I love the beginning of the year almost as much as I love the beginning of the school year. A new beginning is so exciting because there are so many possibilities, just like a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils. As I counted down to midnight and shoved as many grapes into my mouth as possible, I always wondered what the new year would bring. After all, anything can happen in a year.

That’s probably why the new year has gotten a little harder as I’ve gotten older. In a life where anything could happen, it’s disappointing when it feels like nothing does. As we counted down to 2015, I couldn’t help but feel disappointment as to what little I had accomplished during 2014. A whole year had gone by and I hadn’t written that book I’ve always wanted to write, or applied to that master’s program I’ve always wanted to go to, or lost those ten pounds that have always haunted me.

On the way home, I talked to Tyson about everything I wanted to accomplish that year and made about a million resolutions. At some point, the resolutions became too overwhelming because there was just too much to do in one year. After all, anything can happen in a year, but not everything.

That’s when I chose to focus on one word instead of a list. I chose the word courage. In 2015, I wanted to develop the courage to do what I have always wanted to do, and to become what I have always wanted to become.

As I counted down to 2016 with my family, I reflected on 2015. It was a good year. In 2015, I found the courage to start journaling again, even if it was just one line a day. I got highlights after debating and pinning about them for years. I signed up for Nanowrimo in November and wrote a book in a month. I received a promotion and started an intimidating but exciting new position. To borrow words from one of my favorite hymns, I fresh courage took, and it worked.

As much as I love resolutions, this year I decided to just choose one word again. My word for 2016 is create.

I want to create something that matters.
I want to create a home that’s a haven from the world and a place of learning and growth.
I want to create and nourish meaningful friendships and relationships.
I want to create a beautiful, happy, fulfilling life.

Happy New Year!

May you find the courage to create the life you have always dreamed of.



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