this time last year

this time last year i was counting down the days until march when we would learn our future fate with my husband's company. my sole hope was to get out of peoria and plant my feet in new soil. i hoped it would be city soil. i was not made for small towns. my body and spirit felt uncontrollably constrained, and truthfully...i did not know me anymore. oh what a difference a year makes.

i've been thinking this very thing all night as i continue to try and stomach the events and aftermath of the terrible connecticut tragedy. there is no doubt in my mind that this upcoming year will be one of struggle and pain for all of the families affected, but like i have at the end of this year, i hope they find a ray of light shining when 2013 concludes.

at the end of 2011, i could barely see or feel any light in my life. i felt such incredible darkness surrounding me. a self-proclaimed failure as a stay-at-home-mom, i sought for any way up and out of the darkness. it took me nearly all of 2012 to reconcile my feelings about being a stay-at-home-mom and find peace with who i am and what i do each and every day. a little while back i was hugging my girls on my front porch steps as we were soaking up the end of the warm sunshine and i made a silent declaration to stop looking back and stop looking forward but rather live in the present. it has changed my world, and i am happy. truly happy. i love being a mom, and especially a mom of three girls.

2012 also forced me to face my faltering testimony in my faith. for years i worked to build my knowledge and faith, but within a few short months it seemed like all the knowledge and faith i had gained had slowly disappeared. my relationship with god was shaky at best. i was a mess. 2012 offered me a fresh start. i bravely began to figuratively put one foot in front of the other and piece my broken faith back together. i am now at a better place.

and finally, 2012 helped me discover the new me. the me created from the rubble of the previous me. i was not happy with who i was a year ago. i didn't like the words that spewed from my mouth. i disapproved of at least eighty percent of the thoughts swimming around my brain. and i hated the feelings i held locked in my heart. this year taught me that personality doesn't have to be permanent. i learned that i could change the parts of me i didn't like. and i did. i'm still doing it. i believe it will be a life long process.

i have loved this year. hands down--it has been one of the most difficult of my life, but the difference between the conclusion of this year with the conclusion of last year is that i can discern a lot more light in my life.

i hope that the people and families struggling to find answers and peace right now--whether victims of shooting tragedies, natural disasters or just personal mountains to climb-- can find some light by this time next year.  i vow to move forward and look back only to find peace in experience. i will not look back to scold the old me. the old me was just doing the best she could with what she was given.

i leave you with ways you can help people struggling to find light for my monday morning chatter:

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