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Our Year in Family Photos & My Word of the Year

Our Year in Family Photos & My Word of the Year

Happy New Year!

 

We’re heading home today after ten days of visiting family, and while our time was sweet and filled with memories, I’m ready to be home.

I’m realizing more and more that while I absolutely love to travel, I really am a homebody.

This week will be filled with catching up and attempting to get the girls back into sleep routines (with ten days away I’m fully expecting this to take several weeks… sigh).

I’ve been reflecting a lot on 2017 and the changes that it brought and I’ve had a hard time coming up with a word for 2018.

I was tempted to throw resolutions and “words of the year” out of the window and just wing it, because  that’s basically what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half…

but I pressed in.

Because I realized that I need a word of the year this year.

After aimlessly floating through life in 2017, I need something to cling to and focus on admidst the chaos that is my life right now.

And in the midst of ruminating over what my word would be, I realized that I had found my word because I was doing it.

My words for 2018 are lean in.

over the last year, I’ve realized that I have been living my life one coping mechanism to another.

Food, shopping, numbing my mind with social media/Netflix… I’ve basically been running away from a lot of the sadness, anxiety, and fear that I’ve had over the last year (and before I go any further, every time I share these thoughts, someone feels the need to “diagnose” me, but please don’t. I’m talking to the people that I need to talk to and getting the help that I need).

A lot of those feelings were caused by postpartum depression and anxiety, and they have gotten better now that I’m completely done pumping.

And a lot of these feelings were unresolved emotions I’ve been carrying for as long as I can remember.

Either way 2017 left me raw and scrambling to do whatever I could to “cover” those wounds.

I can never express in words how deeply the twins’ NICU stay affected me. I changed so drastically and so profoundly in such a short amount of time. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced, but also one of the most conflicting things I’ve ever experienced. I was so happy to have them, but so terrified I’d lose them. I struggled to bond with them because my heart was too afraid to bleed over them. But I felt so guilty because I knew so many who had real reason to grieve.

Sometimes, I wonder how my friends and family can look at me and still see the same person, because when I look in the mirror I hardly recognize myself.

I often say this in jest to my family, but I honestly feel like I aged ten years over the last year.

and oh! How painful that growth has been.

So my words are lean in. 

Lean in to the pain and sadness I still feel.

Lean in to my lack of joy and happiness.

Lean in to my guilt.

Lean in to my struggle to accept what this year has made me…

And here I have to talk about my faith because, for me, it is impossible to finish this conversation without doing so.

Lean in to God and His strength… allowing Him to gently whisper His new purpose for me. I’ve spent the year being angry at Him, and I needed to be. But in 2018 I’m ready to receive His sweet promises. I’m ready to let Him teach and guide me… to coaxe me out of the pain I’ve felt and held on to and to let Him lead me back to His truth and His healing.

I don’t expect 2018 to be any less painful, but I hope that it is pain brought about by healing.

As always, thanks for listening friends. Thanks for always making this a space where I can be vulnerable with you. It’s hard for me to write these things down. It’s  hard to expose my insecurities to the world, but I thank you for being a supportive group of friends.

 

What about you? What are your words of the year? Do you have one?

Until next time,

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18 Comments

  • Reply Marloes pelupessy

    What a wonderful vision for this new year Karin. I hope this year brings you all you hope for, and the strength to cope when it doesn’t go the way you imagined. As always, it’s inspiring how you talk so openly about your feelings. A happy new year to you and your family!
    – X Marloes

    January 1, 2018 at 7:19 am
    • Reply Karin

      Thank you friend! A happy new year to you as well.

      January 4, 2018 at 8:52 am
  • Reply Andrea

    As always, lovely words. Thank you for allowing yourself to open up, to be vulnerable. I believe it is hard to do it. But you are an inspiration. Thank you!
    Happy New Year!

    January 1, 2018 at 12:17 pm
    • Reply Karin

      Thank you Andrea! Happy New Year to you!

      January 4, 2018 at 8:53 am
  • Reply Gemma.D

    Dios te devolverá la paz . Feliz 2018 preciosa

    January 1, 2018 at 12:42 pm
    • Reply Karin

      Gracias amiga! Y te deseo lo mismo. 🙂

      January 4, 2018 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Anna

    I am cheering you on in your journey. There are many similarities to my own and your words are truthful and moving. Wishing you healing and love in 2018.

    January 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm
    • Reply Karin

      Thank you Anna! I wish the same for you!

      January 4, 2018 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Lexie

    I never have picked a word, I think i would have to much anxiety trying to ‘live it out’. And I have not gone through your postpartum or baby difficulties but I had many no good years b/c of postpardum and kids. I think i am finally getting out if it. I did a whole lot of counseling and it certainly helped but I am not sure I have totally figured it all out. I do think I should, that brings fear I am not suew what to do with… and God is a mighty God. I need to lean into him more. Thanks for your words! 💓

    January 1, 2018 at 1:21 pm
    • Reply Karin

      I understand where you’re coming from Lexie! For me it’s not so much an expectation I put on myself, but more a helpful guideline as I move forward. I’m sorry you’ve had such difficulties, but I’m happy you were able to find help and some amount of healing. I pray that 2018 will continue to bring you even more healing.

      January 4, 2018 at 8:57 am
  • Reply Jackie

    I love all your pictures and your post! It’s so true. I haven’t experienced a NICU stay but I can relate to 2017 having been a tough year. Also to the being mad at God part. We had a stillborn son in late 2016 and so I’ve been dealing with all that in addition to raising a feisty kid and all the emotions that come with a subsequent pregnancy (anxiety, guilt, joy etc). I’m hopeful for 2018 though. My word is prioritize. It’s a reminder in this crazy season of momming/wifing/working to spend my resources (time/money/energy) on who and what is important and not to be afraid to let the rest go. It can also be applied to my closet as I try to streamline/simplify my wardrobe once I’m done with my pregnancy. I’m much better at collecting than organizing or getting rid of things!

    January 2, 2018 at 1:31 pm
    • Reply Karin

      Oh Jackie… my heart breaks for you. I can’t imagine the pain and heartbreak that would bring. I pray that you will be able to finish this pregnancy with God’s peace wrapped around you. Blessings to you friend!

      January 4, 2018 at 8:58 am
  • Reply Jackie Lea

    I sincerely love how honest you are. It inspires me to be vulnerable too.

    My word is abide.

    https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/12/31/my-one-word-abide/

    January 2, 2018 at 7:13 pm
    • Reply Karin

      That means so much to me Jackie! You constantly inspire me to speak my truth. 🙂

      January 4, 2018 at 8:58 am
  • Reply Sara

    I just stumbled upon your Instagram and blog today and I am so grateful that I did. In reading this post it is like you have taken all the words right out of my mouth! I had twins in July and it has been a struggle ever since. It is wonderful and scary and chaos and just plain hard and I’ve been working through postpartum depression as well. Everything you said in this post just hit me to my core. Good on you for owning what you are going through, I feel like that is half the battle right there, and leaning in. Leaning into your life and your faith. I look forward to following along your journey into 2018. Oh yes, and you’ve inspired me to work through my mess of a closet and wardrobe! 🙂 Cheers!

    January 3, 2018 at 1:09 pm
    • Reply Karin

      Hi Sara! I’m so glad you found me too! Twins are such a crazy, unique experience aren’t they? It’s not at all the journey I thought I would be on, and while I’m so thrilled to have been “chosen” to raise my girls, I still sometimes have to stop a moment and take in my life. I hope you find healing soon. 🙂

      January 4, 2018 at 9:02 am
  • Reply Helena

    Karin, this is beautiful. Thank you for your courage and honesty! This year, my word is “invest.” I want to invest more deeply in relationships (spend the time, make the calls, eat the food), to invest in my work (I’m a writer), to invest in our land and our home (plant a garden!), and even invest in my wardrobe. And I so agree about resolutions being goals, something to look ahead toward. You rarely hit what you don’t aim at, right?

    I also know that the process of becoming a mother and of caring for little ones is deeply painful. You’re essentially being unmade. I had a hard time when I found out I was having a girl (my second), because suddenly I was working through all the things I feel about what it means to be a woman in this world. Gosh, this motherhood thing, it’s not for the faint of heart.

    Anyway, He is faithful, and we’re all cheering you on. Happy New Year!

    January 5, 2018 at 7:50 am
    • Reply Karin

      Thank you so much for your kind words Helena! They mean so much to me! I love your word and those are things I also want to work on in the future (one step at a time right?). And I struggle daily with those same struggles of raising girls… I’m constantly questioning if I’m allowing her to just be who she is or if I’m swaying her to like/not like certain things. Happy New Year to you as well!

      January 10, 2018 at 3:44 pm

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