the year of His favor and 2012

Last December, I wrote about my word of the year.

I chose “within” because I felt the nagging at my heart to jump into the comparison game–focused around the business of blogging.

I admitted something:  Blogging (full-time) can be quite self-glorifying and overwhelming.

Even after I wrote about it, I began to feel a little weighed down, coming off the most successful year of blogging I’d had.  I had pushed and pushed…and loved every second of it, but I was beginning to tire.  While it has always been important to me to blog organically (i.e. blog about grayson’s wall art because I was making it for our home anyway), I could feel the pressure to blog project after project–for the sake of the blog and pageviews.  I would thoroughly enjoy my days, but I would sit down every night and feel weighted.

We were even dealing with a few personally challenging situations–and continued hearing some discouraging things some folks were saying about our decision to homeschool–and I just felt heavy.

Heavy with many responsibilities.

Heavy with the world.

While Matt and I pray constantly that this blog remain about helping, inspiring, and encouraging our readers–and that God be glorified in doing so–it is quite easy for me to unintentionally put pressure on myself.

Simply put, I was burned out.

I needed a break from all the projects and painting rooms–I wanted to live in our home.  It’s really funny how I had no idea how I felt about all of this at the time, but can see with perfect clarity what God was doing for me.

He was giving me a pass–a don’t-blog-about-it-unless-you-were-creating-it-anyway pass.  Therefore (yes, I just said “therefore”), we completed only a few home project goals from last year.  I started a million things and stopped when I grew tired of them or needed to live for weeks or months.  I stretched myself as a writer and focused more on content-based posts.

I reorganized my entire home from the deepest cabinets out–and am still doing so.  We made lots of messes living and yet, kept the place neater than it’s been in years.  We prayerfully followed God’s lead to focus on monetizing my business–on the profit.  We began to carry Chalk Paint™, opened an online store, hosted workshops in our home, began homeschooling, and have some exciting things in the works behind-the-scenes.

While you all told me how crazy I was and oh-my-word-you’re-so-busy, I felt free and quite lazy half the time, like I wasn’t doing very much at all.

P.S.  I haven’t felt lazy since October.

The point is…God showed me how wrapped up in me I could be–if for no other reason than my own passion-driven fuel for my work.  While I was breaking from too many projects, I couldn’t let Him take away the guilt for not doing them.  It ebbed and flowed, much like our Faith does.  Some weeks I’d feel confident and sure, and others I’d feel like a moron–almost like I was wasting this gift (blog) I’d been given.

It was a tough year–a year of humbling myself before Him.  And honestly, it just occurred to me this last week why my year looked like it did.

It took quite a while for the proverbial lightbulb to turn on.

He was shaping me and molding me to look just a bit more like Him.  He was giving me rest–despite my kicking and screaming the whole way.  He was teaching me to rely on Him to quiet my mind (which, by the way, is entirely different than Him shaping our outward actions).  While I felt a bit torn and in-between, He was humbling me so that I could look at Him, today, and breathe easily.

So I could sit down, talk with Him–instead of talking at myself.  We’re not done, He and I.  I can tell there’s much to learn, and I have more to sacrifice.

But the good news?

He was beginning to rebuild my ancient ruins, allowing me to walk through the temples I had built up before Him–He was letting me have them and find no comfort there.

Letting me examine “within.”

I feel the light, though, as the last stones fall away on this battleground for my Soul.

I said it before.

We’re not done, He and I.

“The Sprit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”

-Isaiah 61:1-4


**I’m so grateful I have friends like you to share myself with–to bare my ugly Soul to.  I can’t wait to share with you my words for 2013 very soon.

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26 Responses to the year of His favor and 2012

  1. Vicki Crowe December 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    So enjoyed your honesty and humbling words! I have felt the same only from the spectator side. You are encouraging many young women in teaching them to walk daily with and in the Lord! Don’t stop! Be that beacon for those that are looking for The Lord and a Biblical walk. Wish I had had that example as a young mother!

  2. Allison December 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Oh my goodness. At the risk of sounding like my own kind of moron, let me just say that there are few people that have inadvertently spoken into my life this past year more than you. I love your daring, faithful, step out in Faith kind of style. I love your simplistic and yet loyal to your true heart kind of decorating and really living. I see it in your love for your beautiful babies, your precious hubby, your new store, and everything you say to us. Our words are to edify. There is a nice way to say EVERYTHING, so if harsh words are floating your way from any of us out here, delete them like junk mail, and let God’s Word define you. I pray that your family will revel in the presence and peace of the Lord as my puppy does in the pile of leaves outside-pure joy and nothing but love. Keep on keeping on. Youre the best! Cant wait to make that drive for a workshop! Love, Alli
    Fort Worth, TX

    • perfectlyimperfect December 28, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      Allison, I so appreciate you sharing this with me. I truly give God the praise for your life, too–thank you for encouraging me so much this morning!
      :-)
      shaunna

  3. Gloria December 28, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    Your life walk encourages me both body and soul. If I was a good photographer I would send you picures of our home and our furniture re-dos. I stopped counting at 9 pieces. Each room captures a phase of the creative journey. paint to chalk paint, sealers to wax… Country to cottage …. and the journey continues…

    In as much as the new look of our home is refreshing and makes me smile, for me, I am so grateful for the soulful lessons of the journey …stretching my heart and soul.

    As readers we grow along side you painting, nesting, pondering, keeping Him in the center of what fills our days.

    Talk with Him ….. Love that! So often I resort to talking to myself. I find myself praying more and more- Lord less of me and more of you …. at the end of those pondering moments….. I am reminded this life is a journey not a race.

    This soulful post encouraged us deeply. Thank you!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • perfectlyimperfect December 28, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      Thank you, Gloria! I know–we’re all doing the same thing, struggling through sometimes. Thank you for sharing with me today!!
      :-)
      shaunna

  4. Baileywife December 28, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I didn’t “officially” have a word for 2012, I actually just started blogging this year…but I AM making a word for 2013, and will post about it on Jan. 1. My word for 2012 would have been CHANGE….the good and the bad! (I am NOT a fan of CHANGE). ~Kim

  5. Julie December 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    As a fellow homeschooling mama balancing a career, I could relate to much of what you said. I love your blog, your style and your heart which is so clearly communicated through your words. Thank you. It is no easy thing to choose selflessness in a world of self promotion and stillness before God in a world that glorifies productivity. May God bless you for doing so with more of Him in 2013!

  6. Della Bryan December 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Your writing is such an inspiration and feeds my soul. Thank you! I think my word will be “Thankful”. I’m always thankful but sometimes don’t realize how very thankful I should be for the blessings in my life. My next word will be healing. I have a lot of healing to do but before I can begin healing, I have to “forgive”. It’s hard to choose one word! I must go with 3–thankful, forgiving and healing.

    I’m very thankful for people like you who inspire people like me! Love and Hugs to you and your family. I wish for you the most prosperous 2013!

  7. Denise December 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring post. Like Isiah verse. I am very thankful for the bloggers who demonstrate courage, determination, inspiration, so forth. I realize they are like us . Thank you again.

  8. Marian December 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    I loved this post Shaunna! I can feel it working on me. I may have to read it few times to get all the info I can feel coming to me from it. Thank you for your courage in posting about your faith. I am from another denomination, but hearing you express you love for God always builds my own testimony and reminds me where to look for strength and direction.

    My word this year has been “finishing”. But The Lord has applied it to completely unexpected things. I was thinking art. He was thinking of wrapping up some very long term transitions. A very broken relationship healing. The end of my denial about losing weight. Releasing me from the “small child stage” which, while I am very grateful I was home for, was incredibly difficult for me. I’m sure as I really open my heart to what The Lord is telling me, I will be astonished at the things I finished. I am getting the feeling that I have only scratched th surface.

  9. Connie Nikiforoff Designs December 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Apparently God is speaking to a lot of us about the same thing :-) I love where you wrote ” He was teaching me to rely on Him to quiet my mind (which, by the way, is entirely different than Him shaping our outward actions).”

    That sentiment was what my last December blog was about too! This quietude is something many of us strive for…..and many of us never take the time to find. http://cndesigns.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/all-i-want-for-christmas-is/

    I am blessed to have found it this Christmas season…and I pray it will continue throughout the year.

    Blessings to you and your family! Wish I lived closer! I’d love to visit your store :-)

  10. Debbi December 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    As a fellow blogger, it sometimes looks like everything is perfect in “blog” life. You have it all. I appreciate your honest words. I wonder how to improve my blog to get more readers. More projects, more, more, more…. Your perspective and experience has help me today. Thank you for showing your love for God. Thanks for helping me change my perspective. Wishing you a wonderful 2013.

  11. Marion December 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    This is my life passage. It is the one the Lord spoke to me a year ago. This last year has been such a time of trials and digging deeper in the spirit for so many of us. Makes me wonder what the Lord has in store for all of his daughters who are joining hands, sharing, praying, uniting… May 2013 bring even more opportunities and blessings to your family.

  12. Dawn December 29, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Beautiful …I, too, am trying to be quiet and listen to Him. I need to find my worth in Him alone. I know I am experiencing struggles that God is walking me through to conform me to His image, which is far better than I could ever attain myself! Thank you for you words of honesty.

  13. amy December 29, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    Thank you. These words speak to my heart.
    What temples have I built up before him?

    Every time I stop in here I am encouraged

    May God continue to bless and guide you this coming year.

  14. Cindy Barganier December 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Interesting. As is so often the case, God is giving many of us the same message.” Be true to yourself and follow My lead”. The only subscriber I lost this year was due to a post that contained scripture only. I thought that was telling. I will not hesitate to post more. Blessings on your year sweet lady and keep up the good work.
    Cindy

  15. Geri December 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Shaunna.

    You wrote a lovely faith filled message for us all to be touched by.
    You did though over look God created you and he only loves us and wants us to love ourselves and one another. He created beauty in you and your soul is who
    You are. There could never be anything ugly about a woman like you. You are a beautiful person, mother, wife and child of God. Happy New Year. Geri.

  16. Pam December 30, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    I agree and echo each comment left for you to read. I posted the Bible verse here at the end of your post on my Facebook page. Those verses spoke to my heart as did those of your own words too. I’ve been keeping up with your blog this year for the first and love your “down to earth” kinda style but more so your attitude. I too LOVE projects/painting/re-use/re-do (drives my husband nuts hahaha)…I have taken with me some great ideas from your blog but to my surprise I’ve taken more than that…a sense of being me….the real me..a mom of three kiddos, a homeschool mom at that, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and so much more….the me that God created and has a plan for in this great life. Being an encouragement to others…being there to help others with thier projects and being part of others lives….My word is “sharing”….. sharing my life, my personal testimony of what my Lord Jesus Christ has given me (eternal life!!), sharing my gift/LOVE of painting furniture with my daughter, sharing the joy of what I read here with my friends..Thanks for “Sharing” your life/home/business with me and your readers!! Happy New Year

  17. Kerry December 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I love to read His stories like this when we reflect back on how God is working in our lives. We’re all a work in progress and sometimes we just get busy and forget that He is working on us! Have a great week!

  18. Donna December 31, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing what God is doing in you and with you. What a blessing it is to read your testimony. I was particularly struck with the passage from Isaiah about rebuilding the ancient ruins.
    I frequent your blog – but I realize that I need to comment more often. You are a blessing.

  19. Heather January 1, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    This post is beautiful and amazing and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing it. I hope that I can center myself for the Lord to do his work this year.

  20. Nikki Dahl January 3, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Shaunna,
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring me, you are a go getter and a blessing. Your insight is awesome and blesses me.

  21. Alli Owings January 31, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Love your blog! Please Check Out My Etsy!
    etsy.com/shop/CraftyLittleThings1

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