2018 was a year of transition. Again. It was also a year of hard work, heartache, and joy. You could probably say the same. That’s the rhythm of life if you’re breathing. The joys are sweeter when we face adversity.
We built a house this year. A farmhouse. I’m really hoping and praying this is my forever home. It was truly a labor of love, very different from the last house we built, lived in more than nineteen years, and raised our children in. At this age in life, the need to impress anyone is gone, and the desire to build something for a new season dictated our choices.
My theme for 2018 was Living Simply. I wrote several blog posts centered around this theme. Building a new home enabled us to embrace a simple and uncluttered floor plan. Now it’s time to live fully, without the stress of building, moving, and all the decisions that surround the process.
Until I moved to the country I didn’t understand how much I needed quiet. I couldn’t grasp the joy of the view from tall windows revealing deer grazing in the front yard, hungry birds crowding feeders, and sunsets that leave you speechless. I look forward to having tea on the front porch every morning as the sun comes up. The best things in life cannot be bought; they are experienced. The simple gifts of friendship, family, and service are given from God, who knows our deepest soul needs. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Living in the country has provided margin for me to recognize His gifts more fully.
I began an intentional journey toward a more simple life in January. My goal was to reduce the amount of clutter that claims my attention, but as I pondered the subject I realized it was more than the physical clutter that weighed on me. Emotional and mental clutter are more dangerous than the junk I’ve moved from house to house. Learning how to let go of this kind of baggage has allowed me to enjoy living in the present instead of being anxious about the future.
What will the next twelve months hold for me, and you? If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that life is full of surprises, some good, some not so good. But I believe I can trust the One who made the stars, sets the sun in the western sky, and loves us more than we could ever imagine. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”