Friday, January 5, 2018

Looking Forward

I have no word.

I have read so many blog posts and Instagram posts with such wonderful choices this year. Some have chosen words, some have verses, and as I have read; many have made me say ..."Yes, I will join you in YOUR choice." All have motivated me or touched me, yet, nothing seemed quite like it was mine. I decided to spend some time reflecting.

Reflecting while doing the things I love to do with a fresh start. Cleaning out closets, puttering around the house thinking about what needs to be done, dreaming up fresh projects, and my favorite... making lots of lists.

While all of this has been going on my mind has been spinning, in a good way though. A fresh perspective has been shaping up in this here brain of mine.

I actually made lots of lists in my planner last year, and as I muddled through them thinking about 2018; I realized even in the chaos of last year I had accomplished more than I gave myself credit.

I read more books than I realized. In the back of my planner I had made a list, and it surprised me when I counted them. I had stitched more. I had cooked more meals at home. I had gone to the beach...these lists kept on surprising me as I looked back through the days 2017.

Often when we are in the muddle of the days, we can get lost in the weeds. Only seeing what is right in front of us, not the big picture.

One of my favorite scenes from the movie, "The Shack" (which for once I thought the movie did a great job of interpreting the book) was when the main character is in what seems like a jungle, but when God takes him higher he is able to see the most magnificent garden with structure and beauty all around.

I know He holds the future. 

Another thing that really caught hold of me other than my lists was the book I just finished. I finished Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon yesterday. A little later than the Christmas plan, however maybe I'm making Christmas reading a January tradition since last year I read two Christmas novels in January.

I have to give a little background for why this book is important. For those of you Mitford fans, I was slow to come on board. I retired in June of 2014 and had the set of books waiting for me as Mother had read and loved them. She had passed them onto me, but I stored them away until retirement. When I tried to read them, the Mayberry slowness of them just didn't work. I love Mayberry, but after 31 years of fast paced teaching and my need for nonfiction I couldn't slow myself down to appreciate them. I could see the beauty in the characters, but I am being honest here...there just wasn't enough action to keep me reading.

This past year I read a bit more of them. I skipped over to Shepherds Abiding and it touched me not just as a wonderful Christmas story, but something much more.

The quality of life. The relationships, the smallness of it all. I think I am finally at a place where I crave the simplicity and slower paced life. I also loved how he talked about working with his hands. I have been a bit too studious for far too many years. I want to get out there and work with my hands. The book didn't seem so slow this time, but relaxing. I want to savor the garden work, the stitching, the sewing, the time with my family, and yes, even housekeeping.

I even considered adopting a Bible verse for this year, since no word was coming. Still hard to turn me off...Others have a word, so I must as well. How do you choose a verse when too many come to mind? Maybe I should have a verse for each day.

I kept coming back to slow down, savor the moments, and just relax. Get up everyday and make the most of it. IF it takes you to far too many appointments then go with it. There will be days at home too.
In other words, I think I need to lighten up man!!!

I have lots of plans for sewing, stitching, gardening, trying new recipes, spending time with family, and trying to clear out the closets, BUT I think I am going to do more of just smelling the roses.

Speaking of roses, I want to give the rose garden one more shot. Hubby is cutting down the tree that took all my sun in my rose beds.

To all those who posted their words, verses, and inspirational thoughts...keep them coming. I love them and plan to incorporate them into my daily life. I am no serious blogger as one can tell by my sporadic posting, but I love reading them so I am going to keep on posting all my thoughts and poor quality phone pics. I enjoy getting to know all of you out in Blogland and love to read your thoughts.

It appears that I might not have one word, but too many. Sorry for the long post.

I took a break from my cleaning out to write, so I am headed to the coat closet next. The weather has made me pull out coats. I can't make a quick jog to the store without one with the temps we have had lately.

Looking forward,


  1. Sandy, I realized long ago that I start many things with good intentions but fail to follow through. I have decided to let myself enjoy each day and listen to what God is telling me that I need to do that day. I am reading Cardinal Robert Sarah's book, God or Nothing and it has been so convicting about busy ness and noise and little time in praying and reflection. I am going to try to do better. I exceeded my goal on Good Reads and I have stitched to my heart's content. So I am going to just be happy with that! I hope to spend tomorrow kitting up my rotation for the next month.

  2. Your post touched me on so many levels, Sandy. Everything you wrote could be applied to me except for the gardening and house cleaning. I am going to take a page from you and simply "lighten up". I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Robin, thanks for letting me know that. It is nice to think you helped someone else:)

  3. Sandy, I love this post! My husband and I both need to lighten up. We work too much and too hard. You definitely need to be enjoying those books and stitching and whatever else your good life brings. :)

    1. Thanks Stacey. I am working on following my advice.

  4. Great post, Sandy! I don't have a word or a phrase for one reason. I will probably forget it like everything else! When my oldest was 14, she began reading Jan Karon books. I found out that Jan was going to be at our local Sam's so I took her. We waited in line for 2 hours and then we were given post-it notes with her autograph. We left with most people and I never heard if she showed or not. I read all her books too. Maybe my word for the year will be "bitter."
    Have a great week!!xx

  5. You make so much sense. Its hard to describe our hopes and plans for the year in one thought or word. The one that keeps coming to me is one I don't really like . . . discipline. Yuck. Maybe that's why I'm thinking of it. Perhaps its what I need! Next year? "Craziness." Glad you got to the Jan Karon book. You've reminded me to go back and reread something of hers. She always brings a feeling of peace.

    1. I love Ronda Rich. I underlined the heck out of the faith book by her. My daughter gave that book to all her bridesmaids. And Eric Metaxes is wonderful. I need to read another by him. I read the Miracles book this year and thoroughly enjoyed it, I gave a copy of your book to my daughter for Christmas. I have been meaning to tell that she texted me the other night saying how much she was enjoying it.
      Discipline is definitely needed! I am working on that and letting up on myself. I can be a bit of an overachiever to the point where I lose joy. Then when you run yourself down so that all you do is lay around you feel horrible. I could probably afford a little more of the slow and steady thing.

  6. This is such a good post, Sandy. As I mentioned in my post about this year's word, I think it's possible to get caught up in the idea that we MUST choose a word. And that is not necessarily the case at all. Choosing a word for the year never made anyone more spiritual than anyone else. Pray and ask the Lord to show you a word if He would have you to choose one ... then leave it with Him.

    I really enjoyed your reflections on the year just past and all of your lists about books read, projects stitched, trips to the beach and so on. I think if I made more lists like that, it might help me to appreciate all that I actually do accomplish. I do keep a list of my crafting, which is a good thing.

    Personally, I love Mitford (and Mayberry too). I need to know there is a place like that where I can retreat when real life becomes too crazy. I will say that back when my daughter introduced me to Mitford, many years ago now, I had a hard time getting into the first book. I started it several times before I got far enough into it to get hooked. Now I've read the series several times (once out loud to my hubby) and I return there when I need some peace. Another of my very favorite authors (my very favorite for Christian fiction) is Jamie Langston Turner. She is a superb writer and her neighborhoods are also some of those I return to again and again.

    Blessings on your year!

    1. Thanks Mrs. T. It is nice to share things from your heart and find that others enjoyed. I need to share my lists sometimes. They are really nothing special, but I found they did make me realized I had done more than I realized. I will have to check out the author. I have always loved Karen Kingsbury. Her original Redemption series was one of my favorites. I remember I wasn't sure about the first one either, but after that I was hooked.

  7. Great post Sandy. I think you are definitely headed in the perfect direction with your thoughts. I wear a mantra bracelet that says "Make today count". I try to live by those words. I tend to be hard on myself and I'm trying hard not to be...what gets done gets done. Everything does not have to be perfect. It is much more important to make yourself happy and those that you love. Make each day count RJ


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