My One Word for 2014

Last year I died. Every day for 365 days. I woke up and experienced death.

Graveyard

I died to myself. I died to my past. I died to my will. I died to all that I thought that I knew.

Dying was hard, but necessary.

For Christians dying is central to our faith. Dying is life. I forgot that somewhere along the way. Somewhere along the road to hunky-dory everything should be perfect land, I forgot that dying is a good thing.

Good but painful.

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One Word Re-Cap

Simplicity

I’m a simple person. I love simple beauty. I don’t like clutter or fluff.

Long's Peak

I don’t like flowery words or decor’. My personal style is simple.

That is why I love One Word.

I don’t make resolutions simply because they don’t stick. But a theme for a year? That has legs.

For three years now I’ve done this and it is always amazing to me how the theme of the year plays out.

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Five Good and Perfect Gifts

This year has been hard. And good. And perfect.

My view in the Jeep

This Christmas season when I have actually had time to reflect, I keep coming back to one of my favorite verses.

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. ~ James 1:17 NLT

I’ve had some good and perfect gifts come down from heaven this year.

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Christmas Will Always Come

Insanity. The last month has been crazy for me and my family. Let me recap.

RMNP

Apply for job in Estes Park.

Interview for job a week later.

Accept job offer in Estes Park a week after that.

Thanksgiving.

Prep house to be put on the market. THE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING.

Transition current job.

Try to find a place to live in Estes while my family stays here and I start new job January 13th.

To say that my head is spinning is an understatement. Every morning I find myself waking up to two intense feelings. They are:

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Once Around the Sun

Colorado SkyWe have a book in our family room purchased in 2007 on a vacation to Yellowstone National Park.

Once Around the Sun.

It is one of those books where I almost love the title as much as the actual pictures in the book. The whole concept the author/photographer was going for is to show the ebb and flow of nature throughout one whole year in America’s first national park.

This year my life has had a once around the sun feel to it.

 

This time last year the holidays started off rough. I was moving my grandma into assisted living. I was also beginning a season about this time last year that rocked my world and forced me to work through some tough family junk and grief that I had left unresolved in my heart for years. Eventually with a lot of grace, I began to open up myself to healing and new possibilities. [Read more…]

Bittersweet

This post is bittersweet. I’m excited, grateful, and sad all at the same time.

Family Life Services

This letter was given to all of the WOC partners and resident families I serve at Family Life Services this week. Family and friends who have walked with me this year know that it has been a difficult but transformational one. This next step is essential in my personal growth and calls me to be obedient to a faithful God who has never ever failed me. Ever.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I transition. I love the ministry of FLS and truly believe in what goes on there to transform families. I will forever be an advocate of this nonprofit. It is hard to leave something you love so much but next spring I will be transitioning out of my ED role there after five years of service. This letter lays out the details.

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The Name I Don’t Mind Being Called~ Storyteller

I’ve been affirmed by some close peeps lately. The ones that I have found that I am brave enough to say what if to and not worry about what they will think. I eat up their words of encouragement like my puppy Monroe waiting patiently for me to drop meat when I cook. I also know that if my what if sounded lame, they would tell me. It makes their words even sweeter.

Heart

When I was a little girl, if my Grandma Freda called me a storyteller, it was usually a bad thing. It usually meant I was telling a fib.

Today, I’m not ashamed to say my heart grows inside my chest every time I hear the words:

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For the Love of Fodder

My whole life I have had this strange habit.

I was often embarrassed by it.

I thought it was weird.

I have even thought at times I was a bit crazy for doing it.

It started off one summer when my friend Jayme and I got this wild hair to write a novel. Basically it became a knock off of North and South by John Jakes and these cheesy Swept Away teen novels we were obsessed with reading. We were two bored pre-teen girls with no formal creative outlet. We also more than likely didn’t understand the definition of plagiarism.

Junior high creatives. Oh my.

Long after our idea died in the spiral notebook under my bed, I continued the practice of developing potential character profiles. This came from interesting teachers, experiences, and one insane imagination colored vividly by junior high life.

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Sheepadoodle Saturday

Monroe "Stormageddon" Abel

I have a hard time with focusing on now. I always have. I like the future.

When I first took the Clifton Strength Finder I was validated. There it was. Futuristic.

Yesterday has moved on and the present is just a space for me to think about tomorrow. It is how God has wired me. I have always processed this way. It makes me a pretty optimistic even through difficult times. Just like little Orphan Annie, I find myself thinking about tomorrow.

But when you spend so much time thinking about tomorrow, you can become useless in the right now.

Today becomes difficult to enjoy. Sometimes I am not  aware of the blessings that are right in front of my face because I can have the tendency to mentally escape to the future. What do I need to do to get ready for ___? Where else do I need to be? Who do I need to talk with?

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Gaining Ground Is Inspiring And I’m Giving Away Two Copies

Inspiration for work can hit you in the most unlikely places.

Times of rest, reading, long walks taken away from my actual place of employment have helped me over the years to problem solve. It is uncanny how I almost always have to get away from work to get my head around tough issues and get clarity. Recently, I found inspiration for my work through a surprising source.

I found inspiration for what we do for families at Family Life Services through book about farming. Yes, farming.

Gaining Ground

You see I have this 4-H friend from back in the day that just happens to be a agricultural super hero. I’m not exaggerating. Forrest Pritchard, of Smith Meadows in Virginia is one amazing guy. Over the last 17 years while most of my friends were getting business degrees and moving to suburbia land, he was busy saving his family’s farm and becoming a national advocate for sustainable farming.

A year ago, when our family quit Mickey D’s and actually started eating real food, I was introduced to a foreign world. The farmer’s market. I even wrote a post on being a Farmer’s Market Virgin. My husband and I reconnected through Facebook with Forrest and his witty blog. Forrest was able to chime in and give us some sound advice for shopping local. A year later, he has written a book.

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