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Hello 2016!

Meg Chaney

I love the idea of picking a word for the year. Last year, I had two words. PEACE & BRAVE. Peace in my family, in the way we interacted, in whatever we might face during that year. And Brave. Brave in my writing, as I branched out and shared some very personal stories with the world. Brave as I tried new things. The word Brave was in a frame on my wall as a constant reminder to expand, try new things. And PEACE, the word peace came back around this past November and December. I wrote about it often and prayed that God's peace would be present during a really hard season in our lives. And it was. It's amazing how a word comes back around like that. PEACE began the year, and PEACE ended that same year. The PEACE at the beginning of the year had more to do with my relationship with my daughter. At four, we were having a rough time. She has blossomed and changed so much since then. Or maybe it's I who have grown and changed in the way I relate to her. Either way, I've seen such beauty this past year. At the end of the year, we faced health issues with a family member. Our world was stressful (honestly, still is), Christmas was wrought with hospital visits, financial decisions, and long, sleepless nights. But even there, peace resided. And now, we're starting to see some answers. Starting to see some glimmers of hope.

And so the question still remains, what is my 2016 word?

As I look ahead at this year, I know that there will be a lot of change. Just as things are getting easier with my daughter, my son is coming to an age where he's fighting back, asserting his independence, getting into his share of mischief and trouble. Those 2s, 3s,4s are upon us once again! 

This will be a year of moving. Once again we're pick up roots and plant ourselves in the next place the Air Force calls us to. I'm excited about this move. It will take us closer to family, and give us amazing new experiences as a family. I'm also sad, because I've loved our time here, the friends we've made here, and our church family most of all. This move will also be hard on my kiddos. My daughter doesn't really remember our last move. But this one, she will. I'm sure they'll both miss their friends. It will be exciting, yes, but also hard.

FRIENDSHIP GOALS: As I look toward our big move this year, I'm already praying for friendships. Friendships for my children, but also friendships for my husband and I. Kindred spirits. People to share life with, have over for game nights, trade babysitting for date nights. The Lord has always provided just the right friends for us in each place we've lived. These friendships often took different forms than I expected, but they filled a gap, a much needed place. And I know He will continue to do so. And so, I pray over the relationships up ahead. Because He already has the people in mind, even though we haven't even met yet. A pretty cool thought, isn't it?

WRITING GOALS: I'd really like to write more consistently. I'm always a mommy first, which greatly inhibits the amount of time I can pour into this. But I also don't want to be held back by fear. The lies that my brain has been telling me about not being enough, not even bothering because I don't have much time to devote to it. I'd love to keep pursuing new avenues. New directions for my writing. I started working on a fiction story last year, it's something I'd like to keep working on this year. Also, studying up on travel writing. And still spending time with, my heart, devotional writing. My heart will always be sharing my own brokenness, and how God works through the pieces. My goal in my writing this year would be clarity and focus. I honestly don't feel like I have the focus that I used to. I've grown accustomed to jumping around, doing a million things at once as a wife and mommy. I need to work on the art of focusing. Of creating a space where I can think, pray, and write.

READING GOALS: I read quite a bit last year, which was so nice! The kids and I are at the library almost weekly now. I love encouraging them in this, and I also love the relaxation that reading brings in my own life. It's wonderful. I participated in Modern Mrs. Darcy's Reading Challenge last year. I finished it in just over 6 months.  I also starting listening to audio books through Audible.com. I plan on keeping up with both this year! And continuing to review books on this blog :) More info on both will follow in future blog posts :) 

QUIET TIME GOALS:  I'm almost through with my 2015 Bible in a Year plan. I'm finishing up a few loose ends (Nehemiah, Esther & Acts). At the same time, I'm starting my first journaling Bible, I'm mostly just writing notes in it at this point, but some ladies out there are doing some pretty amazing things with their journaling Bibles (check out Shanna Noel: illustratedfaith. I really wanted to journal more this past year during that time, and didn't, so I'm thinking this new journaling Bible will help! I'd like to stay consistent in my devotional life this year, keep up the journaling, and spend more time in prayer. 

And now it's time for my word of the year!

WORD OF THE YEAR: 

One Word 2016 PLANTED(1).jpg
He is like a tree planted beside streams of water
that bears its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
— Psalm 1:3, HCSB

PLANTED. The very opposite of how I feel. This military life leaves my family feeling so transient, so temporary. I see it even in the words I wrote above. This year will have so much change for our family. Another big move. New friendships, new schools, new church, new house. It will also be a big year of change for our extended family. We're still neck high in medical issues, and everything that entails. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the future. We just don't know. Life holds so much uncertainty. Only God knows the true number of our days.

That's why it's so important to remember that we're planted. We're planted firmly in His kingdom. He knows the root system. He's giving us the nutrients we need for each day. He is our true provider. We can't move anywhere or do anything that He doesn't already know about. 

Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.
If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,
even there Your hand will lead me;
Your right hand will hold on to me.
— Psalm 139:7-10, HCSB

He will follow us as we PCS and start over in a new place. In fact, He's already gone before us. Every day for our family has already been written out to completion. We are firmly planted, firmly rooted in Him, so really really have nothing to fear. There's so much else to take from this word, PLANTED. So much more for me to think about, pray about, write about on here. I hope you'll join me this year as I explore all the possibilities, meet all the challenges, see what God has to teach me through it all. 

What word for this year does God have on your heart?