Along with my one word for the new, there has also been the New Shoes tradition in my family. Every Christmas, for probably the last 10 years or so, I have gotten a new pair of Converse shoes for Christmas. Every year it's a new color. A fresh start on my feet. When I was younger, it was really just because I loved these shoes and they are really the only kind of shoes that I feel truly like myself in. As I grew older, all of those original emotions held true, but I added an element to these shoes. When I sat down and thought about it, I realized that these shoes were going to walk me through a new year of my life. Through the ups and the downs, the ins and outs, and every crazy adventure in between. From December 25th-December 25th, I'd be wearing these shoes. It was kind of cool to think about what I was going to get into with my shoes.
Exactly a year ago, I wrote this post about shoes: Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
I'm going to write a similar post this year, sharing the One Word that went along with those shoes. Then, of course, I will introduce my new shoes and my new word for 2014. Is the suspense killing you? Haha.
In 2012, I wore cranberry colored converse. I chose my first One Word: Patience. I originally chose this word because I was driving myself crazy waiting for letters from my sponsored children. It may seem silly, I know. Each day I would check the mailbox for letters and get so disappointed (almost angry) when a letter wasn't there. I was thinking that I wrote so many letters to my kids, why weren't they writing back? I was an impatient mess. Over the year, though, I learned much more about patience than I thought I ever would. I learned that letters from my sponsored children were a blessing and that waiting for them was a good thing. I no longer felt the pressure of waiting for them. More importantly, though, I learned patience in other areas. I learned to be patient with people in my life. Everyone is different and grasps concepts in their own time. Being getting impatient with somebody, for any reason, just creates pressure and conflict and generally makes things harder. Of course, I still had my impatient moments, but I think God really showed me how to love others in moments of impatience.
This last year, I wore red converse shoes. I focused on the word Trust. I was really struggling with trusting God when the year started (now that the year is ending, I can't say that I'm completely trusting now, but I definitely made improvements). I had all these dreams and ideas that I wanted to accomplish, but had no idea how to do any of them. Some of them involved large amounts of money I knew I did have, some of them seemed emotionally impossible, and some just seemed like they would never happen and I wasn't okay with it. Vague, I know. I will try to explain.
One of the main dreams I had in 2013, was to get to Honduras to meet my sponsored child, Celeste. When I saw that I would need about $2200 to get there, I almost completely wrote off the trip, thinking there was no way it would happen. But, through a series of amazing events, I had not only come up with the money for the trip, but I had enough money to take along great gifts for Celeste and materials to the project we'd be visiting. God really worked through that dream for me, and showed me that if I trust him, everything is possible.
Also in 2013, I really struggled with my singleness. At 24 years of age, it is hard to be a single woman. It seems that most of the people around me are in relationships, engaged, or already married. Some are even having babies! Me, I'm just hanging out by myself in my apartment. There were days that I got so hopeless and down on myself for being single, that I refused to get out of bed, shower, or leave my apartment, as if that would help me meet a future husband. After some months of just feeling sorry for myself and jealous of anybody who was in a relationship of some kind, I realized that this is just pointless. Being single isn't a death sentence. Through many hours of prayer and more days of despair (sometimes you just have a rough day), I came to the point of trust. I will trust God's plan for my life. If the plan includes me meeting a wonderful man someday, that is great. If that plan involves me living on my own forever, that is great. If that plan involves me being single and raising adopted kids on my own, that is great. I am beginning to learn to just trust God. I will accept what comes or what doesn't come and move forward from there.
I'd say that God taught me quite a bit in 2013, eh?
Alright, now it's 2014!! Whoo!
This year, I am embarking into the world on purple shoes.
My One Word for this year is: Breathe.
It could probably go right along with last year's word, Trust.
For the past several months, I've been allowing myself to get into a panic over things. I don't think these moments quite qualify as panic attacks, though. But, I call it panic, nonetheless. These moments almost always seem to revolve around money. Do I have enough? Will I have everything I need? What if I run out?
I am ashamed to admit it, but I have been known to sit for hours furiously writing out budgets, calculating how much money I will have on specific days, subtracting bills I need to pay, groceries I need to buy, even attempting to estimate when I will need to get gas, when I might need to mail something. Then, oh my gosh, what if an emergency happens? What if I have to fix something on my car? What if I can't pay my rent and I get evicted. On and on and on. These moments have been known to strike anywhere: at home, at work, while driving.
It. Is. Ridiculous.
And I. Am. Done.
This year, whenever I feel a moment of panic arising, I want to look at my purple shoes, and remember to breathe. Breathe in. Breathe Out. Trust God. That is my new mantra for 2014.
I did some searching and found some inspirational pictures and made a couple of collages. If I have a freak out moment, maybe I can come back to this post and take some breaths.
Well, long post is long, but I am happy that I wrote it. I know that I will come back and read it and hopefully feel inspired by the things I have accomplished and I feel hopeful about moving forward with my life.
Are you participating in the One Word challenge for 2014? I would love hear the word you chose!