Reflections for 2013


What is it about a new year that makes us all contemplative and introspective? I guess it’s a good thing really, to have at least one day each year where we actually pause in the midst of our hectic routines to reflect on what’s happened, and look forward to the promise of a new year. A time to reset priorities, make new goals, and ultimately be hopeful about things to come.

Still, it amuses me that somehow going from Tuesday to Wednesday constitutes a fresh start. The truth is, I think many become disillusioned when the reality is that one day doesn’t actually change anything. It’s really just Wednesday… of the same week… with the same daily routine. We hope it will be a magical transformation, but instead time just keeps plugging along and it’s just another day, another week, another year.  Wednesday doesn’t magically make our resolutions become a reality. We need to actually change in order for that to happen, and change rarely happens in a day. It’s a process, and often a frustrating one at that. Perhaps the new year should really be just a time to renew our resolve to continue the journey and to give ourselves grace for moving a bit more slowly along our path than we had hoped we would.

So, as I look back at 2013, I can at least say I did move forward in my goals. Compared to what I wanted to achieve, I failed miserably and could justifiably begin my disillusionment party right now. But the truth is, I did advance. Only a fraction of my prior resolutions, but advancement nonetheless, and that is something to celebrate. I had some really hard times this past year with setbacks in the health department, but I also persevered in sticking strictly to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and put so much energy and time into trying to do the best I can for my health.

I felt a call to write, so I started this blog. It makes me frustrated and sad when I think of all of the ideas I have had for posts this year, that I never got around to actually writing. Yet, I did start the blog, and I did write some posts, and I guess baby steps are better than no steps. The truth is, life doesn’t carve out neat, quiet time blocks for us to focus on our goals. We need to fight for them in the midst of laundry piles, sick kiddos, home repairs, and the pile of mail and school flyers that consumes the kitchen counter. We need to balance conflicting goals. Lord knows I seem to have a lot of them! Ever notice how goals have this pesky habit of requiring time? Exercise = time. Writing = time. Creating = time. Cooking = time. Playing with or reading to kids = time. Know when I have time to focus? When the kids are in bed. Know what one of my goals is? To improve my health, and while diet is a huge component of that, so is sleep! Honestly, I’m terrible about getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Once the kids are asleep, it doesn’t matter how exhausted I’ve been all day, I suddenly have a new lease on life and a second wind! Yay for “me” time to do ANYTHING even if it’s just completing a thought in my head without distraction. Who wants that to end?! I’ve realized though that it’s kind of ridiculous for me to put so much time and energy into what I eat to improve my health if I’m not going to get the necessary amount of sleep to remain healthy. It is strange how we do things like this, isn’t it? Put forth a great deal of effort, only to undermine it somehow. And so, I am resolving to make going to bed earlier a priority. This means I’m definitely going to need better time management to make progress on my other goals, and frankly, time management has never been my strength area. This is where I am hoping to implement a goal that probably sounds a bit counterintuitive – relax my expectations for myself.

That’s right, I’m hoping to move forward more, by actually expecting to move more slowly. Crazy, I know! This whole exercising 3 times a week thing… let’s get real, it hasn’t been happening. Maybe if my goal is once a week, I might actually be able to attain it, and then it’s at least starting to build into my routine. Not likely to see any physical benefit from it, but it’s step toward change. As for writing, well, I’m trying, really trying, to be less of a perfectionist, and to be more of just who I am. I realized that I’ve been holding back on sharing a lot of things that I’m excited about it my little life because they don’t fit into some “perfect” category of topic that seems appropriate for this blog. I’m realizing that I need to just be myself and not all posts are going to resonate with every reader, and that’s ok. Hopefully you all will enjoy the little glimpses into my everyday, and who knows, maybe the little things of my life might still inspire and encourage too. They certainly help me to keep ticking along, and I’m realizing that the little things in life can be the most meaningful over time to share.

With that, Happy New Year everyone! I hope in 2014 you are able to make some forward progress on your life goals, and that no matter how small that progress, you’ll rejoice in your baby steps. Thank you so much for reading my blog, and allowing me to share my humble, little life with you!

God bless!




About inspiredencouraged

Thank you for visiting Inspired Encouraged! My name is Heather. I'm a wife and stay-at-home mama to two beautiful blessings. I started this blog because I felt God's calling on my life to encourage others with the words He gives me to write. Creativity feeds my soul. When I'm not writing, I love to spend time designing gardens and home decor, then watching the designs come to life as my hubby and I complete our DIY projects. God has used many things in my life to shape and refine me, one of which is chronic illness. Through the years that I have wrestled and fought and cried through my illness, I have also grown in faith as I've seen God bring beauty out of the ashes. Looking back I can now say that He has truly worked all things for my good, even the darkest and most painful times. God is faithful! I invite you to subscribe and follow me on this journey. My prayer is that together we will grow in faith, we'll learn to not sweat the small stuff, we'll laugh and cry, and that God will use these words to leave us both inspired and encouraged!

7 responses »

  1. Happy New Year! As always, another great post! You have a great way of reflecting on things that are so relatable to so many of us. I hope you continuing to find joy in the process and sharing your experience. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Sounds like a great goal to me! When I get sucked into a perfectionism rut, I’m in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed, and when I’m in that frame of mind, I’m hopelessly unable to offer much to others because I’m so focused on my own mess.

    I totally relate to the tough choice between sleep and alone-time at night! I think you’re right, though, that sleep is worth fighting for.

    I decided that I’m not going to resolve to do anything anymore, I’m just going to resolve to not give up on my goals. That way I have a much better success rate. 🙂


  3. Thank you for sharing, Heather. I loved reading your thoughts on resolutions and can really relate. Happy New Year to you, a dear and wonderful friend. I am thankful for you!


  4. body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:9pt;background-color: #ffffff;color: black;}Heather,Somehow I didn’t see this until today.  Unbeleveably beautiful!Grampa Dan


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