savorIt’s 2016. A fresh year. New, untouched, full of blank pages.

As one year comes to an end, and before a new one begins, I always like to take time reflect over the past year. I look through the calendar, remember what happened, digest what I learned, what I loved, what I didn’t and think about what came out of the last 12 months.

Through doing this for many years, I’ve learned no matter what the year was like, there’s always something so worth looking back on it…Making it a part of me…Thinking through the lessons it gifted me with.

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this time to reflect, but this year in particular it felt exceptionally beneficial. In 2015, there was a lot to think on. Being such a challenging year, maybe that just comes with the territory. Yet with all of it’s challenges, it had a lot of beauty, a lot of meaning, a lot of good come out of it too. Who I am today, is not who I was a year ago. And for that, no matter what circumstances brought me to this point, I am grateful.

But back before this period of reflection, before the holidays, before Advent, I realized I wanted, no needed, to stop my habit of “trying to figure things out” and “make things happen”. Day after day analyzing, doing things to create the outcomes I hoped would come in the way I thought they should and on and on. It was exhausting.

When we’re in that “hustle”, life feels heavy and at the same time it flies. It passes unnoticed, un-lived, unfelt, under-experienced because the life we actually live is one that’s future focused, what-is-lacking focused, what’s-not-yet centered, and consumed with what needs to be… it’s a life lived outside the present moment.

And what I learned in that season over the holidays of deliberately stopping “making it happen” is that life doesn’t need to be made at all. It only needs to be lived. There’s nothing to figure out, only present moments to be experienced, opened, received, lived.

So with that gift of a new perspective that came out of the swirl of the holiday season, I landed on this word being the one I want to primarily guide my 2016: Savor.

I want to savor my life for all that it is. The “good”. The “bad”. The sad. The joys. The peace. The struggle. All of it. It is all my life. And like my recent reflection proved, even the challenging parts are worth living fully. So, I want to fully be here to live this life. In each moment, no edits, just full presence.

What I’m learning is the more I let go of the outcome, the more life tends to work itself out anyway, tends to come to me. It’s amazing really. But the more I let go of my death grip on needing my life to work out a certain way, the more it feels light, free, filled with beauty, filled with OK-ness, filled with enough.

Life after all is not about the outcome. It’s the process. Life is lived right here. No where else. No other time. This is life. This. You reading this right now. This is your life and you are living it whether you’re aware of it or not.

So this year, this brand new year, may we open our eyes, open our hearts, and open our hands to receive the life that comes, exactly as it is, for all that it is. May we drop our limiting expectations, voice and face our fears in doing so, pray our hopes, and walk forward moment by moment, feeling the earth beneath us, the air around us, and the imperfect faith within us, fully present, fully alive, fully aware, fully here, and fully savoring all that life brings.

Happy 2016 friends!

Extra Musings and Random Thoughts

The above photo is of the new devotional I bought for 2016 by Shauna Niequest. It’s only day 4 and I am loving it! As you can see it’s also perfect for my life focus right now. 😉 Join me in reading!

I didn’t do a recap of favorite things for 2015, so these are some worth mentioning:

  1. The Lone Bellow – Then Came the Morning. Favorite music. Every. Single. Song. Epic goodness.
  2. XPN Fest, a friend’s wedding, NJ, Boston, Baltimore & NYC visits – Favorite weekends.
  3. Scary Close, Rising Strong, Searching for Sunday – Favorite Books.
  4. Downton Abbey, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Modern Family, Big Bang, (dare I say Bachelorette?! Ugh, but I wouldn’t trade the mom and roommate time for anything!) – Favorite TV.
  5. Inside Out – Favorite movie.

Hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Years. Life passes quickly! So soak in those good times by being present and then remembering them often. Thankful for all the experiences with people I had over these last two weeks. Thank you (yes you!) for being a part of it. <3