I don't really make New Year's Resolutions. Yes, we will continue to work on paying off our debt. Yes, I would really like to lose the 5 pounds I have gained over this holiday season ; ). Yes, I want to read and study my Bible more and have more patience for my children. These are not really New Year's Resolutions, but an ongoing work in progress.
I have however been seeing posts by people who are going to be working on, focusing on, one important word or focus for the upcoming New Year. I have been thinking and thinking about this over the last few days and I do think that is a good idea. So after looking back on this year and trying to look forward to next year, I have deiced my word or focus is "Grace." I want to give more grace to strangers in the grocery store who make rude comments about the size of my family. I want to give more grace to those that are openly against my decision to homeschool. I want to extend more grace to those who have hurt me. I want to give more grace to everyone around me, but also to myself. I want to stop expecting perfection in myself. I want to go into the New Year knowing that I am not responsible for the choices of others and will not be weighed down any longer by guilt that is not my own. Grace. That is going to be my word.
Looking back on 2012 is hard. It was a hard year, but there also was a whole lot of good too. I continue to stand on the promise in Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." We have a wonderful life together, 7 beautiful healthy children, and more blessings then we can count. Instead of looking back on the things that were hard, we will focus on all the ones that were good and look forward to all of the blessings our future holds.
My favorite memories of 2012 were definitely during our vacation to Dauphin Island. We rented a house right on the beach. It was the best vacation we have ever had! It was so wonderful to be on that beach and have nothing special to do, nowhere special to go, just have time to enjoy each and other and play with the children. We had the whole beach to ourselves most of the time. There is something about the beach that draws me to it. I just love standing on the beach, looking out over the ocean where it meets the sky. I don't even have to swim (although of course I do for the children.) I could just sit there for hours! I hope we will be able to go back someday.
A few pictures:
We are ringing in the New Year at home, just the 9 of us. We are enjoying pizza, chicken wings, shrimp, potato chips, and cookies while streaming Netflix movies. The children want to stay up until midnight and daddy said they could quietly in their beds (they won't really stay awake that late.) I don't know if we will either but I do know that this is my favorite way to spend every day, with my family.
Happy New Year!