What a year it has been. And how quickly it flew past.
It would be easy to expand on the continuing impact of Covid in our countries and inquire how you managed, but I'd rather ask you this...
How did you grow as a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a grandmother, a friend and a neighbour, through these past twelve months?
What did you learn through 2021 that you did not know before? What improvements did you make in your health, home routines, relationships and habits? Did you deepen your walk with Christ?
These are questions I'm currently pondering and reflecting on, because I know I've grown in many ways from the woman I was a year ago, and mostly for the better.
I mean, honestly, I still have a long way to go in character growth and habits, in becoming a wiser homemaker, a better friend, and a few more aspects of life - but there've been some wonderful character and skillset improvements made in 2021 that will keep me in good stead moving forward, and it's important to celebrate those achievements because they inspire me to keep growing, learning and changing as I approach the next season of life.
I'm inspired to be refined even more through the coming year so that my life will increasingly reflect the character God desires in me and how I conduct myself through the various aspects of my day to day life and relationships.
Throughout 2015 my blog theme was "A Year of Gentle Domesticity". It resonated with tens of thousands of readers and over time I came to realise that it had become for me a kind of banner over my heart, a banner which has changed now to "Living a Life of Gentle Domesticity".
More and more I'm drawn to homemaking, learning the old ways, appreciating simplicity, fighting the urge to consume more than I need, and taking unhurried time to make decisions about the things which affect my life.
But there's one attitude which needs adjustment, and after chatting with others recently, it may be something you've struggled with too.
In a world where it can be increasingly hard to look at what is right before us today and be content -
we are bombarded with advertisements for this, that and the other, which we apparently cannot be happy or complete without owning;
we see and hear so many things which make us feel less than;
the commitments we have taken on weigh heavy on our time, patience, finances and energy;
we long to be like 'her' and have our homes look like the photos she shares on social media;
we read of the endless accomplishments of certain home bloggers and feel like we just haven't stepped up enough;
we look and read and hear and perhaps weep that we can't get our lives together the way 'they' have...
Now add your own thoughts because my list could just keep growing.