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Updated: Jan 1, 2023

Last year, my vision board held pictures of my family, things that symbolized what I was struggling with, events I could foresee happening. This year, I went with a random vision board that had nothing personal on it. Nothing personal except the three words that I will strive to have at the forefront of my mind as I encounter whatever is to come.

I think we all have learned that we cannot change what life will bring. We can steer our paths with hobbies, career paths, mental and emotional healing ... or lack thereof. However, all of our days are numbered, and God already knows the blessings and pain that will be coming.

"The Good Lord Willing and the Creek Don't Rise" I know several things that are coming for me this year. My daughter will get her first real job and her driver's license. Those are huge, monumental things in a person's life. I will love the look on her face when she sees her first car. I will cry happy tears when my husband gifts her, her first diamond ring. It's a tradition we have adopted with all of our girls. Not necessarily a purity ring, but when he places it on their finger, he tells them each with different words each time. "Don't ever let any man replace this ring on this finger unless you're sure he loves God and you as much as I do."

It puts as much responsibility on his shoulders as it does theirs. He knows he must model a relationship with God. Not one in mouth only, but one that has legs. One that'll preach, even without words. His love for them must come through, they must know it is real.

Chances are, as he's placing that ring on one of our daughter's fingers this year, another one will let a man replace her Daddy's ring for his own. Again, I'll cry. But it'll be happy tears. Happy tears that her years of inner struggle and searching for the complimenting piece to her life have come to an end. She's found him, and I can't wait to call him my son sometime soon. She wants to conquer life together with someone as strong and driven as she is and I believe she's found him.

This diamond ring is a tradition that my Dad started when he gave me a diamond and ruby ring for my 16th birthday. He was so protective over this tradition, that when a boy tried to give me a diamond necklace for my 14th birthday, he made me give it back. No diamonds before Dad's diamond. This tradition spoke to my husband's heart, and he adopted it with our own daughters even though he put a few little twists of his own on it. And I love it. So very much.

I know this year there will be travel, there will be writing, and there will be writing of books. There'll be editing and narrating and publishing of books. This whole new love I have chased will be a strong part of my life for as many years as I have left.

I know this year there will be loss. There will be happiness, there will be heartache, there will be blessed moments with friends, there will be growth, there will be painful stretching of me as a person, and there will be immeasurable moments of peace. I'm ready for it 2023. I'm looking forward to the stronger, wiser, more grateful me that I'll be living with 365 days from today.

Happy New Year Self

Happy New Year Friends

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