Today is my birthday. A 33rd year is in the books.

First of all, I need to thank my husband and friends for making me feel so loved and celebrated. Coffee on the porch, the most wonderful tea with my Hannah Weidman, dinner and putt putt with the Booths. All of whom get extra credit, for said celebrations on account of tiredness and pregnancy. Hannah was technically the only pregnant one, but everyone went the extra mile to celebrate with me and I felt so loved.

During the last week, friends have asked if I have any reflections about the last year, or thoughts for the one to come. I think that's a good practice; to take the time to be thoughtful about what you've done with your time and what you'd like to do more of.

Of course, when asked in person, I glanced at the swirling morass that was my many thoughts on the last year, and realized that it wasn't really fair to subject anyone to that uncooked stew.

I have since had time to be thoughtful on the subject, so here's my birthday post.

First. A look back.

Second. Letters to my future self recording what I've learned this year.

1. I am made for many things. Struggling with the feeling that I've only been able to live one piece at a time is normal. Now I understand that perhaps those seasons have just been times of training for the day when I get to put it all together.

Where there are fruit trees & clothes lines, children in bare feet. Souls in need of succor. Traditions to uphold, and candles to light in celebration of life. A place that nourishes and heals. A Home.

2. Accepting, finally, that goals are good and needful, but sometimes also misleading. They imply a stopping point. Like healthy eating and living - if you're doing those things to reach a goal you'll have a broken result. One where your efforts stop once you cross the finish line, leaving you only a short time away from needing to chase the goal all over again, as if you'd never done the good work to begin with. Doesn't that seem wasteful with time and effort? So instead, develop rituals of life, permanent and established.

3. Being a finisher is good and exhilarating. And sometimes paralyzing. Don't let finishing stop you from creating. Know when to push through with a project and when your best effort is spent by putting it down for a moment, while you pick up another. The most important thing is not letting your discipline waver.

3.1 Create habits of rest into your systems of discipline. This isn't new. God designed this into the life he asked us to live, with the Sabbath. By installing rest into "the plan" we don't have to fear a loss of momentum.

Third. What's needed.

1. Consistency.

2. Consistency.

3. Consistency.

To kick this year off right, I'm biting off a 90 day posting challenge, starting today. Here's my plan. I can use whatever content I want. It doesn't have to be new writing every day. I can edit and publish things I've already written. It must contain one written element and one media element. Other than that, it can be whatever. Long or short. Video, podcast, drawing, photo journal, long rant or open letter. Just as long as it has those two elements.

And on a more concrete, less character-based note, the things I'm looking forward to, in the year to come;  

Finishing and moving in to the new house
Adopting our first child or children
Looking at some preliminary ideas for land - starting to design that next step
Finishing my counseling certification
Knocking another art off my six-list
Growing my Storytelling business with more photo/video/content clients!