Thursday, December 29, 2011

Out With The Old

I can't believe the year is over. The past week has been quite filled with family gatherings, Christmas presents, playing with new toys, traveling to and from cities, and the blessing of hand-me-downs for our little nursery.

As I sit on the couch nursing a cough and cold, I am reminded just how much as transpired in the past 365 days. It was in the past year that my man got back from his first deployment, we married on a beautiful Saturday evening, we moved into our first house, I graduated college, we discovered we were pregnant after two short months of marriage, my husband lost both of his grandparents, we paid off our debts, we learned hard lessons of car trading, I slept for the first time at a rest stop while fearing for my life, I taught two women's Bible study sessions while questioning if I was really ready, I gained my first "grown-up" job, grew friendships of women from our church, and daily am reminded of what it means to be a good wife and mama.

2011 has been packed full of learning, difficult days, sweet moments, precious kisses, salty tears, and most importantly--growth.

As I think of welcoming 2012 I am both excited and nervous. In this next year I face much change. My work at the school will cease, I will finally hold our precious baby boy in my arms, my husband will deploy to Afghanistan for 4 months just weeks after that little boy arrives, and I will watch two dear friends marry. There will be new Bible studies to attend, friendships to deepen, lessons to learn, diapers to change, bottles to fill, rooms to clean, noses to wipe, tears to cry, laughter to brighten my days, and more growth to occur.

Neither Kyle nor I really believe in making "new year resolutions." We are of the mindset that if something needs to change it should be done immediately. So often "resolutions" are made and quickly forgotten. In our mind, quickly forgotten goals is a waste. But let's face it: it's a new year, a new start, fresh days, and that amazing feeling of newness. As I ponder the 12 new months that await my family, I see things that I would like to see change in my personal walk and growth.

1. Journaling. I am about to embark on some of the most precious and most challenging days of my life. Motherhood brings about a lot of joy, but uncertaninty. I want to remember the moments of good and bad so in a few years I can look back and think "Wow, I sure am glad I know better now."  I want this upcoming deployment recorded so I can be constantly reminded of how much I have to be thankful for when he comes home.

2. Studying. Bible study has been a "spare moment" thing for me lately. Between work, household tasks, pregnancy struggles, and life in general, my deep moments with the Lord haven't been daily--and I yearn for them as if I am addicted. I want to be back in my Bible studies and having sweet fellowship through learning from my Father.

3. Baby weight. I know I'm going to have some to lose--and while it may come off quickly with nursing, there were about 10 pounds I needed to shed before little Gracin came into the picture. I want to get back to that beautiful 120 number on the scales by the end of next year. Is it doable? Absolutely! I just have to load my baby up in his stroller and get my heiny out for walks and jogs.

4. Reading. Before I became engrossed fully in college work, reading was my favorite thing to do. I read literally everything I could get my hands on. Now, my time is so precious and limited that I have fewer moments to dig into a good book. There are so many novels and classics that I want to read, ponder, and then reread! My bookshelves are bursting with nuggets of truth, mystery, hilarity, or excitement just waiting on me. Not to mention, I am now the owner of an amazing iPad, so there are even books available to me through apps! I want to read 20+ books in the coming year--think I can do it? *I don't know if I can either*

5. Writing. I love to write. I have a portfolio of my best poetry pieces--and I haven't added to my collection since a year ago. I miss putting my hand to the paper in a composition or a letter to someone.

6. Letters of encouragement. I received a written note of encouragement from a precious woman at our church some weeks back and it was (and is) a joy to me. I have the note clipped inside my Bible cover because it meant so much to me. I see women who could use a note of love, encouragement, and prayer--but I never take the time to write it. It's time to buy a pack of pretty, blank notes from Target and send one every now and then.

Six things that I would like to see change--and even though there will be a new Bartlett in our home, I pray that most of these things would be changed in me and become habits I carry on easily.

What about you? Do you have any changes you would like to see made in the coming year? I can't wait to learn what the Lord has to show me in the days ahead....and I can't wait to share it with you!

"And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." (Revelation 21:5)

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