Tuesday, January 7, 2014

:: Newy New Year ::

I spent the better part of the evening last night reading through my blog archives.  Phew.  I am happy I have preserved so many memories, but I was saddened to think of how many recent memories have gone by without a post.  I've been feeling challenged about my blog.  I feel nervous and intimidated by it.  I feel silly even typing those words.  There are so many things to write about, it makes my head swim to think about it.  And then, when I do sit to write, my mind goes blank.  I'm beginning to think it's just like riding a bicycle.  I just have to dive in and do it.  

2013 is history.  I don't know about you, but I'm glad and, frankly, relieved.  I don't believe I'm being pessimistic or negative when I say, GOOD RIDDANCE to last year.  There were many things I did not enjoy about it and, unfortunately, those things can creep into the forefront of my mind and camp there, overshadowing all of the positive.  So, I'll start focusing on the good things, like finding our church.  Man, we are SO in love with our church.  If you're looking for a healthy church with real, authentic people, a pastor who truly cares for his people, a fun and engaging children's ministry, numerous fun activities and opportunities to serve the community, as well as a worship team full of beautifully talented singers, instrumentalists and song-writers, look no further.  This is as real as it gets for me.  It's been a year and we're in love with our church.  We entered feeling lost and a bit bruised.  In the last year, we've healed, grown in our faith and we've been challenged and strengthened in our relationships with each other and with Christ.  It's a beautiful thing, people.  Ryan and I have the privilege of serving on the worship team, which has been a wonderful and delightful experience.  We honestly never knew it could be this good.  We loved our previous church, but now realize this is exactly what we needed for this stage in our lives.

I began having personal counseling sessions last May.  I won't say a lot about that right now, but it has been the best decision I've ever made for myself.  I'm learning a lot about who I am, being okay with who I am, and bettering myself by letting go of past hurts and embracing change.  I feel calmer, more at peace and finally - I feel like parts of me are healing up nicely.  My marriage is stronger as well, and I am so grateful for that.  I don't know what took me so long.  But I'm glad I took that step.

Early last fall, we had a pre-diagnosis of ADHD Inattentive for Aidan.  It made the challenges we've had with him since about age 4 completely make sense.  Since then, we've been trying some different supplements along with changes in structure/routine, and it seems to be helping.  I've had to let go of pride (so silly) and ask for help.  A lot of the healing process and moving forward has a lot to do with admitting there is a problem, not taking it personally (there's nothing we did to cause this) and meet the challenge head-on, logically and with much prayer.  I think we've got a long way to go, but we're making headway.  And I feel a lot less exasperated.  I've calmed down.  He's such a smart kid -- and he's doing great in school.  I'm so proud of that kid!

Other challenges last year included joblessness for loved ones, cancer, divorce and heartache.  Jesus has done a lot of healing and answering of prayers...not necessarily in our timing, but we'll take it.  It's nice to be able to lift our chins and strut ahead into a new year.  I'm not naive to think this year will be blissful and perfect, but we'll deal with whatever comes our way with renewed energy and resilience.  

I've changed a lot of my focus heading into this year.  More time spent reading the bible (YouVersion Read the Bible in One Year Plan), unplugging (deactivated facebook temporarily) to spend more time reading, journaling/blogging, hanging out with my kids, taking more photos and challenging myself in my photography, finally dealing with my health, and ultimately, being a better wife, mama, sister, daughter, auntie, neighbor and friend.   

"Phil 3:12-14 (MSG) I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back."

So stick with me...I have a feeling this year will bring a lot of change for the Barrans family, as well as a lot of laughter, partying and celebrating.  And I'm planning on capturing all of it.

Happy New Year, everyone!