My ‘Two-Worded’ One Word for 2017

Recently it was brought to my attention that I like things to be symmetrical.

I may have known this info all of my life but I guess I never really thought much about it.

The first time that it really hit me that I seem to have an over obsessive issue with things lining up perfectly was the first time I stood up after I had knee replacement surgery last September.

The minute I stood up I noticed that the leg with new knee was now longer than the other one. Also, the leg with the new knee was perfectly straight and the other one was bowed back. The thought never occurred to me that after surgery my legs would be different lengths and man oh man did that drive me nuts!

Actually, this bothered me so much that over the course of the next ten weeks I spent a whole lot of time trying to rig my shoes in the hopes of somehow making my legs more even.

I bought several different styles of lifts from the store but all were either too high or too low. After the store failed me I decided to get crafty and began cutting different widths of cardboard and gluing them together to stick inside of my shoes. This helped a little but nothing I tried made them match perfectly.

My physical therapist even measured my legs and gave me a lift that she said was perfect but I still could feel a difference.

My other knee was scheduled to be replaced in November and soon I began worrying that maybe the doctor wouldn’t get my legs even and I would be lopsided for the rest of my life!

I know this sounds like it’s not such a big deal and I did know that I needed to just let it go, but oddly no matter how much I tried to ignore my uneven legs I couldn’t.  The lopsidedness was driving me crazy!

After Surgery Getting Ready for Christmas

Because I had my second knee surgery scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving I figured I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things I usually do to get ready for Christmas.

I also knew from the last surgery that I should consider my day to be very productive if I was just able to take a shower and finish all of my physical therapy exercises.

Here is a list of some of the things I usually do in preparation for Christmas:

The Christmas tree – I am usually the one who gets the tree ready to decorate by putting on all of the beads and bows. Once those are done my husband and I put the ornaments on together.

Christmas cookies – I usually bake a whole lot of different Christmas cookies.

Christmas Shopping – I usually spend many hours going from store to store to find just the right present for everyone. I then spend several full days wrapping them.

Christmas Dinner – I usually make a full course meal for our family dinner on Christmas day.

I really had no idea how these things were ever going to get done because everyone knows that I am the only one who knows how to do those things correctly…or so I thought….

About two weeks before Christmas my husband decided that he was going to put up the tree and decorate it. He put on Christmas music and I hung out in my chair with my foot propped up watching. I did hang a couple of ornaments but I soon learned that my husband has quite a talent for Christmas tree decorating. I also found out that putting the Christmas tree up was a whole lot of fun this year.

A few days later I found myself Christmas shopping online and without ever stepping a foot out of my house I was able to buy most of our Christmas gifts!

And they all arrived on time!

A few days after the presents arrived I put a roll of wrapping paper, tape, and a pair of scissors in the middle of my dining room table and just left them there.  Part of my knee rehab requires that I take a three-minute walk around my living room several times a day.  Each time I would get up for my 3-minute walk I would wrap a present. Eventually, all the presents were wrapped. It was actually kinda fun wrapping a few presents each day and also allowing wrapping paper, tape, and scissors to live on the dining room table for two weeks was somehow very freeing for me.

The weekend before Christmas my husband decided he was going to bake M & M cookies.

I helped by finding the recipe and explaining a few small details but for the most part I backed off and let him have at it. I soon realized another talent I never knew he had… Baking!

My husband’s cookies came out much fluffier than mine and I will also have to admit that they were the best tasting M & M cookies we have ever had in our house!

For Christmas dinner, this year it was decided that everyone coming would bring a dish of finger foods. This ended up being way yummier than the traditional dinner I would have normally made and also it allowed me to spend more time with my family.

Lesson learned…our family never needed a fancy dinner all we really need is to be together.

Also not spending all my time on Christmas day cooking and cleaning allowed me to snuggle with this little guy while he napped.

I think maybe I might have napped for a bit too.

Even though I was laid up with this knee I think this may have been one of the most peaceful and fun Christmases I have had in a long time. I am not sure exactly when it was that I put myself in charge of everything to do with Christmas but now I can see that I have spent a whole lot of time trying to make a perfect Christmas but all I had really accomplished was making myself dread the holiday season and I had missed all the important stuff like enjoying my family and preparing for the true meaning of the season… which is about celebrating the birth of Jesus which really has nothing at all to do with trees, food or shopping.

Over the past few months, I have realized that I just may be more of a perfectionist and a control freak than I thought I was.

I also have learned that there are a lot of things that I’m holding onto that I need to let go of and let other people do.

The past two years in a row God has given me a sort of theme word for the year. In 2015 my word was Trust and the year 2016 was my year to Believe.

With all that has transpired in the past few weeks, I can tell that I have already been given my one word for 2017 which is “Let Go”….Yep I know that technically that’s two words instead of one…but since I’m working on letting go I think I will just go ahead and go with the two-word one word this year 😀

A couple of things I have noticed by letting go are not only that I can relax when I let go but also that when I don’t hog everything there is to do, it gives others a chance to shine their own talents… hence my husband the awesome baker and decorator.

Also just another Fyi – It’s been 5 weeks now since I received my second knee and am very happy to report that my legs are a perfect match now and I can’t even begin to tell you how much better that makes me feel!

I’m not sure I can ever let go of the symmetrical thing fully but I can truthfully say that I can for sure let go of a whole lot of other things.

Oh, and one more thing…  we ended up having two Christmas trees this year! My husband found a great bargain on the display trees at K-Mart so he bought one and we put it up also! Yay!!!

2016 was overall a pretty good year and I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store as I learn what else God has to show me about letting go.

What is the one word God is telling you to focus on this year?

Will you please share your word in the comments below and if you have written a blog about it post the link so I can read it.

Happy 2017!

Terri Siebert

2013 in Review on A Story By Me

This morning I opened my email to find that WordPress had made a nifty little year in review of my blog.  As I was looking it over I realized that my blog is kind of like a review of the last year of my life. So much has happened this year and a lot of it I have written about in the blog.

As I start each new year I always reflect on the past year and look to the new year as a fresh start. When I look over this past year I am amazed at how many blessings and huge life changes happened to me in 2013. This was the year I started seeing more and more of God’s plan for my life revealed as I have watched myself embark on a path I never dreamed I would be on, seeing more and more exciting parts of the journey unfolding before me each day.

This past year I watched as God seemed to help me step out of my comfort zone more and more. This year I started a new job at my church. This time last year I was not even looking for a job and I really never dreamed that if I did get a new job it would be at a church. I still find that kinda cool a little scary for me but I do love the job and it’s been such a blessing for me.

In March I went to Haiti with Compassion, which I do have to say was probably the highlight of my year. While there in Haiti I met my sponsored child Thierry which was really really awesome. Not only did I get to meet Thierry while there but I also had a huge attitude adjustment and found out that I would never be the same person ever again. I also met Rose  while in Haiti and sponsored her.  I just recently found out that Thierry’s family is doing much better so he no longer in need of my sponsorship. I am so very thankful I was able to meet him before he moved on to a better life.

This year I also I had 2 knee surgeries which did not go as well as I had hoped and I have yet another eye issue going on.  Those things threw me into a bit of a fog but with the help of my family, friends and most of all God I am getting through it quite well and I have learned that God will give us the strength we need to get through whatever comes our way.

I could go on and on here talking about all the events of this past year but really you have probably heard them all before and if you haven’t and you really want to know all those stories there is a row over to the right of this page with every blog post ever posted on this blog. Though the year has had a few downs I really do have to say it’s been a good year full of mostly ups, God is always good and I am so very thankful for this place he has put me in. No matter how old we get we always are still learning and I do know that I have learned a whole lot this year.

This year I learned that no matter how tough life can be…God is always tougher.

If God asks you to do it,..he will equip you to do it.

Bad things do happen… but I also learned that no matter how bad things are there is always a blessing to be had in the midst of it all.  

And the biggest thing I have found this year is if you look for joy you will always find it…even if places that you may think it could never be found..

Two years ago I set out to write a blog because God told me to do it, I did not have a clue as to what I would ever write about but yet there always seems to be a story and always a reader somewhere in the world who reads it.  For whatever reason he continues to keep it going and I have to say I have been extremely blessed by it all and also by those of you I have gotten to know here, and also on your own blogs.  As I close out the year 2013, I would like to say thank you to all of you who continue to come by my blog and read it. Some of you leave a like or a comment and some just silently stop by and never say a word. Every single one of you are part of this blog and a part this blessing. It is WAY WAY more than I ever could have imagined or expected could happen,Thank YOU. God is really awesome isn’t he??  🙂

Thanks once again for reading and I hope you see many blessings in the coming year.  Happy New Year to you!

P.S.  Below is the year in review that WordPress put together for ‘A Story By Me’

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,000 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Fresh Start

As another year comes to a close I spent time reminiscing for a while today about all the awesome stuff that happened in my life this past year.  I have to say 2012  has been a year of some pretty amazing stuff.  God has covered me with many surprise blessings this year, so many it is almost to overwhelming at times for me to think about them all.  It was also a huge year of growth for me as God has really began to take over my life more and more by pointing me in directions I never dreamed of going.  Many of those directions were way out of my comfort zone but I sure am glad I decided to stick them through for the end results, had I not I would have missed a whole lot of blessings.

Tomorrow as the new year begins some people will see the New Year as a chance to start fresh again.  Some will go into the New Year with resolutions of becoming more organized or maybe more healthier.  Many will be successful but many will feel as if they failed at what they had hoped to accomplish which is sad because there is really no such thing as failure.  The reason I say that is because every day, every hour, every minute is an opportunity for a fresh new start and we don’t have to wait for a new year to start fresh.  From this second and the second after that we all have the opportunity to make a fresh new start any time we chose.

So as you ring in 2013 no matter what you have hopes for in the coming year remember to have faith in God, pay attention to what He asks you to do, then boldly do it knowing he will lead you and give you what you need to accomplish it.  Dare to dream your wildest dreams and believe that they can come true.

Whatever you’re hoping to accomplish in 2013 I wish you all the best. I wish you health and joy and that you see the many blessings God has in store for you in the coming year.  Thank you for reading, God bless you and Happy New Year!

*Check out whats new for 2012 by clicking the  ‘Love Letters To Jesus‘ tab at the top of the page