Notes for the New Year 2018

What gentleness looks like in January;

a change in word choice.

Not talking about the word of the year. (But if you'd like to know last year my word was peace. This year it is create.)

First I wrote that what gentleness looks like in January is "being okay with being behind." I also tried "being okay with slow". 

Oh how I want everything setup and lovely and fresh for when that January 1st begins. 

I want goals not just written out, but deeply thought about.  I dream of a house prepared, cleaned, and fridge stocked with healthy foods.  But instead it's a whirlwind of Christmas clutter, New Years festivities, and family farewells- sigh!!!!! And then a bit of a crash for my introvert-self.

So gentleness in January is giving myself time to enter into the new year at my own pace, in my own way,  and not viewing it as being behind, or too slow, but right on time for my right now real life. Letting a slow beginning be seen as a beautiful beginning, not as just being behind. 

And maybe in the future  I will have a new year's blog post already typed out and all my goals set before January 1st. I am still getting this blogging writing creating sharing timing thing down. Or maybe my house will be decluttered and clean for January 1st? probably not though, right!

So I simply change the word choice and shift the perspective towards gentleness instead of judgement.

What gentleness looks like in January is embracing my own beginning at my own pace.

This next week I hope to get a little reflective and make a list of what worked and what didn't work in 2017. I find this filter for looking back before moving ahead very helpful. Thank you Anne Bogel and Emily Freeman for sharing your lists and this practice! 

Maybe you would like to join me and make a list for yourself? Or pick a word for your year; like create. Or you could join me in celebrating creativity and art this year by making that your word too! 

Also, here is a list of my favorite books I read  this year (chosen for various reasons) and a look at some of my favorite photos. 

  • Wind in the Willow by Kenneth Grahame children's fiction, whimsical beautifully written. light, imaginative and comforting read.

  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren memoire, heavy and more difficult read but with fascinating scientific facts about nature and great analogies, also I like it because of her openness about dealing with depression/mental illness especially during her pregnancy

  • Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons  devotional, full of wisdom, hope, and creative inspiration, the author's watercolor art fills many pages of this book

  • Meet the Austin's by Madeleine L'Engle children's fiction, a quirky, endearing story of the Austin family, both funny and serious at times

  • Brazen by Leeana Tankersley non-fiction Christian living, another book that combines topics of faith and creativity

  • The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore Christian Fiction

  • Prize of War by Carole Towriss Historical Biblical Fiction

  • Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers devotional

  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton Christian Living

  • Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle memoire