Sunday, January 1, 2012

Peace is the Word...


There's been a lot of talk lately in several groups I belong to about finding your "one" word for the new year. I knew my word would become clear to me if I really thought/prayed about it.

And it did. It was right there on my Christmas tree.

Peace.

This year I am seeking peace. Because honestly if 2011 had a word, it may as well have been Chaos or Turmoil. So Peace is sounding pretty perfect to me. :)

2011 saw me return full time to my day job and write 4 books and 1 novella. Which basically means I worked in one way or the other pretty much non-stop. I turned in the last of those books 2 weeks ago and am taking a few days off to renew my creativity. MUCH NEEDED time off!

2011 also saw a major milestone for me: I bought my first home and moved back to my hometown. Which was a whole other set of adjustments, which I'm still getting used to. My house is presently under renovation--and I'm trying to do as much of it myself as possible.

Obviously 2011 was a busy year! Some of the wonderful highlights:

1. The aforementioned book contracts! Writing is a blessing and something I feel called to do. I'm so thankful for the opportunities I've been given and look forward to making some fun announcements soon about upcoming projects.

2. The release of Love Finds You in Lancaster County--and learning it had reached the ECPA Bestseller List.

3. Traveling to Chicago with some of my best friends to see U2 in concert. What an amazing night!

4. Signing the paperwork and officially becoming a homeowner. It has been a long journey and I'm so thankful to have a place to call my own.

5. Traveling to Charleston to do research for an upcoming book. I absolutely fell in love with the city and can't wait to return.

6. Spending time with my friends and family--as I get older, those relationships become so much more meaningful. I'm truly blessed.

But back to my word. PEACE.

How will I instill Peace into my life in 2012?

Here are a few things I hope will help:

1. Read the Bible all the way through. I sheepishly admit I've never attempted this. I read bits and pieces as I'm studying different topics, but I know there are plenty of verses I've never read--particularly in the Old Testament.

2. Pray with a purpose. Once upon a time I kept a prayer journal. I think it's time to go back to that.

3. Exercise. Oh man. This was the first thing to fall by the wayside when my life got all crazy-busy this year, and I think that was a huge mistake. Back when I was running on an almost daily basis, I think my life was much more peaceful. So I'm back to training and am aiming for several 5Ks and the ultimate (for me) goal: a half-marathon. I signed up to do one in 2011, but wasn't ready. 2012 will be the year.

4. Relax. Somewhere along the past few years of working and deadlines and being a grownup, I think I forgot how to relax. In 2012 I'm planning a spa vacation with some of my best friends and WILL make it to a beach where the only thing on my agenda is sleeping and reading.

5. Get my house organized. This includes finishing the kitchen and living room renovations!

6. Plant a garden. There is nothing as therapeutic for me as digging in the ground. Now that I have a couple of acres, I'm going to make use of them! I hope to have a vegetable garden and also plan a flower garden. 

7. Manage my time better. Juggling 2 full time jobs and a home renovation is a challenge. But I don't want my life to revolve around working all the time. My very wise grandmother cautioned me recently that she worried I was writing about life and not living it. 2012 will be the year that changes and I think that change starts with being a better steward of the time I have--and also of choosing my projects (both work and home) wisely.

And there you have it. The 7 things I hope will bring some much-needed PEACE into my life.

How about you? Do you have a word for 2012?

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