Thursday, December 31, 2015

Living with Intent in 2016

I've heard it so often lately, "2015 was a horrible year for me!"  I can't say that this was the case for our household as we saw so many blessings happen in our life but it definitely was a challenging year at times, to say the least.  Our year started out with my husband deciding that he wanted to go look at houses.  We'd discussed buying a house but never seriously.  I am a planner and I wasn't ready to plan for such a life changing event.  Not even 2 weeks into January though, I found myself riding along with my husband as we just "looked" at a house he had found listed online.  The next morning, without even doing any of the leg work, we made an offer.  By the end of the week, our offer had been accepted and exactly one month from the day we looked at it, it was ours.  I went from thinking we would never be in a place to be able to buy a house to God opening every door, including the door to our first real home as a married couple.  We spent the next month and a half commuting back and forth between our two houses that were almost 4 hours apart and me commuting 3-4.5 hours another direction for Remicade and iron infusions.  By the end of March, we were finally settled in our new home and the fun of home ownership began.

Some of you may not know, but we have horses.  We actually moved into this home with just our mare but as of this summer we now have 2.  We've added a 6 year old gelding to the mix and there was definitely an adjustment period for all.  He's like a 1000lb dog... fun, loving, and a major attention hog!!!  Our whole mentality about horses had to change and we spent (and are still spending) most of our time turning our property into the best possible place for them.  I thought life was expensive before but building fences, hay storage areas, stalls and the cost of feeding them during a year of drought was insane!!!  My perfectly planned budget completely went out the window!!!

Another thing that sent our budget out the window was that I decided in May to start my own business from home and Kindled Soul Designs was born.  I can honestly say that this has been one of the most challenging things that I have ever done.  It has completely taken me out of my comfort zone, taught me a lot about myself, has made me doubt my purpose more than a time or two, and has challenged me to decide what I want from life.  The hours are long, there are more unpaid hours worked than paid, and the balance between work and home life is nearly nonexistent. It definitely hasn't been what I expected it to be but I am crazy grateful for the journey and can't wait to see where 2016 takes it.

The other major challenge this year is still, surprise surprise, my heath. My health hasn't improved all that much this year either.  The move was great and getting out in the country has been good for me but stress is such a trigger in Crohn's.  There's actually a study out now that says that my stress might actually be triggered by my Crohn's and not the other way around... wouldn't that be "funny" if it pans out to be true.  I have started using essential oils and switching everything in my house to chemical free and it has been helping but we just can't find the root issue to get it into remission.  Also, after 3 years, my body decided to build antibodies to the Remicade and I had an allergic reaction after my last infusion.  We just recently started another medication that isn't usually used in Crohn's patients and are 3 weeks into the loading doses so we will see.  The hope isn't to be able to have this medication put me into remission but to have me tolerate it so we can stack it with another one.  To be honest,  I'm over it all again.  The side effects of this medication are by far the worst of any of the previous ones I have been on and could have a lasting effect on my future... but I guess when you're desperate, you'll do pretty much anything.  Okay, sorry to be a Debbie Downer... moving on.

It has been with these challenges this year that I decided on my focus for 2016.  (I don't think I have ever made a New Year's Resolution and probably won't ever but I completely encourage those of you who do.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, even if you don't end up making it a "habit".)  My focus for 2016 is to live life with intent!!! The challenges are going to come and go, that's never going to change.  Some struggles are overcome but some never seem to go away, so there really isn't a point in letting them stop you from doing what you want to and should be doing. 

~ I want to be more intentional in my marriage.  I want to put it all away when the husband walks in my door and remind him daily how much I appreciate his role in our family.  He is gone for 12-16 hours a day and I want to focus on setting it all aside for few hours that I have with him a day. 

~ I want to be more intentional in my business, my focus, my follow through.  I want to build something that reflects who I am and I want to do it better than my mind tells me I can. 

~ I want to be intentional in my blogging.  I have a tendency to step away from things that I am not consistent with.  That's why I go long periods of time without blogging... if I know that I won't follow through with it, I don't make time for it.  My focus on what I have to say is going to change some in this next year so that I can really use it as a tool in my personal life and maybe as an outlet of my professional life.

~ I want to be intentional in the future I'm building, whether it be my health, our home, my journey.  The daily grind is not what I want.  Sure, daily tasks exist and I will continue to do them all, but I want to do them with intent.  I don't want to get to the end of the day and try and take a moment for myself.  I want to live in the moment.  Find the joy in all things... be grateful in all things... be prayerful in all things... be praising in all things.  I want to let those in around me and let go of those cause me hurt.  I want to take time for me intentionally.. not as a last resort and not at the end of the day when I'm too tired to hold my head up.  I want to live a purpose driven life.

~ Lastly, I want more intentional in my relationship with God and with other in my life.  I don't want the people that are in my life to just be apart of my life, I want them to be present in my life as much as possible.  I have a tendency to get caught up in my own little world and I don't want to... no matter how gorgeous it is here.  I want my home to be filled with as much laughter and love as possible this next year.  So (hint, hint) friends and family... get up here and share it with us.  My travelling days are getting more and more numbered and will continue to be as I transition all my health care to more local locations.

The husband and I are spending New Year's Eve at home tonight for the first time in the past 17-18 (can't remember which) NYEs that we've been spending them together.  It's a little different, but kind of perfect to ring it in with just my favorite person in the entire world.  Much love from us to you and I pray that you allow God to bless you abundantly in 2016!!!  Let me know what your plans for 2016 are.

Until Next Time...