2011 : A Year of Becoming

The words of author Christina Baldwin have meant so much to me in 2011:

The power of story is understood by the powerful, yet the power of story belongs to all of us, especially the least powerful.

I started the year very cold and sad because I was just so cold. (The tire house was not built to handle our winters.) I knew I had to stretch myself to become something more. I knew I had to carve a path that could bring me to a warm, comfortable home again one day.

My motto was simple: become

1. I wanted to become more in my business.

The shop has grown and grown. It even won a green business award from our governor!

2. I wanted to become a friend within my rural community.

Is there anything more wonderful than a few great friends nearby? I pinch myself each time I realize how lucky I have become in friendship this year. (And you know what? All of those friendships came because of THIS blog.)

3. I wanted to become connected to the stories of my past.

No matter how busy we are around here, I wanted to pause and celebrate family and family traditions/stories. I found some new heros along the way and embraced the loss of my grandfather to Alzheimer’s like I could never do before.

4. I wanted to become a girl in her very own (warm) home.

If you’d asked me in January 2011 how things would go, I would not have been able to say, “I’m moving into the back of an old airplane hangar.” Back then, I just knew I wanted something more.

In May, Martin and I were in Germany. We found ourselves taking the deepest, bravest breaths of our lives as we decided to return to the US and become home owners… of sorts! We’ve been decluttering and building up ever since.

4. I wanted to become comfortable in my clothes, comfortable with being me.

The No New Clothes Challenge was awesome this year! I patched sweaters and learned how to reattach buttons. I found my signature look. I learned the power of a shining inner beauty.

5. I wanted to become a storykeeper and guide and inspire others to celebrate their stories.

So many women opened pages of their journals — and with them, their hearts — for all of us to read their stories. I’m so, so grateful. I loved sharing peeks in my books and projects. I loved creating new journals (including the Jump Up kid journal and Seeking Grace prayer journal) this year.

There is still so much Martin and I dream about, so much we want to do together.

I’m so grateful to have you all on this journey with us. Thank you a million times. You have become such an important part of our life and story.

The funny thing about all of these becomes is that I didn’t remember to ask for help when I most needed it. I just kept pushing and pushing to do it all.

In the end, Martin and I found ourselves rushing to the emergency room. I remember just sitting in the passenger seat of the car with my slippers on, squeezing a clean cloth around my hand. I had sliced my finger open. It needed five stitches.

All of a sudden, I couldn’t do the things that I was always doing. I couldn’t build journals or tape envelopes shut. I sure couldn’t work at the hangar or even scrub our dishes. Typing was difficult. Everything was. Everything is. And it’s going to keep being hard until my finger heals.

I forgive myself for pushing too hard for too long. (This has not been easy to allow myself to do.)

I am accepting the low inventory at Gadanke right now and taking time to relax and heal.

2011 was a beautiful year with so much beauty and richness. I loved it with all the good and bad it brought. I learned so much. I laughed and smiled so much. I loved so much.

And as for you, 2012? I’ve got big plans for you, mister.

Happy New Year, everyone! We’re going to make it beautiful.

Interested in 2010’s personal theme? It was be true to yourself, not your stuff. Yeah… 2010 was our year of decluttering.