My 2015 Word Was So Ironic

I promised myself I would get out of bed early.  No more letting the kids wake me up - I made a deal with them.  I would come upstairs as soon as it gets light outside, if they would just stay in their rooms until then.  I didn't think this was unreasonable.

I had about a half our left to sleep when I heard Clarice cry - I went to get her and I settled back in bed to feed her, hoping to snooze before my dawn deadline.  I made it ten more minutes before I heard Gwen on her way down the stairs, and Wyatt calling to remind her that she is supposed to stay in her room.  I rushed to put Clarice back in her crib while her eyes were still closed, but it was too late.  By the time everyone was settled back in bed I had about five minutes before the sun peeked over the horizon.  I had to keep my end of the deal in hopes that the kids would do better tomorrow, so upstairs I went to get the big kids some breakfast.

Even though I tried to fight it, the rest of the morning was kind of like that.  Water all over the bathrooms counters.  Cheerios stuck to Clyde's shirt.  Crying, and yelling, and laughing, and never-ending questions.  Chaos, beautiful because it is brought by these four precious children of mine, but chaos nonetheless.  My carefully laid plans foiled at every turn.  Almost every day looks like that right now.

You want to know what my word was for 2015?  Simplify.  Ha.  Ironic, is it not?

Thankfully in my post about simplifying, I came to the conclusion that I didn't expect to look back on 2015 and see a simple year.  That was a bit of God's grace right there, keeping my simplifying aspirations at a reasonable level.  Because this year has been anything but simple.

However, my ultimate goal for the year?  It was to enter 2016 with a more simple existence.  And despite all odds, I think that I did accomplish that.

This year I cleaned out some of my obligations that were adding too much stress.

This year I cleaned up my budget, and even though I still mess up sometimes, I have done a much better job of sticking with it.  

This year I cleaned out my closets.

And even though my time with Jesus doesn't look anything like I want it to right now (we still have a newborn, after all), I can look back over the course of this year and see that it did improve.  My quiet times were more intentional and meaningful through most of the year, and I am confident that I can get back on track now that our schedules are settling into a rhythm again.

There is so much simplifying left to do in my life, it would be easy to think that I failed.  Isn't the whole point in picking a word to accomplish that think in your life?  But I think the real purpose of picking a word is to get yourself moving in a certain direction.  Even though our life is hardly simpler than a year ago, I don't feel like I failed.

This was my third year picking a word, and if I have learned anything about the process, it's that your word for the year is just a starting point.  All the lessons of your chosen word don't have to be encapsulated between January 1st and December 31st.  You won't learn everything about that one word in that one year.  No, picking a word is more like a jump start.  This last year was my jump start into simplifying my life, and I am going to keep working on it in 2016.  Especially with simplifying, there is always more to do.  

The days around here are not nearly as simple as they were a year ago (adding a newborn to the mix will do that), but I love where we are right now.  I think my attempts to simplify have left me in a place where I can better handle the task of figuring out how to mother four children well in the new year. That feels like success to me.

What was your word for 2015?  Did you feel like you achieved everything you thought you would?

Stay tuned for my word choice for 2016!

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