (P.S. If you need me on January 1st or, LORD WILLING, January 12th, I’ll be parked in front of the television, yelling encouraging my beloved BAMA’s football players to RUN THAT BALL!)

And, December, of 2014, taught me to shop a little earlier for the “classics”, as I reflected on the beauty of the lesson in the The Little Drummer Boy.

Such grace laces my days. I was reminded of that on more than a hundred occasions over this past year. I’m encouraged to keep moving toward new goals, maybe even toward an old one, or two, that got dropped along the way.

Hope sparkles on the horizon for 2015.

I’m praying that it does for you, too.

Yes indeedy!

What were some of your favorite lessons learned in 2014? Please, share them! I’m linking up with the lovely Emily Freeman, over at Chatting At the Sky, for her “What We Learned” link up.

 

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Phoning It In

First, let’s dispense with the necessaries:

Happy Halloween!

I Made It!

Last Day of the Write 31 Days challenge!

Happy Halloween!

(I already said that, didn’t I?)

You know that moment where you’re driving along a highway and you are so zoned out that you miss your exit? Or turn? Or, state line?

I kind of feel that way about what just happened here, over these last 31 days. I assumed that there would be a few bumps in the road, as I sought inspiration each day. While I did, indeed, plan a few of the posts out ahead of time, most of them were written only a day in advance, if not the actual day of. Missing at least one day of writing, if not many, was what I believed would happen.

But, Grace pushed me through. It gave me the extra hour that I needed, encouragement in the form of your comments, and even a gentle nudge to check why my post still hadn’t “published” by 9:30 at night! (TIP: It helps to specify A.M. as opposed to, you know, P.M.)

Even the passage of time was a grace to me throughout this challenge. I feel like I must have zoned out for a while, because MY LANDS, how did the end of October sneak up on us this way?

You see, on the very first day, I mentioned that Commitment and I don’t get along too well.

Apparently, we are now friendly. Oh, yes we are!

Thank you Write 31 Days challenge, for that.

So, today, I’m phoning it in! With this picture of my Halloween Costume from 1981. If you can figure out what I was, comment. You’ll be entered to win a copy of The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful by Myquillin Smith (The Nester). I think it’s fitting, since she hosted us during this challenge. Yes?

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P.S. HINT: I wasn’t actually all that hot, was I?

P.P.S. I’ll close comments on Monday, November 3rd at midnight EST.

(What comes after P.P.S.?  This is day 31, OH YES IT IS, of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click my button below to be transported to a list of each of my 31 Days of Grace posts.)

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Twenty-Two Times a Day

In my sidebar over there, where I introduce myself, I tell you that I try to remember that I’m saved by grace, mishap by mishap.  And I do! There are days… Oh, there are days, where it feels like I’m stumbling through a dozen mishaps, one right after the other. And then some.

Anyone else have days like that?

Hours like that?

And, it’s not even Monday?

Sweetman and I are attempting to establish healthier eating patterns around this house. But, there I am, reaching for the candy corn right in front of little eyeballs? At 7:25 in the morning.

I get good at telling the sweetkids to remember to speak about others the way Jesus speaks about us. And then I turn around and utter harsh words about the turtle driving in front of me.

The Twitterverse calls, and I answer. So lost in a sea of favorite-ing and replying that I forget to set an alarm to leave in time for an important doctor’s appointment.

In fact, just this morning, this happened:

And the littles in this house need underwear, for the love!

But then, Grace is faithful to enter into my myriad in-competencies. Softly He enters a momentary mishap and overwhelms it with His kindness, gentleness, and humility. He is waiting to rain down on my mishap mania. And when He does, I am washed clean.

Again.

And again and again.

Like last night. I had some harsh words for Sweetman, venting them from the safety of the kitchen. I know that each one that ejected from my mouth was more rotten than the last. Until, That One grabs a hold of my tongue, and helps me determine, in my heart first, that an apology is needed. Only, as I round the corner, I find that man clickety-clacking away, with his earphones on, never having heard a word of it.

Thank you, Grace.

Whatever mishap I’m mired in at the moment, the daily grace waiting for me is immeasurable. Literally. More than I could ask or imagine! And He provides it all, every time, already knowing that I was going to need it.

While I’d like to think that some of my ridiculousness must shock The God Who Made Me, the reality is that He is never surprised.

There is an indescribable beauty in that truth – that I can’t surprise the God of Grace.

It brings comfort in the midst of all the mishap mayhem.

At least twenty-two times a day.

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This post is day 22 in the Write 31 Days challenge.

Day 22. I don’t want to overstate here, but Y’all! Commitment and I may end up coming to terms. Stay tuned.