People are selfish and flawed individuals.

We have lived in a sinful world since the fall of Adam and Eve and yet our life here on Earth can be so amazingly wonderful at times that we forget just how fallen we are until its ugliness is revealed once again.

I haven’t written in quite some time and frankly I feel like I’m sure I don’t have many people who would care one way or the other. I feel like I’ve lost my voice… and not because I don’t have things to say… but because I’m afraid to say anything anymore.

I’ve watched people turn a wonderful charity (WANA) into a scam machine (so much so that she almost discontinued it). I’ve watched people say horribly mean things to someone (Katie) who didn’t deserve the backlash. I’ve watched others have to structure their posts to very carefully with much too much over-thinking so as not to offend anyone (YHL) that sometimes it lacks the character it once had (sad face). I’ve seen sites post about controversial topics just to get blog “hits” and increase their ability to recruit advertisers (I refuse to drive traffic to their site but it’s linked to on my friend Roo’s page). UGH.

So, here I am. As my husband would say: Paralysis by analysis.

We have had a hell of a time over this past year. 2013 was probably one of the most difficult and yet blessed years of my life. Here we are in 2014 and I find myself reflecting on the past year’s events.

Craig was injured at his crossfit gym in June and we purchased a home together in August and decided to jump right in on a major kitchen renovation (on our own) and these events definitely shaped who I am as both an individual and especially as a wife.

We have grown so much as a couple. We have argued (for a while it was almost every day) and we have learned how to be better to and for each other. We have discovered just how committed we are and our marriage is strong. I cannot even begin to explain just how blessed I am to have Craig as my husband and know that he feels the same about me.

I want to share with you the details of our home renovation. I want to share with you the struggles I’ve felt as a wife experiencing the turmoil that is construction as well as the challenges faced when dealing with such a major injury.

Yet, I’m afraid of sharing anything lest I receive a whole lot of unwelcome “advice” or criticism. This is a terrible place to be and a terrible way to feel. So, where do I go from here? I guess I will start by praying. As it is said in the Bible:

Matthew 5:43-48 (MSG) 43-47 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. 48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

So, it’s time to grow up. It’s time to be brave and step out into the world. As the Chinese celebrate their New Year today so will I celebrate a new beginning and a new outlook. I will do my best to share and to take whatever comes my way with gratitude. I invite you to share this journey with me. I invite you to take a closer look at your life and experiences and join with me as we take a new approach. This is a new year and a new opportunity for growth. Onward, my friends!

新年快乐 Happy New Year Y’all!