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living new

Spiritual/ Sponsored

My One Word Of The Year

Have you chosen your word for the year yet?  I have!

It took some time to commit to this word, as it seemed a bit boring at first, but I just couldn’t get away from the word, and then I found the above perfect verse, Isaiah 43:19, and now I love it.

My one word for the year is ‘NEW.’

There are so many reasons why I chose the word ‘new’, and so many ways it is already changing me.

After participating in the #oneword challenge last year, I am not surprised at all.  Last year I chose the word ‘calm.’  It really was the perfect word, and I thought about it all throughout the year.  It is amazing how powerful claiming a word can be.

I felt myself grow immensely in the area of calmness, and that is saying a lot, as I tend to be a bit frantic in my thoughts and actions.  My default is many “what ifs?” My personality is one that likes things to be in order and expected, and when life brings the unexpected, I tense up.

As you all know, life has brought lots of unexpected the last few years for me and my health, and the end of this past year was no exception as I had 4 surgeries in 3 months, pleurisy & 2 infections brought on by a sensitivity to the materials used for reconstruction.  This ‘forced slow’ of sickness & healing solidified the calm God had been teaching me throughout the year.  He is very faithful and has shown me that He is trustworthy and reliable in the midst of unknown and scary.  He is the perfect place to just lean into and just ‘be’ when life gets scary. I loved my ‘one word’ last year.

Back to my one word for this year.


Just the sound of that word brings an excitement and anticipation, but for me, it means change.  It means trying something different, especially in my reactions to things and in my thought processes.

I used to watch Dr. Phil quite often, and one of the phrases he used all the time was “How’s that workin’ for ya?” I can just hear him saying it in his southern drawl.  This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately with my NEW word.

What are things I am in the habit of doing that are not “working” for me?

What can I do that is different and NEW?  How can I respond differently and change?

1. Marriage

I’ve noticed a few areas of my marriage that needed this question asked.  I refuse to get comfortable and stop growing in our marriage. I don’t just want a good marriage.  I want a thriving marriage that is ALL that God intended it to be. I have already found myself responding differently than I have in years and delighting in the change that has been brought about because of that.

What was not working for me?

Responding in a sensitive, defensive manner.

I would get defensive.  He would get defensive. We could go round and round.  Why do I continue to do the same thing if it does not work for me?  Or for our marriage?

I’ve been experimenting with responding differently, and OH what peace it is bringing to my heart and to our communication.  Who knew that my stubborn defensiveness would result in unresolved issues.
Well…duh, right?  Honestly, when I am more concerned about being right, or my own thoughts and emotions, or just wanting to be understood, then I am thinking of myself way more than my Todd and that is NOT the wife I want to be.  That is not loving.

When I put the defenses and emotions away and put his feeling before my own, beautiful things happen.  Walls come down.  Words are exchanged that are profitable and good.  I get heard, he gets heard.  Love happens.

2. Parenting

Another area where I am challenged to respond differently is parenting.  Specifically, parenting teens.

I don’t write about parenting challenges as much anymore as my girls are teens and I want to respect their privacy, but lack of words about it all on this blog does not mean there is lack of challenge. As proud as I am of our girls, parenting is HARD my friends, and takes a whole lot of faith and trust in God and prayer!

My NEW way of responding differently in parenting, again, has to do with emotions.  Can you tell God created me a very emotional being?  I FEEL everything!  A blessing and a curse!

What was not working for me in parenting my teens was responding out of emotion and hurt feelings. Parenting requires a toughness, an ability to feel intense emotion without responding out of that emotion.  That takes a lot of self control and a whole lot of self talk for me.

My NEW way of thinking?  My new self talk?

“I am the adult.  They are the child. I need to act and respond like an adult. They are still learning how to respond appropriately.  It is my job to teach them.  The best teaching is showing them by doing it myself.”

“I cannot control my children.  They will make their own decisions, and I have a good and faithful God who IS in control and promises to work all things out for good.

3. A Slow Life
Another big way I see this word being used is in my thinking about life.  I now embrace what I call the slow life.  It is a purposeful way of living, a deliberate thinking of how I want to spend my time and energy on this earth.  Life is so very precious and short.  As I do this, I can SEE and experience all that God is doing. I am so excited to claim the promise of the verse above, how God is going to do NEW things, and make a path of refreshment through the wilderness.  I am going to watch for how He is doing this, as He is already doing it!

4. Health
The last way I am embracing this word is when it comes to this NEW body of mine.  After 3 years of constant issues with reconstruction and many surgeries, I think we are done!  I am so very thankful to be able to say this and so very thankful for great results.  I find myself very motivated to take care of this body of mine.  I do quite well when it comes to what I eat, but I am eager to start taking better care of it when it comes to physical activity.  I am finally healed enough to at least start walking and some gently yoga.

Do you love how this precious necklace looks on this NEW body of mine?  I adore these One Word Personalized Vintage Dictionary Necklaces from Krafty Kash and am starting to have quite the collection of them, each one of them dearly loved and meaningful.  Did you notice in my One Word Necklace above, the definition has the word ‘health’ in it?  I was delighted to see that! So fitting!!

What is your one word for the year?  Have you thought about it yet?

Challenge yourself and your friends to choose a word.  Then surprise your friends with an awesome, personalized word pendant gift from Krafty Kash!  You could also get your children one with words describing their personalities or a word you want to claim for them.

Now is the perfect time to get your #oneword necklace, as she is having a great sale!  The #oneword pendant necklaces are on sale for $18.00 and if you use the coupon code ‘oneword’ at checkout you will get FREE SHIPPING!  

AMAZING deal.  Let me know what your word is and if you ordered a necklace!

Find Krafty Kash:
{shop-click here for your One Word Personalized Vintage Dictionary Necklace}

Blessings to you all in this 2014 year!  I am expecting and anticipating many NEW and excititng things!

FAMILY/ Marriage/ Spiritual

Living New–A Series–My Marriage

New Nostalgia Logo
~ my quest to be present in each moment, 
learning from yesterday and living simply in the NEW!
After 2 years of fighting cancer, I decided to change the tagline of this blog.  Before, it was “My quest to recapture the simplicity of yesterday and apply it to today.” Well, that just does not cut it anymore.  I still love simplicity, but I am no longer on a quest for it.  
Instead, I am on a quest to LIVE!
To apply what I have learned from the past and remember that I have been made NEW!  
To live new on a daily basis, in all those little moments that add up and create a simple and meaningful LIFE. Simplicity is a part of that, but only a piece.
This living new series will give you a glimpse into my heart as God continues to mold me and make me into the person He created me to be.  
So what has been going on in my heart recently?  How have I been being made new?
Well, so many ways that it feels overwhelming to try to even try to share them with you, so instead of trying to share it all, I will break it down, hence the ongoing series!
The biggest change I feel God is making in my heart right now is in the area of my marriage.  
I was at a retreat recently, and they have us write on a stone something that we would love to rid ourselves of.  Or let go of.  Or change.  Whatever it was we thought was keeping us from living our best life that God calls us to.
In that moment, I asked God to reveal to me what it is that He want to change in me.  A word that jumped into my brain was the word DISTRACTION.
I wrote the word down…a bit puzzled by it.  I knew I would have more time to figure it out once I got home from the retreat…and I have.  
Want to know what the speaker did with that basket of rocks?  She took her children and they threw them one by one into a lake.  Love the visual of that.  
Since I have been home, I have pondered that word.  The funny thing is life has been even more busy than normal this last week and I’ve tried to figure out this whole distraction word in the midst of it all.
Focus New Nostalgia
I have found that it applies to many areas of my life.  I am naturally sort of scatter- brained.  Chemo certainly didn’t help that!  Focus can be hard for me at times.  A big way my word “distraction” plays out is when I am on the computer.  Along with blogging comes emails, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & Google Plus.  Photo editing, cheering on my sponsors, & oh yeah…actually writing posts.  It is so easy to get overwhelmed and distracted, even though I love every minute of it! I am working on prioritizing and finding ways to simplify it all.  
Back to my marriage…oops…got distracted for a minute…
7 days of marriage wisdom
I came upon this graphic from Proverbs 31 ministries on Facebook.  I love every tip they give, but the Day 3 tip really caught my eye.  
7 Days Of Marriage Tips 
{Day 1} Be the person you’d like to be married to. If you’d like a little more grace for your faults, give a little more grace for theirs. If you need more love and understanding, give more love and understanding to your spouse.
{Day 2} Nobody is perfect. Don’t let the world at large find out about your spouse’s imperfections via your mouth. “The heart of her husband trusts in her…” {Prov. 31:11}
{Day 3} Make it a point to give your spouse the best of you: the best of your smiles, the best of your touch, the best of your (good) attitude, the best of your laughter, the best of your words, etc. Don’t always bring them what’s left of you after the world has drained you.
{Day 4} : Greet your spouse with a kiss. It’s a mood enhancer. Science says touch releases endorphins, so you begin to associate seeing your spouse with a pleasant feeling. And you can’t say anything you’ll regret when your lips otherwise occupied. Voila! Mood enhanced!
{Day 5) : Be intentional. Every day, look for a way to bless your spouse either secretly or openly. A thankful, giving heart will repulse the weeds of blame and discontent.
{Day 6} : Love “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” {1 Cor. 13} Choose to believe the best about your spouse, even when they aren’t communicating well. Sometimes it is hard to find the right words to express yourself. Some folks find it hard to communicate with words at all. Grace, grace.
 {Day 7} Keep in mind that time affects all of us and no one remains the same as we were when dating. Life’s circumstances can make us lose our sense of humor, change us physically, act less romantic, etc. Take some time to find those two people who fell in love and reconnect. (Trust me, they’re still in there somewhere.)
Hmm…give my spouse the best of me.  He SO has not had that lately.  I naturally wanted to fall back on all kinds of excuses of why I have been distracted.  Recent scans, reactions to medications, my first speaking gig, company from out of town, a growing website.  Oh yes, there are all kind of things that have kept me from giving my best, and often times life brings circumstances where it feels close to impossible to have anything left to give.  
But, if I am honest with myself, despite these circumstances I could do a much better job, by letting go of distractions and focusing in on what is most important.   This wonderful man that I call husband doesn’t need much.  He has made it clear to me what makes him feel loved and cared for and it really doesn’t take much.  There are a couple areas in our marriage (money) that take more effort and communication on my part, but for the most part he is a very easy man to love.  I got a good one.  No, he is not perfect.  Yes, we can drive each other nuts sometime.  But…he is mine.  He is a gift given from above and one that I want to take care of with the best of me, not with my leftovers.  
Empathy New Nostalgia
If you are struggling in your marriage, can I encourage you to find a couple trusted girlfriends who will pray with you about it?  I did just that recently, and I cannot tell you how much God used their words.  I was encouraged to COMMUNICATE my fears with my husband.  I was told to LISTEN, I was told to have EMPATHY.  I was told that if I do these things with a listening, empathetic heart that communication would come much more easily.  To do these things means to put down defenses and put another above yourself.  I found that I can be empathetic and listen, while still being brave and honest with my own feelings.  When defenses are down, words and hearts can be heard.