Monday, January 13, 2014

My Word for the Year {And What it Means for This Blog}

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." 
~John 13:34

As you know, I've been pondering my "word" and the coming year for a while. What one word could summarize what I hope to focus on for 2014? And then, one night as I was sitting at the kitchen table while the rest of the family slept, my eye caught the above verse on our living room wall. Of course, love was the answer I had been looking for.

What is the reason for all that we do? It is supposed to be love. Love for God, and love for people. As a wife and mother, what I do stems from a desire to love Jesus and love my husband and children. And then it all flows out from there, love spilling over onto neighbors, extended family, friends at church, our community. At least, that's the way it's supposed to work.


And yet there were other words that had been pressing themselves on my mind. Words like "order," "peace," "intentional," and "haven."

My goal is to (Lord willing) spend 2014 intentionally making a peaceful haven for my family through ordering our physical space and our days, and above all, to love

The intentional living, creating a peaceful haven, and maintaining order are all tangible ways to show love to my family. It all amounts to well-planned nourishing meals, clean clothes in the drawers, and time to give full attention to a young child's questions and the older child's dreams. Time for cuddling together on the couch, gardening and crafting together, or digging hands deep in bread dough.


It all amounts to a life well-lived. It all amounts to TIME.

For me, life has been moving entirely too fast. Days slip by, children grow up, and I'm not entirely sure that every moment has been spent the way I hoped.

Too much time has been given to deadlines and hurry and distraction. Fruitless projects that took up a lot of precious time but didn't really yield anything of lasting value.


And I see a little boy on the verge of manhood. A daughter, already a young lady, needing guidance and friendship. A husband who works so hard, his once-dark hair now peppered with gray.

Where will we all be in five years? In just five short years, my oldest will be almost twenty. How did we get here so fast?


I don't want to arrive at the future and wonder where the time went. I want to face the future boldly, to smile with anticipation and pleasure as I think of what it holds. And when I get there, I want to know that I was faithful and lived joyfully and abundantly. But in order to live that way, some changes need to be made.


I must live each day intentionally. Not walking around half-awake and distracted. I must be fully awake! I must live each day as it is given, and not try to live in the future or the past. I've got to live out today, and give it the best I've got. Embrace it.

"Memories, important yesterdays, were once todays. Treasure and notice today."
~Gloria Gaither

We each get the same amount of time. The question is, how are we going to use it?


I need more time. More time to give to what really matters. Time equals love to my family. 

In addition to a strong desire to be more intentional with my time, I'm also dealing with some health issues that are demanding more undivided attention. I really just need some time to rest. Time to think and focus and figure out how I might regain the health and energy that I once enjoyed.


Since we only get twenty-four hours, and I'm finding that it's not enough, that means something has to go. And I've decided it's this blog.

I just don't have time for blogging right now. I do enjoy it, but I just don't have the time for it. And I don't have time for Facebook either, so I won't be continuing on with either of my Facebook pages (and they weren't showing my posts to anyone anyway).

Is this goodbye forever? I'm not sure, but I doubt it. I don't know how long I'll be gone, but I just know that I need to go. And most likely for an extended period of time. If I do come back to blogging, it will only be after sensing from God that it's time.


I will still be continuing on with Lilla Rose. If you've ordered from my Lilla Rose website in the past year, thank you so much--what a blessing you have been to our family! If you would like to be notified when I return to blogging (assuming that I'm able), feel free to sign up for email notification here.

Thank you all so much for reading here! Thank you for the kind notes and words of encouragement you've sent my way. I so much appreciate your prayers. I pray that you will be blessed in 2014, and I hope to meet up with you again someday!

Many blessings,

36 comments:

  1. I got choked up reading this! I'm going to miss you, but I do understand. May God bless you for putting His way first!!

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    1. Aww, you're so sweet, Jacinda! I got choked up writing it...and thinking about you getting choked up makes me feel even more like crying! I'm going to miss this so much. But I know it's the right thing for me to do right now. Love you! ♥

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  2. This is my heart too,although I have no blog and not on facebook. I pray for gods blessings on you and your family. I have been encouraged and inspired. Thankyou for being
    a light. You will be missed!
    Christina

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    1. Thank you, Christina! I will miss hearing from you as well. Your comments always brighten my day and encourage me! ♥

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  3. Aww..I've only followed your blog for a short period of time and you've been such a blessing to me. I'm going to miss your blogs. Blessings and peace.

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    1. Thanks, Nikki! Blessings and peace to you, also!

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  4. I will miss you!! I'm always inspired when I read your blog. I understand though and may this time away from your blog (however long) be an abundant blessing to you and your family. Your family is most important!!

    Much love and blessings to you!

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    1. I so appreciate your friendship, Tanya!! I'll miss you, too. ♥

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  5. Joy,
    I can't even begin to tell you how you have blessed me over and over again with your inspiring and thought-provoking posts. Often you have said, just what was on my heart, but that I couldn't quite formulate into words. I pray that by this decision, the Lord will be glorified, your family blessed beyond measure, and your health restored quickly. {and you return to blogging - because I'll miss you.}
    May your time in His Word richly bless you this year.
    Blessings,
    Carol {puretsimple.blogspot.com}

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    1. Oh, that is so sweet, Carol! Your comments are always a blessing, and thank you so much for all the ways you've encouraged me! ♥

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  6. Anonymous1/14/2014

    I understand. You will be missed in the blogging world. I hope you feel better soon. Your blog has been a deep encouragement to me.

    ChristyH

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    1. Thank you so much, Christy! I always loved hearing from you!

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  7. ♥ God bless you & your family Joy. He convicts our hearts for a reason and He knows what is best for us. I too will miss your posts, but I understand. The season we have with our children is a short one...embrace it!

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    1. Thank you, dear friend! Yes, I'm feeling like the season with my children is very short indeed!

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  8. Blessings as you set aside a time of rest and focused concentration.
    I've enjoyed coming here and was always encouraged in my faith and homemaking...

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    1. Jennifer, you've been such a blessing! Thank you so much! ♥

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  9. Oh please don't go....away for long....I will miss your inspiring posts! I agree with getting rid of your facebook pages though.....those take too much time. Your blog is such a source of encouragment to my dd and I.

    I understand though. I pray you feel better and I wish I were closer to be able to come over and give you a hand or just invite you over for tea! May God bless you and strengthen you in your time away.

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    1. Aww, thank you! Your comment was such an encouragement to me--especially the wish that we could enjoy tea together! I would so love that! ♥

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  10. Anonymous1/14/2014

    I too have been following your blog only about a year, and I'm more of a troller than a participant-but I have been so blessed by you! I've learned so many new crafts, new recipes for homemade things, I found your "6 skirts, 1 pattern" pattern and have outfitted the whole family with it, lol. But I also am blessed by your commitment to your family! Our Christian families are so very much in need of Moms who put them and their needs first, over even the "ministry" of the blogosphere. I will miss you terribly. Will you be able to leave your past posts up online? I didn't realize you were having health issues. I will pray for rest, healing, satisfaction, and renewed vision for you. Thank you for being an online friend and encourager.
    Kim Smith

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    1. Dear Kim, thank you so much for reading here! I'm so glad you decided to leave a comment! I do plan to leave the blog up, so it will still be here.

      I haven't mentioned much about the health problems I've been dealing with, just because I haven't known what to say about them. Thank you so much for the prayers, they are greatly appreciated! I'm still hopeful that one day I'll be able to return. :)

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  11. Hi Miss Joy! I will miss you but understand health and family are more important. God Bless You and hope to see you soon. Praying for you and your family. Give Elyse a hug for me. Love You <3 <3 <3

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    1. Hi Grace! Thank you so much for the prayers! Love you and your family! ♥

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  12. Anonymous1/14/2014

    I really did not see this coming Joy even with the title of your post
    Family need to come first and I can relate to so much of what you have written
    I want this year to be different too and have already made some changes

    I will certainly miss you and thank you for your blog

    Love and blessings to you and all the family
    I will pray for better health for you

    Take care

    Fiona x

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind comment and the prayers, Fiona!

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  13. Maria Crow1/15/2014

    The time does go too fast - so glad you've decided to make some wonderful memories for your family, but I will miss your posts. May I ask, if you have an email list for your past Lilla Rose customers, I'd love to receive any notifcations of sales, specials, etc. My daughter LOVES her flexi clips she got for Christmas.

    Blessings to you and your family Joy!

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    1. Thank you so much, Maria!

      I do not currently have a personal email list for Lilla Rose, but since you're signed up as a customer, Lilla Rose sends out notifications of the sales and specials they are holding to all customers. So, the next time there is a sale, you should receive an email from Lilla Rose about it. And I'm so happy that your daughter loves her flexi clips!!!

      Many blessings to you and your family also!

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  14. Anonymous1/16/2014

    I will so miss your blog but I completely understand. Your sentiments are mine exactly at the beginning of this post. Blessings to you are your family. You have been a huge encouragement to me in this journey of Mothering:)

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    1. Thank you so much, and many blessings to you also!

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  15. May God bless your wise decision and your family!

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    1. Thank you, Christina!

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  16. before you go, I want to say thank you. you first introduced me to trim healthy mama. and it has changed so many things for me!
    your posts have inspired me in many ways, and this post inspires me even more. my oldest 2 are grown and married, and I still have 8 at home. I want them to have the mama that my biggers had, before internet. that means being willing to pull back. I am actually refreshing my blog at the moment, but it's because God has clearly called me to that ministry.
    thank you for helping me to contemplate ways that I can make myself more available to my family. your goal for this year is something I am going to write down and keep so that I can think about that. I love it.
    so thank you again, for your inspirational posts, and for the way you have inspired me with your departure. God bless you and yours.

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    1. Dawn, thank you so much for your kind words! I appreciate them so much. God bless you!

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  17. Anonymous1/28/2014

    Wow! Just discovered you and this was the blog's last post. Kind of funny, since I'm in the same season, in a similar place. My word this year is "fellowship". I am to be intentional on creating opportunities of fellowship for my family and friends in order to encourage growth in our relationship with Christ. Blessings to you on your journey, Joy!

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  18. Beautiful post. You are so brave! Blessings to you as you redeem the time.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! The time away has already been a tremendous blessing. ♥

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!