Looking Back on Twenty-Sixteen

Hi, it’s me again. My husband encouraged me to sit down and write about 2016 as the new year is approaching in less than twelve hours. If I am being honest, I am not a huge fan of New Year’s. I feel like it is overrated as every new day is a day to make resolutions, to try and be a better version of ourselves and to take steps towards goals. But, I kind of feel like this year is different. This doesn’t mean I will be celebrating New Year’s Eve because we have two sick children. But I do feel like it is a good time to reflect.

2016 was a year filled with ups and downs. Looking back, I think it was one of the most difficult and wonderful years we have had as a family. We started 2016 excited about the new year and the steps we would take with our small business, Just Because by Nan. We participated in our first wedding fair to put ourselves out there. I was finally feeling more energetic and ready to start taking steps forward.

However, life took an unexpectant turn when I found out that I was pregnant in February. Those of you who know me, now that the timing was not the  best. It was the hardest and longest nine months of my life. It took about 20 weeks for me to regain enough strength to partake in a 20 minute walk. Due to this, I decided to put an end to my small business. I struggled emotionally with being thankful for and loving the baby in my stomach (more about that another time). In addition to all that, we bought an old house that needed a full renovation. We hoped to be able to move into our new home in August. The baby was due in October. However, things didn’t turn out as we hoped and we ended up living with my parents for three months. Our baby was born in their home and three weeks later we finally moved into our new house.

During all  of this, I finally started feeling better and realized I really missed making handlettered goods. So, we started our business again. This time, I was able to set better boundaries and better invest in which way I wanted our business to grow. I loved finding other creative people to collaborate with, like Nons FotografieOh Happy Day and Lola’s Kids (you can read about her in a previous blog post).

I was really nervous for the birth of our third child. At the end of the pregnancy, I still felt scared. I was scared I wouldn’t be happy with the baby and that I would have a hard recovery again. But, thanks to our Heavenly Father, things didn’t turn out as bad as I thought! Yes, it to about 30 minutes after our baby son was born for me to want to hold him in my arms. But when I did, I was filled with love, gratefulness, new strength and new hope. Since that moment, I have felt so much stronger than before. It’s like God gave me new eyes, a new look at life. I feel so blessed and ready to take on 2017.

For me, 2017 will be about family. It will be about creating moments for my children that they can remember. 2017 will be about God, pursuing His heart more and more while I put more of me aside. 2017 will be about deepening my relationship with my husband, the most selfless person I know. I am hoping to be a more supportive wife, a better listener and encouragerer.

For our business, 2017 will be about new chances, a new name and new collaborations. 2017 will be about giving instead of receiving as we want to bless others with what we do.

All in all, 2017 will be about YOU. Because if I had to choose a word for 2017, my word would be selfless. I have spent too long being focused on what life could give ME, what my husband and children could give ME, what my business could give ME, what friendships could give ME. But 2016 has shown me nothing is worth anything when the focus is on me. Life is meant for us to walk through together. It is meant for community, for hugs, for honest talks and encouraging words. And that is what I want to create for 2017. I want to create moments worth living for, I want to create a business that isn’t about me or my products but about meeting people where they are at to ultimately glorify Him. I want to do this together with you and invite you to follow along.

Let’s you and I create! Create a year worth remembering. Create friendships worth fighting for. Create moments worth living for.

I wish you all a happy new year.

nan4

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