I Can be Happy!

My Imaginary Friends

In junior high and the beginning of high school I still had imaginary friends. I knew I was too old for them, so I had released my imaginary ducks in the middle of 6th grade. But I kept 3 imaginary blue aliens from the planet Pluto in my head. These imaginary friends lived in my heads much like the emotions in the Pixar movie Inside Out. When I got to college I did not admit having imaginary friends, but instead moved to the idea of a good side and bad side arguing in my head (instead of on my shoulders). The idea of a shadow version of myself worked itself into conversations a lot in those college years.

The reality is that I am likely to think negative things about myself, and there is no little voice, alien, shadow or other self doing it to me. I am the one with the negative words and thoughts about myself 99% of the time. And it has to stop. I don’t think negatively about my kids like this, but I am teaching them to think about themselves this way by modeling this negative behavior.

I Want to Belong in my Skin

This year my word of the year is Belong. I have a dream of Future Annie, a lovely woman I would want to be best friends with. I imagine spending the next year getting to know her, and then looking in the mirror and realizing she is me. I want to love myself the way God loves me, so that I can love others the way I know God has called me to love them. I have truly struggled with the Golden Rule because of self-hatred, and it is going to change this year!

Guilt, Irritation, and Other Lies

I have struggled with guilt to the extent that I think it has become as natural as breathing. I rarely make it through a day without getting annoyed at someone in my tone, sighs, or stares, even if I am trying to hold it in. I have decided this year that those things will not define me. Every mom has to undergo a learning curve of our lives changing dramatically. My body, my time, my meals, my romantic life, my relationships, my family, and every other aspect of my life have been altered by the entrance of kids. This can be hard, but I am doing good as a mom, and I am going to continue to obey God. If I make a mistake I am going to say sorry and pick myself up to keep moving forward. In this way I am going to learn to be happy and to hold onto the joy that is promised to reside in us as Christians.

Choose Happy, Dream Big

I have not been a dreamer until recently. I did not believe I could be happy. But God told me in a prayer time that I can be happy, and I chose to believe Him. I didn’t read a few books and seek counsel, I just decided then and there that I believed him and would spend the year chasing after the dreams He has put in me, knowing He is going to make me happy this year! I claim the promise, and will wait on the Lord as long as it takes.

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Learning to Love Myself

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This is Day 6 of my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. It isn’t too late to Join the Challenge! The clock just turned midnight as I began writing this post, but I am persevering and posting this so I can keep up with my challenge along with any of you seeking to share in it with me.

Discipline

I picked my word of the year for 2017. I picked my first word of the year last year, Discipline. I ended up a little disappointed that I didn’t feel more disciplined at the end of this year. I still struggle with basic obedience to God. I still speak up against Louis in front of the kids and others at inappropriate times. I still give up on plans and don’t follow through with most projects. I still think of myself as flaky and blonde. How frustrating to end the year of using a word of the year and feeling like it had no effect. But I started looking through my journals and posts from the last year and realizing, as I shared yesterday in my post about healing from childhood trauma, I am a new woman! 2016 has altered the course of my life, my relationships, my hopes and my dreams. In fact, prior to 2016 I did not have dreams for my life, I was a pessimistic, hopeless wanderer.

Hope

Why did focusing on discipline help me learn to dream and have hope? In my pursuit of discipline I found that I have hope when I have boundaries. Discipline is often about living with different types of boundaries. Also, I learned a big lesson in realizing that I cannot do everything. Discipline is about focusing on what needs to be done, prioritizing. Losing the idea that I can spend 8 hours a day with my kids, 8 hours a day alone, 8 hours a day with my husband in one-on-one time, 8 hours a day writing and reading, and 8 hours a night of sleeping. That is a hyperbole, but on three separate occasions throughout the year I checked in on a time budget and can share a success. At the beginning of the year I found that I was attempting almost an extra week’s worth of events per week. The second check had me closer to 3 ½ days over. The last time I went through my time budget I was only 21 hours over. This is a small thing, but helped me realize that I need to have success points.

Belong

In picking my word of the year for 2017, I was so happy to find one that can have so much meaning for me. I am going to share all about this word and its meaning to me in a future post, so I am going to keep to the point here of how to learn from the past in order to inform the future. Knowing that if I just meditate on the word belong for a year there is a chance that the new me at the end of 2017 won’t really remember how it was back here in 2016, I must point out things I hope to change through this meditation throughout the year. Already as I have thought about this word, so many little changes have begun happening and I have had to stop and write them down. As you begin to look ahead to your own New Year’s Resolutions, remember to take time to recognize where you are at right now, so when you are looking back at the end of the year you can see the changes. For me, I have this idea percolating in my head that I actually can be happy. This seems normal to many of you reading, but to me this is a huge change from the past me. I look toward future me and I am so excited to meet her.

This post is one of a series meant to kickstart a writing habit. I created exclusive prompts which are emailed to those of us signed up for my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. I am posting my responses each day, and I invite you to join me in this writing journey by CLICKING HERE! The only way to receive the prompts is to sign up for the Challenge. The emails will include the prompt for the day as well as directions to kickstart your writing habit for any combination of the following:

  • Personal Journal
  • Prayer Journal
  • Blog
  • Christmas/New Year Letter or Correspondence