grace and intention - reflecting on my words for 2013

Last year I was inspired to make some goals thanks to finding Lara Casey . Not resolutions, as those seemed to easily get broken or forgotten about a week or so into the new year, but to be more specific about what I wanted to see with the year ahead of me and how I wanted God to use me. So I decided on 2 words - grace and intention.
(made with the Rhonna Designs app on my iphone)
 During this particular season in my life I had an almost 1 year old and was quickly realizing how much guilt I had (I was working on that through counseling - hence the word grace) working 3 days a week. I really wanted to be more intentional about my time with my family (husband included). With the new year it was obvious that we were going to have to make changes with my son's childcare since the wonderful Thursday babysitter we all loved was pregnant. Perfect timing all around? I don't really believe in coincidences, so yes, it was His timing. Hard questions were asked in our family - do I want to be home full time? Do I really want to leave my job? Where else could I go? Could I work with Chris (my husband)? - and after a few months the answer came around the beginning of spring. I would stay home with Finley 3 days a week and would work with Chris and my father in law on Monday and Wednesday so that Finley could still go to his Aunt Shannon's house and enjoy his time with them. We all had peace with the decision and so it was that in June I started my new job. It was wonderful, it was different, it was an adjustment, but man oh man - IT WAS SO WORTH IT!

Now, a year later, to look back and see how much has changed in our home I am not surprised by what He has done - He keeps his promises - but I am in awe. He started giving me vision of what I was called to do since I made more time to focus on Him and to be intentional about my relationship with Him (which is why I am currently writing on this good ol blog!). I dug deeper spiritually through the many different studies I found on which was a total game changer for me. I had been ok with bible readings, but to be consistent and intentional about my daily quiet time was new to me and probably one of the biggest successes of 2013. 
doing my quiet time really does make a difference with my day. I can't encourage it enough!
Now the word grace fit in just about every aspect of my life. It was a reminder to give myself grace as I was and always will be a work in progress, to give others grace, and to remember the grace that was given to me and to live it out on a daily basis. While that seems pretty generic, it's not. When you have expectations of others that will never be met (wow, did I learn a whole lot about that in my counseling), when you know that as a mom you will need it as you feel like you fail yourself or your child on a daily basis, or when you have a mile long list of things to do but know that your child just really needs YOU - well, there is grace. For me, for you, for others, for ALL. And the best example was when my Savior put all of my junk on the cross and died so that I may receive this grace to give to others. I want my son to give grace freely and guess where he is going to learn how to do that? Yup. It starts with me. A heart change is almost necessary every day to do this - so I pray for the Lord to change my heart and to fill it with GRACE
This sign hangs in my kitchen and I walk by it numerous times a day. Great reminder! (from altar'd state and the d is an oldie from anthropologie)

I am so thankful that I didn't turn a deaf ear when reading through all of Lara Casey's encouraging and inspiring posts last year even though it can seem very intimidating to start something new. I tweaked it to what I knew was possible for me and came out much better for it. Even though we are a couple months into the new year it's never too late to shift your focus and START with a word to focus on for 2014. I can't wait to see how mine - compassion - comes to play this year but I know HE has big plans for it! 

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