January 1, 2013

Hello, New Beginnings

There is something really special about New Years Day. A fresh start. A new beginning. New Years seems to be especially comforting after the busyness and stressfulness of the holidays. We return home from visiting family over Christmas with our hearts full, but our bodies worn out and our heads filled with the fear that we inevitably let someone down that we didn't get to visit or didn't visit long enough. We're pulled in a million directions, all while trying to maintain some normalcy as we live out of suitcases. Adding a baby to the mix hasn't made things easier. New Years is a deep breath. A time to collect our thoughts, to say thanks for the year behind us and pray for the year before us. I definitely feel lighter (and I'm not talking pounds) when I see the calendar change.

This year, more than ever, I feel the need to simplify and change the way I have been doing things. Maybe it's because I'm 30, or because I'm a mother. Obviously I was a mother last year, but I was consumed in caring for a newborn. I didn't know what year I was in most days. This year calls for change.

I'm sure I'll try to stick to typical resolutions: organize, eat healthier, exercise, get our finances in check, etc. But this year I'm striving to make internal changes. I want my 30s to be the start of something big for my family.

This year, I'm resolving to...

Stand up for myself.
I hate confrontation. I would rather curl in a ball on the floor than speak my mind. I'm so scared of what people are thinking of me or what they might say when I'm not in the room. No more. I'm not going to apologize for who I am, how I think, or how I parent. Each day I'm learning and each day I will make mistakes. That is okay.

Know my Bible.
I know the big stories and key verses that mean a lot to me, but this year I want to really dig deep into the Word. I'm so excited to continue BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and to be challenged by scripture. It's extremely important that the Bible be the instruction manual for my family. I'm so thankful to have found a Bible study that gets to the heart of God and is not clouded in topical preaching or commentary.

Keep the past in the past.
Would my life be different if my parents hadn't divorced? Could things have been a bit less dysfunctional when I was growing up? Sure. But God knew how my life would play out. He knew I would ultimately choose Him, that I would grow to be an adult who would see that her parents did their absolute best. Even now when I think of the decisions my parents had to make, it's amazing to think of how young they were. My youngest sibling is just years away from the age my parents were when they had me. They were babies. That same grace I'm giving myself for being who I am is also being extended to all parts of my life - past and present. No apologies needed. The story of my life is all mine. With all its twists and turns. It's a beautiful mess.

Trust my gut.
I don't have all the answers. I never will. But I have a small voice inside of me that gets it right more often than not. Should I pick Crosbi up from her crib the first time she cries and bring her in bed with me? Maybe not. But I can guarantee she'll have plenty of other opportunities to develop coping skills. I'll read the books and the blogs, but when it comes to my family, I'm going with my instincts. Call me naive. Call me overprotective. That's fine. Again, that whole thing about not caring what people think - it's going to be a continuing theme this year.

Write it down. 
I want to blog more. It really is therapeutic. I often think of making this blog private, but I still want this space to be an open conversation to my friends and family. I love hearing that a cousin I don't see often has read a post or two, or when my mom comments on things she has read here. But I also want to journal more. I'm finally starting a perpetual calendar and I'm pretty pumped about it. I'm just adding a slight twist. Instead of just writing daily details, I want to write what I am thankful for that day. I'll consider it my perpetual thanksgiving calendar.

Today, January 1st, 2013 I am thankful for my healthy, happy little family and for my daughter sleeping in until 10am!

Wishing anyone reading this the very best in 2013.


  1. Happy New Year Tara! You have a fabulous way with words and I enjoy reading your blog and keeping up with you and your sweet family! I love your idea of the perpetual Thanksgiving calendar! I think I am going to start that too! Wishing you love and blessings in the new year! Stacey Matlock

  2. Love this and you, Tara!

  3. love your goals for this year...looking forward to a wonderful 2013 <3 excited you started your calendar!!

  4. Love this SO much Tara. We are so on the same wavelength! I couldn't tell you how much "stand up for myself" resonates with me. I've been working on this too and it ain't easy, but I have felt so empowered when I have done the right thing. You know I love BSF, and the "trust my gut" thing is great. I think that's one of the best pieces of parental advice anyone ever gave me. So glad I get to continue reading your thoughts!