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Welcoming 2021 with Open Arms

Hello there, friends. Welcome back to the blog – I’m so glad you’re here!

What I’m doing currently: sitting in my current favorite spot in my living room (anyone else go through phases in terms of where they spend the most time in their own home?), computer on my lap, watching the rain outside, music on in the background for cozy effect.

It’s almost one week into a new year and I’d love to give you some thoughts on the year we just left, as well as tell you what’s coming up for me in 2021.

2020…

was a hard year for a lot of people, and while I wouldn’t deny that it was challenging in some ways for me, I can confidently say that it wasn’t my hardest year. I’m grateful that it wasn’t, and I think that having gone through a significantly more difficult year in the past made me capable of settling in to the uncomfortable parts of the year with more acceptance than I might have otherwise.

I did struggle with my routines falling apart during the first, most intense lockdown we experienced here in Oregon, I started a mini garden in a raised bed (with partial success – my lettuce killed it), I ran pretty consistently for a couple of months in the summer, and just as quickly abandoned that when it started raining (shoot). I continued being a part of a book club made up of wonderful women.

In this book club, we each read whatever we want, so when we come together, we tell the others about everything we read during that month. It’s not only wonderful because we can read what we like, but we get suggestions and ideas from each other, and we learn so much about each person through their reading preferences. It has, without a doubt, been one of the highlights of the last year or so. There is something so lovely about gathering, talking, sharing stories, books, and good food (and this is coming from an introvert!).

This year…

I wanted to focus on a couple specific ideas, which aren’t necessarily resolutions, though I suppose you could call them that. First of all, I want to continue working on my house, making each space a space I want to be in. I want it to be cozy, comforting, reflect what I love, and welcoming to others. (See my ‘breakfast for dinner’ Christmas Eve photo below).

This ties into goal #2, which is to work on my hospitality and hosting skills. I have been given the pleasure of experiencing wonderful hospitality, and it has truly inspired me to dedicate the time to preparing for others to come into my home, make a special meal for loved-ones, and create an environment that is warm and open for friends and family. I’ve started practicing, and have loved the experience so far.

I also want to be healthier (how cliche, you might be thinking – ha). Yes, it might be, but I guess I mean this in a holistic sense. The whole picture. I want to make healthy choices simply because they make me feel better, and they serve to make my body, mind, and soul stronger. This includes the ever-challenging task of drinking enough water each day (well, now that I mention it, I should get up and go get a glass. Excuse me). (Okay, I’m back. Don’t worry, I brought the water). I want to get enough sleep, exercise because it makes me feel good, have quiet time reading the Bible in the mornings, and leave social media unchecked for significant periods of the day because I don’t need to look at it.

Commitments I’m Continuing:

There are a couple of things I’ve made commitments to over the last couple years, and I don’t want to lose sight of them going forward. The first is to enjoy all types of weather. I don’t know if this sounds silly to you, and it’s okay if it does, but I don’t want to be the person who complains, even about the weather. I believe that there is always something good, and I also want to carry on the positive outlook in every single situation that my mom possessed, and enjoying the weather every day is such a simple way to do that. (I’ll always love a good rainy day – that’ll never change).

I also continue to commit to never wishing away time. Time is so precious, especially with the people you love. We are also learning all the time, from every experience, so I would feel in the wrong to be wishing away the time that I’ve so generously been given.

This is getting a little long so…

I’ll leave you now with a little life update! At the beginning of this week I started a Master’s program online to get my Master of Arts in Teaching – yay! The end goal here is to end up teaching high school English. It’s always interesting to start something so big, and so my lack of nervousness is actually really strange! I’ll of course keep you updated if you’re interested. 🙂

Please always let me know of anything you’d like me to write about or share with you here. I feel open to writing a lot of new things this year, all in the hopes of sharing real life, helpful ideas, and encouragement where I can.

Praying for you as you read, and my best wishes for this month,

Sarah

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