Hey now friends! Welcome to the Blogging Besties’ 2015: A Year in Review Link-Up Party!
We are ready to show 2o16 who's the boss, but before we do, we want to give 2015 a proper send-off. The highs, the lows, the smiles, the tears, the trips, the holidays, the birthdays, the anniversaries, the babies…whatever it is that made 2015 special, we want to know about it! Grab a button, visit the hosts, and link up your post about what 2015 meant to you!
Hosts: Kristine: The Foley Fam // Megan: Absolute Mommy // Kate: The Colbert Clan // Lena: Lena B, Actually // Renee: coffee-n-ink // Kara: Chasing Zoie // Laura: Bits of Sweetness // Kassi and Kayli: Kassarie & Kayliray******************************************************************************
I ended twenty fourteen raw and brokenhearted. I spent the year in a terrible place, filled with negativity and resentment. I was mad about so many things. Mad because I had to return to the workforce. Mad because I wasn't home on the weekends anymore. Mad because I missed my family. Mad because I was mad. Was I being a spoiled brat? Possibly. Was I a crybaby and a whiner? Probably. I realized at the end of twenty fourteen that I had taken advantage of all the blessings of the previous years. That I had never really appreciated or valued being a Stay at Home Mom. I had the privilege of being home with my kids, and I took it all for granted.
As twenty fourteen ended, quietly and melancholy, I was in search of something to lead me into the next year. I was searching for something, a quote, a word, an idea, that would take my negativity and renew me. One night, in early January, I came across this quote on Pinterest;
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh".
- Ezekiel 36:26
And it was perfect. It was exactly what I needed. So I began on that night to pray for my heart of flesh. I prayed for my new spirit, and I prayed that my heart of stone would be removed. Some night I prayed tearfully. Some nights I prayed joyously. But the biggest thing is that I prayed. Consistently, for probably the first time in my life.
I went back and read two posts from the end of last year, and I'll be honest they were tough to read. They brought fresh tears and sharp memories. Still, they were a reminder of how much changed in twenty fifteen. Not just my spirit, but my life as a whole. I learned so many new things about myself. I learned so many things about my children and motherhood, more lessons on marriage and being a wife. I welcomed the lessons, and I welcomed my new spirit. Today, when I set down to write this post, I realized, I found my heart of flesh. This prayer, my sometimes daily mantra, was answered in the most surprising of ways. My life didn't change instantly. My spirit wasn't renewed overnight. But my heart, my heart of stone is gone, and my heart of flesh beats strong.
Here are some of the things that renewed my spirit.
A New Year's spent with friends and family. Caitlin looking like a teenager on New Year's Eve. Losing teeth, and Mac's zombie face. Nerd glasses. Fresno State Basketball games. Fro-Yo with Grams.
Finding a restaurant in town that makes gluten free pancakes!
Saying goodbye to summer vacation. Starting dance again. Mac lost a tooth, but still found time to fall asleep on my chest. Finding out our class room assignments and celebrating with Starbucks! First day of school, third grade and kindergarten!
My parents wedding anniversary. Sundays spent at home. Bliss.
I got dressed up and found some body confidence along the way.
Family pictures and game day selfies. My bestie at home for a visit. Movies with grandma. Donuts with dad. Shopping at Walmart for Thanksgiving and Paleo legal chocolate chip cookies. Having your bloggy bestie show up at your work! Going to grab breakfast in our jammies, because Sundays. Sundays are my favorite.
A season that always ends too quickly. Kinder Christmas programs. Shopping with my mama like the old days. Enough gingerbread reindeer for an entire fleet. Selfies with my Grandpa. Date nights to go to holiday parties. Baking cookies again and again with little hands ready to decorate. Hot cocoa stands in the driveway. Dance recitals with fancy make up.
Buddy the elf made an appearance, and Ellie the new elf came to stay.
I ended twenty fourteen with a heart of stone, and today I'm sure that there was good reason for that. At the time, I was just too heartbroken to notice. I've always believed in the power of prayer, but for others. The others that go to church every Sunday, for those with unwavering faith. Twenty fifteen taught me so many things, but the biggest was my renewed spirit, my heart of flesh. That I was capable of prayer, and worthy of the power it had. For someone who doesn't worship in a specific place, twenty fifteen now holds a powerful statement about faith and grace.
Because all I wanted was a renewed spirit. All I wanted was a heart of flesh.
I have my heart of flesh.
Happy New Year.
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