A happy new year to you and yours, my friend! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. It is glaringly apparent that I took some time off for Thanksgiving and beyond (not intended). But in the current climate of things, I suddenly felt very pulled to completely immerse myself in family life and soak up every festive moment.
I am so thrilled to get back to regularly scheduled programming. And to kick off the new year, I thought I would share with you what I am leaving behind and what I am taking with me in 2021.
This past year has been a wild ride. And if you are anything like me and our family, there was a lot learned. Our eyes were opened to so much while fires were reignited for things that are most important to us. It was a year of standing tall in our faith and our convictions. It was a year of getting comfortable with going against the grain. And it was a year that we remembered all that we have to be grateful for.
As I walk into 2021, I refuse to write off the last year in a negative light. There were some extremely difficult things that we weathered. But there were also incredible lessons learned, knowledge gained, and faith strengthened. 2020 was a year that reminded us what is most important. It was a year that shook us awake and that is a true blessing. However, there are still things that I need to shed and leave in 2020.
I have always been the “yes” girl. While I love diving into new things, it has gotten me into a lot of trouble in the past. Sometimes it has been the necessary approach to help in providing for our growing family and to keep me home with these cubs. Unfortunately, it would always be at the cost of my own health and well being. While my mind feels like I am a young, teenage girl still my body does not. Oh the joys of getting older! The lack of self-care is something I need to finally put behind me. I need to trust that focusing on my main passions are enough. That I don’t have to take on every single thing that comes my way and that saying “no” does not diminish my worth.
2020 brought the closure of my branding and design business. It was a hard year stepping into the role of full-time blogger and content creator while also tying up loose ends. I am looking forward to this year fully focused on KaraLayne.com and all that is in the works.
It’s been an interesting struggle throughout the years. I have run a business with my cubs in tow and then there has been the added element of homeschooling. When you are in the thick of it, in the trenches of motherhood, it is hard to be a good friend. At least it has been for me. Unfortunately, I have had past relationships that went sour because of expectations that I couldn’t meet through certain seasons. And I think that makes me hesitant to open myself up to people and cultivate the friendships that I so desperately want and need. I am still very much in the trenches of motherhood. I run a business. Our family is in a season of sacrifice for big goals. And that worry of not being the friend that someone needs or expects is still very much there.
However, I am going to trust that those that can love me for me are going to be the friends that come into my life and the ones that stick around. And I am going to try my hardest to look outside of my current situation enough to love on other people the way I so desperately want to.
This is one I know will be an ongoing battle, but one that I have already made huge strides in (hello, I started slinging oils – like, what?!). Even though I have made big strides, I can still feel myself hold back at times for fear of what other people may think. My job makes it impossible to not put myself out there which keeps this struggle at the very front of the line. However, when I think about it, the fear comes not from those I don’t know or strangers on the internet – it’s from those I do know. But other people’s opinions have never paid my bills, right? And those that I should have next to me through this entire journey are those that are rooting me on in it all.
This will forever and always be my greatest struggle – both in my personal life and in my professional life. Perhaps someone would be quick to tell me it’s being a mom with little ones – something can and will always come up to derail plans. However, I am taking full ownership. It’s my Achilles heel. Consistency breeds momentum and goodness gracious, 2021 has a lot riding on it.
I still remember when everything hit the fan last spring. We suddenly found our store shelves empty and the lines growing just to get the most basic of necessities. Jarett and I immediately knew that we had become complacent in emergency preparedness. Which is kind of crazy since I have always had prepper tendencies. Seriously. To the point that Jarett has to keep my from watching those “doomsday prepper” documentaries or the ones about living off the grid. My Amazon cart builds while my ideas get a little zany!
But I think a lot of us had this same shock because we have had it so good here in our country. We got overly confident that we would never face lines to do our shopping, shortages, or even worse.
We were and still are so grateful for the farming community here in Nashville. They put food on our table that we couldn’t find elsewhere and while we never went without, being prepared for emergency situations has been a reignited passion. I never want to feel that way again especially with the ongoing climate of things. I never want it to come down to taking time to prepare ahead or standing in line at a FEMA camp, you know?
So, what am I taking WITH me into 2021?
It’s interesting what has happened over the past several years in our country. Well, perhaps not interesting as much as it is extremely shocking. To see the way narratives have been twisted. The way apologies made for the nuclear family and Christian beliefs and the “effects” they have on others. And the true plague that has brought down our nation – the one of fear and division.
We had already seen the stronghold the government and hidden agendas have had in the public school system. It is something our eyes were opened to more and more after making the decision to homeschool. This past year, however, I think we have truly seen the effects this agenda has had in a much bigger way. When the media is wielded as a weapon to brainwash society. When science and history are rewritten. And when traditional and patriotic values are labeled as toxic we are headed in the wrong direction faster than ever before.
There were many times our family was faced with having to stand for our rights and liberties over the past year. And while it is hard to see my kids live in the current climate of things because it seems so far removed from what I experienced as a kid, why should I be so bold as to think that we would be free from trials and tribulations like our ancestors were? That we wouldn’t be tested at times to fight for our freedoms to remain intact? It has been an exercise in bravery, but I am walking in 2021 knowing that those very freedoms can be taken away in an instant. And I will not look back on this time and tell my children that I did nothing.
Over the past year I dug in and worked hard at building a side hustle that I am so passionate about. It was never something I saw coming, but has completely changed our home, our family, and our life in big ways. It is fueling dreams that have been written on our hearts for some time. And if I wasn’t open to something new, a different way to do something, I would have never experienced any of those blessings. I have learned that assumptions truly are the worst and that sometimes we just need to be willing to let our guard down in order to experience something amazing.
It seems that for so long I had my plate piled too high that I couldn’t even stop long enough to take a breath. It didn’t matter if it was a week or weekend, my mind was on work. If it wasn’t, it meant that someone was going to be disappointed in me. However, I feel so grateful to have finally gotten to a very sweet spot in my professional life. One that I feel fulfilled, but not tied down. Where I can be busy and create while also being able to take a break. There will always be deadlines and things that have to get done, but I am loving the freeing feeling of stripping away the excess and finally focusing on what I truly want to do in order to live the life I truly want to live.
These cubs are growing up so fast and I don’t want to look back to see that I was so busy creating a life that I forgot to live it.
Our move to Nashville changed us in the most spiritual way. It was because we relied so much on Him and the faith that everything would fall into place more than we ever have before. We gave up all control and just trusted. And as I look back on this past year, I didn’t live it in fear. We watched people and their children cower away from others, we watched as society stopped smiling at each other, and we watched as the media and headlines spewed their agenda to further that fear. And I watched as our family stood tall in our faith knowing that we should not fear anything. We trusted that He has His hand in it all with an arm around each of us. And that my job as His daughter is to continue raising these babes in the way they should go, to create a space of love and peace in our home, and to flip tables as He calls me to. Because, after all, there will sometimes be situations that call for us believers to flip some tables as He did. Wink!
Even in the darkest of days that last year brought, when we turned to Him it all dissipated and left what is most important in front of us. We fixated our focus on that and it made all the difference.
Above all though, the understanding that life is short is at the forefront of my mind. And spending it wasting away in fear and worry is not how I want to use my time here. Our family has big goals and even bigger dreams. And I am looking ahead to 2021 as a time of flourishing and wonderful growth. A time to shut the outside world out and to focus on the things we can control. The things that bring peace and harmony. The things that light us up and bring joy into our everyday.
I truly hope that you are wonderful. And I want to simply say thank you. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing your time with me. You will never know the difference you make by being part of this sweet community we have built over the years. And your support has been the greatest blessing to me. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead of us. Full of all of the good stuff that we will relish in. All the light and love your way.