Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

January 1, 2014

A clean slate.

It's a new year! A fresh start, a clean slate. I wrote yesterday about saying goodbye to the year just past and today I would like to say hello to a new beginning, a new year and a new journey. Life is never what we expect it to be, it's never what we dreamed of but often when we look back at all the little things that have happened, all the choices we have made and even the mistakes we can see that the path was actually straighter than we believed, the destination better than the dreams we had originally dreamed and in some cases the mistakes  we made were redeemed by changing us into better people.

I see where I have been, who I was 10 years ago and who I am today and I can see all of those realities have unfolded into this dream I am living. If someone had told me all those years ago that I would be sitting here today with the family I have now, I would not have believed it. I dreamed of things back then that truly pale in comparison to the life I have found through my shattered dreams, rocky paths and yes, even my mistakes.

Labels had a large part to play in the person I have been and the person I have become. I was told who I was in the past and I lived the way I was labelled. A man I respect changed that label for me many years ago in a castle on a hill and I saw that I had a choice in who I was going to be. That day so many years ago changed me, I chose to be the person he believed me to be. You see, once upon a time that same man told me that I was a girl who 'colored outside the lines' and I don't believe he was saying it in a positive way. So when years later that same man called me a 'Godly woman' I was able to, for the first time believe it. I didn't need to be the troubled, angry, troubled girl I had been; the girl he once believed just a rebellious youth. Instead I could strive to be the new person he was beginning to see as someone of faith, a woman worthy of being called a 'Godly woman'. His name, this man whose label changed my life, is Carl Armerding. I miss his guidance is in my life. I hope one day he can know how important his words were to me.

So as I sit looking into a new year, wondering what will unfold tomorrow, I think about words, about life, about labels and I realize how important they are. I see my boys and I realize I want the labels I give them to be labels of love and empowerment, I want them to see themselves as I see them, as God sees them. I wish the same for you, my readers, to see yourselves through the same eyes. To leave 2013 behind and shed the labels that have brought you into 2014; I want you to re-brand yourselves and see who you are and realize that you have the power to change not only the perspective that others have of you, but to see yourself through a new lens. With the new year comes a chance for a new direction, a new view of your life. I know that I will be looking at my own life more carefully this year, looking at who I am, who I want to be, and then making it happen.

May you each be richly blessed in 2014, and may you see the blessings each and every day and not just when you look back at life.