In all honesty, by the time Christmas arrived this year, I’d hit a wall. These past few months have been super busy as I pushed through my first Christmas season with my new youtube channel and did all the normal preparations for Christmas. My house was a disaster and I wasn’t as ready for our big Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal, as I usually am. In fact, Tim and I were still pinching perogies on Christmas Eve! When the dust settled, I knew that what I really needed during this holiday season was some time to relax, reflect and recuperate from the crazy hours I’d been pulling since mid November. When I finally slowed down and began to take stock of 2019, I was blown away by all the blessings!
When life is busy, it is so easy to lose sight of all that we have to be thankful for. It seems that the obstacles in life are what garner the most attention. When we zoom in on the challenges and storms we are going through, there is no room in the lens for all of the blessings.
I’m all for New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting, but I encourage you to stop and reflect on 2019 before forging ahead into 2020. Like me, you might be surprised at all the great things that happened in 2019.
I know for sure that there are so many more blessings, but here is the list I came up with this morning! You’ll notice that some are big and some are little or at least seemingly less significant things, but I can assure you together they make me feel super thankful!
- December 2019/January 2020 ~ We renovated our upstairs landing so the kids would have a place to hang out with their friends. Our prayers were answered and our house became the place to be! On any given night we might have up to 10 teenagers over. Love having them here! So blessed that the kids have such awesome friends and that they choose to be here. So nice to know they’re safe!
- January 2019 ~ I had a huge personal/spiritual revelation that I believe eventually led to my daughter’s healing
- Shelmerdine’s Shopping Spree ~ First time clothes shopping there. Went with $50 gift card and spent $52 of my own ~ walked away with over $500 in clothes! I love great deals.
- March 2019 ~ Discovered Pastor Gary Keesee and his Faith Life Church app which has totally transformed the way I think.
- April 2019 ~ trip to Mexico with free upgrade to massive 2 bedroom suite with a panoramic balcony with a private jacuzzi (rents for $750/night) Wowza! It was incredible!
- May 2019 ~ After approximately 30 years on night shift, Tim got a permanent day position. He now works three 12 hours shifts per week and no lost time for sleep recovery! It’s awesome!
- May 2019 ~ Eden proclaimed that she was depression free for the first time in 3 1/2 years
- June 2019 ~ Got last minute Carrie Underwood tickets – 2 tickets for under $100 – 6th row centre stage ~ Amazing show!
- Summer 2019 ~ 3 girlfriends and I decided to set-up a weekly pickleball game throughout the summer. We have been friends for many years, but would often only see each other once or twice a year. Our games are full of flubs and lots of laughter. I’m so thankful for my pickleball gals and all the fun!
- Home Outfitters ~ dropped in to see if there were any great deals on housewares as they were going out of business. Shocked to find clothes and shoes as well. Got over $700 of shoes, boots and clothes for $87….score!
- September 2019 ~ Having an amazing year at school. One of the nicest groups of students and parents in my career and an incredible student teacher as well!
- September 2019 ~ Eden is medication free and completely symptom free! Yay!!
- Eden changed schools for grade 12. Scary decision, but for the first time since grade 6….she loves school and has made so many great friends there!
- My dad is over 80 and has hardly been sick a day in his life. In December he became quite ill with a UTI. It was so hard to see him sick. I am so thankful that his spark is back and he feeling so much better.
- December 2020 ~ Shay and I upgraded our phones and were forced to give up our total internet plan ~ to our amazement….we are going to save over $50/month! There was a pretty incredible deal if I were to change #’s. I wasn’t keen, but it was about $500 worth of savings so I went for it. I had asked for a number that would have the same last 4 digits as my current #, but it wasn’t available. I was disappointed and picked another. Got home and was having issues with the new number. Evidently it was some how still in circulation (a problem the phone company could not even explain). They said they’d have to give me another number. This wasn’t a big deal because I had only given it to one friend and my immediate family. The one and only number they offered….had the last four digits that I originally requested but was denied. Yay! May seem insignificant but not to me!!
- Feeling so blessed with awesome kids, a great husband and incredible friends old and new.
- The Source Church Ministry, Pastors and of course our church family.
You may be asking how I remember all this stuff. Well, I must confess, I literally count my blessings! I keep track because when times are tough and I’m up against something difficult, I can always reflect on all that God has done for me and know that he is and always will be there. Some may call it coincidence and that’s fine, but I know he’s behind the scenes working on my behalf. You can’t make this stuff up!
What I know is this, the bible says to “Seek first the kingdom of God and all good things will be added unto you”. (Matthew 6:33) .
Sometimes life throws you curve balls. It’s what you do in those situations that makes the difference. Over the past 3 1/2 years, we have seen our share of difficult times, especially as we navigated the stress of Eden’s depression. However, it was during this battle that I finally came to the end of myself, my abilities and my endless striving to figure it all out. It is in this place of desperation that I sought help. When I looked for help beyond myself, I not only found answers, but peace and great favour. I’m truly a work in progress and constantly have to realign and re-set, as it is so easy to fall back into my old habits, but when I truly seek first to know God, his kingdom, his heart and how he operates….life is better! So. Much. Better.
Re-Set for 2020!
Keep it Simple: Daily Routines are Key
As we head into 2020, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. I believe that 2020 is going to be the best year yet. As I set my own goals for the coming year, I can’t help but think about how so much in life is about the little things. It is the little daily habits that make all the difference. Some days I don’t have more than 5 or 10 minutes for devotions/meditation, but that simple daily habit has the potential to totally change my focus, expectations, motivation and energy for the day. On the days when I’m not as pressed for time, I can sometimes spend the first few hours just re-charging my spirit. There is no better way to start your day. I’m not always faithful, but daily Yoga is another game changer for me. Even if I can only squeeze in 15 minutes…I feel so much better. If I have to make dinner, I can choose to make salad or pasta. It really comes down to a simple choice. I still have to put in the effort either way. I have so many different salad recipes, I can honestly say that nothing beats a great salad in my books. Remember, it’s the little decisions we make and our ability to discipline ourselves to stick to our daily routines. Just take one day at a time.
Lofty goals can be overwhelming and end in aborted missions. Your goals have to stretch you, but make them achievable too. When I started my Youtube channel BOWhemian WRAPsody, it was super overwhelming. I absolutely hate having my picture taken, let alone be on video. In fact, this is so far out of my comfort zone, I truly believe it was a God inspired idea. Not only was it a stretch for me to be on video, but also difficult because I had absolutely no idea how to tape, edit, publish or market my channel. I knew my fear could stop me in my tracks, so I had to set very specific, measurable goals that were achievable. Starting something new is often the hardest part. Everyone has good ideas and concepts, it’s the follow through that is hard. My initial goal was to publish 60 videos in my first year. I figured that was a little more than one per week. It was still a scary commitment, but I knew it was achievable too. I launched my first video in June and published 55 before the end of 2019, obviously far exceeding my initial goal. The key is to not give up before you truly get started. Don’t make your goals too hard to achieve.
For me, multi-tasking is key. I have a 35+ minute drive to work. Instead of listening to the radio, I capitalize on the time by listening to apps and podcasts that feed my spirit and attitude. Look at your list of goals and aspirations and try to figure out how to get the best results for your efforts! In 2020, I’m determined to end my struggle with digestive issues and sleepless nights. In addition, I would like to drop a few pounds. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that daily exercise would have a positive impact on all three. If I listen to something uplifting while exercising, I would actually be working on 4 goals at once! Here is the key….I don’t make the goal so crazy that I give up before I ever start. Make it achievable. I know I can 100% totally commit to 15 minutes per day. On days I have the time and energy, I will obviously do more, but I function better on a successful track record. If I were to say I’ll do 45 minutes/day and miss a day or 2, I’ll feel defeated and am apt to throw in the towel. I look at it this way. 15 minutes is nothing really. In fact, probably not enough to make much difference, but if I am not doing anything right now that is 15 times as much as my current activity level…that seems pretty fantastic! Don’t compare yourself to others. 15 minutes might seem comical to someone who sets working out as a priority and dedicates significant time to their exercise program. That is not me. I hate working out. Period. I’m not going to lie. I love activity ~ volleyball, pickleball, tennis, bike riding, etc. but I do not like exercising for the sake of exercising. Yoga might be the exception. I really do enjoy Yoga.
Your goals are your goals. No one else’s. If you want to succeed, make goals that stretch you, but don’t break your spirit when you fail to live up to standards that are beyond your capacity. Make them achievable. Invest time in devising a daily routine that you can stick to. It is the simple daily habits that make all the difference when it comes to making lasting changes. Figure out ways to multi-task to capitalize on your time, energy and efforts. Many of the little things we do, can serve more than one goal.
Positive results aren’t about luck. It’s about forward thinking, planning and of course, execution. You’ve got this! Make the right choice right now, in this moment. Keep it simple and go for it! Happy 2020!