My One Little Word: LIFT

One PhotoI love our New Year’s Eve tradition…we play games, eat yummy treats, watch movies and relax in our pajamas. We’ve done this for as long as I can remember, and it is a wonderful way bid farewell to one year while ringing in the next.

The most meaningful  part of the night? Setting goals.

We’ve done this in lots of different ways…we’ve chosen family goals, set individual goals, adopted healthy habits. For a while, we used Luke 2:52 as a theme, and we set goals to enhance our minds, bodies, relationships, and faith. And, for the last several years, we’ve each chosen “one little word” as our “theme” for the year.

My word for this year?

LIFT.

When I told my mom, she said, “What are you going to do with THAT word?”

Hopefully, a lot.

There are several spaces in my house that really need a lift…the garage, the basement, my office…they need to be tidied up and set to rights so they can be useful and functional.

My blog needs a lift, too…some re-designing and some fresh content. Maybe some new pictures…

I have some folks in my life who could use a lift. Folks who are dealing with illness, transition, and brokenness. Friends who are facing new challenges. I want to be sure that I’m in-tune with their needs so I can give them a lift with my words and actions, and my prayers.

I plan to lift myself as well…off the couch! Much of the last year has been spent on projects that keep my mind engaged, and my body still. Time to balance that out and breathe in some fresh air.

Finally, I need to lift up more of my concerns in prayer. I am a champion, world-class, varsity-level worrier. But I don’t HAVE to be…

I love the possibility of my word…the action of elevating that which is important and special and sacred so that my tiny light might shine a little brighter to others in the house. Some of this will be a joy, and sometimes it will require some “heavy lifting…” but I’m up for the challenge. After all, I’ll have help…

I will LIFT up my eyes to the mountains;

From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He is always watching, never sleeping
God Himself is caring for you.
~Ps. 121:1-4

Hello, 2014. So glad to meet you.
Can I give you a lift?

_____________________
What’s YOUR theme for the year? Tell me!
~Katie

Photo cred: Andre Chinn (Creative Commons)

 

2013 Stats That Matter Most {to me}

Happy New Year, Friends!

As I write this, the Christmas tree is still fully decorated, and glowing brightly in the next room. I’m not quite ready to pack it all away just yet. The snow is falling quickly outside, making me feel cozy and content on my brown couch. These quiet moments make me feel as though I can slow down time, just a bit, before plunging ahead into a new year. I love the time between New Year’s and the start of school…a few days to savor the quiet and shift into forward motion.

It’s also the time of year when WordPress sends me a lovely, animated email to summarize my blogging statistics from the past year. It’s quite helpful, as it tells me which subjects that appeal to you, my dear readers, and how you find your way to my cozy little cyber-space. Finally, it allows me to celebrate the posts that resonated most, and consider topics for the coming year. Lots of bloggers like to share these kinds of stats as they transition to the year ahead.

I’m going to share statistics with you…but not those. Below are the 2013 statistics that matter most…to me

23 Years of Marriage to my very best friend, (and the most handsome, wise and kind gentleman I know!)
13tomkatie

19 Years with Annie, our college sophomore whose wisdom and intuition inspire me. She is going to be a great teacher.

annietom13

17 years with Bill, our high school junior, who  has displayed sound judgment and strong leadership (and has entertained us greatly, on stage and off…)

(photo cred: Lydea Swit)

(photo cred: Lydea Swit)

4 Days in New York City during the summer…making great memories, seeing two shows, touring museums, and eating HUGE portions of chocolate cake.
nycplane

5 States visited to teach church leaders about how to reach families affected by disabilities. (Furthest: NEBRASKA!!) As always, l learned more than I taught, and I met the most wonderful, funny, talented people…and laughed until my sides hurt.
accesscf13

1 publishing contract…which means 1 step closer to accomplishing a lifelong goal of writing a book. (Special thanks to my mom, who always believed I could do it, and to Mrs. Manley, my fourth grade teacher who gave me extra time for creative writing.)

bookcontract

3 generations in my living room during Thanksgiving break.
13thanksgivingpapagrammie

1 Completely Awesome Day when THIS happened…
13katierebeccaplane

12 years with Mitzie. Seriously. The best dog in the universe.
mitzietigerprep

1 Great God…from whom all blessings flow.

joytree

Wishing you JOY, my friends, and a new year FILLED with statistics worth remembering.

Love,

Katie

An Accommodating Advent: Preparing our hearts

A cure for Christmas-“Perfectionitis”

Diving for Pearls

Christmas is coming!

I confess that I tend to get as overly excited about the season as a four year-old. It’s true. I love every little detail…the decorating, baking, selecting gifts, hosting parties. I also struggle with what I call “perfection-itis:” an overwhelming desire for the holidays to look as wonderful as a Martha Stewart magazine cover.

A few years ago, I really hit the wall. I had  four big dinner parties planned at our home, and I busied myself with decorating, food preparations, and creating crafts and games for the children involved. By the time Christmas finally arrived, I was exhausted, teary and edgy…and more than ready for Christmas to be OVER. Much of the holiday had gone quite well. The house looked beautiful, guests were impressed and the kids had fun. My joy, however, was extinguished, and the heaviness in my soul and body led me to truly understand the…

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