on the new year: rejuvenation + grace

We’re baaaaaccckkkkk… and hoping you had a great holiday break. Rest is oh so needed after the rush of the holidaisical hooplahs. It’s over, and it happened so quickly this year, we find ourselves in a bit of a post-whirlwind slump. The Christmas tree is still up, and the lights are hypnotically sparkling… we just didn’t have the heart to take it down.

We’re still cleaning up the wrapping paper.

This is the first time in a very long while, that we’ve really taken a break. We have ideas galore swimming in our heads, but we also feel the compulsion to remain on the sofa and enjoy a few more movies. Eat a little more candy. Wear those Christmas jammies a little bit longer. So we imagine that if we feel this way… you just might, too.

Rest is good. It’s required for a reason.


As soon as that proverbial ball drops… no… before… we’re faced with pressure in our society for the new year. It’s everywhere. Lists are bigger. Gyms are fuller. Diets are imminent and good intentions run the gamut.

Our culture is saturated. It’s like we’re compensating for all the over-doing of the holidays, with more over-doing. Strive. Achieve. Work harder.

Each new year, I love the promise of fresh beginnings. I tend to put pressure on myself. In those new year’s resolutions and goals, I also focus on where I’ve fallen short in the past.

Each year, there’s this pivotal moment: of setting goals and being content. Accepting the things we need to work on, while not being too hard on ourselves. Being realistic so we don’t burn out early.

There’s a lot on the horizon, and it’s kind of intimidating.


Goals are wonderful. They’re essential to growth. But in that process, I don’t want to be ungrateful. I don’t want to forget about how far we’ve come. I don’t want to negate appreciation for the journey itself.

Each year, one of our biggest personal resolutions, is to find balance.

It’s a life-long search likened to that of the proverbial fountain of youth. It feels impossibly unattainable. I hear it on the lips of nearly every person I know, in various forms. They’re different ideals, but when you break it down, it’s about the attainment of something we don’t have.


I’m starting to wonder if we’re ever going to find it, because we’re confusing the concept of balance, and goals, and insert whatever-else-here, with something else:


I think we can strive all day long. We can check off our lists. Even stress over the future. But when it comes down to it, the key – I think it lies in the art of cultivating appreciation in our lives.

Appreciating the beauty in all the little things. Accepting that we won’t perfect anything because we’re imperfect people. It’s important to stop and remember how far we’ve come.

That’s the beauty of life in itself. And maybe we should give ourselves a little grace.

Basic RGB

Instead of yearning and stress, striving and regrets…focusing on what needs to be “fixed” and running myself into the ground from trying so hard all year long, I have a new resolution.

I want to master the spirit of joy and thankfulness in my life… all year long.  

And in doing so, I just may find that balance.

Because maybe all along, it wasn’t what I thought it was.


So in the middle of the good things for the new year – our lists and our hopes and goals and dreams and determination:

Our biggest hope for you this year, is that you have fun and that you laugh more. That you appreciate where you are right now, because it’s a part of your story. No matter how rough last year was… no matter what regrets or burdens you carry, remember that your story isn’t over yet. So extend yourself a little grace, and love yourself for where you are. reflect on the processes – it’s what transforms us. The little and the big. The blessings and the struggles. The goals and the imperfections.

This is your year.

This is a new chapter, and the beginning is the most important part.


PrintLove to you all – and happy new year!

Pssst – like these images? These were quotes that inspired us, and we thought they might inspire you, too. {Free downloads – no THH watermark}. Enjoy!

renew, enjoy life, dream life, canvas, doorway, goodness,

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Responses to on the new year: rejuvenation + grace

  1. Lesley says:

    Oh I needed to hear this today .. Best wishes to you and your crew Ashley..
    You rock my world when I dont even realize it needs to be rocked .. thanks girl xx

  2. Jenna says:

    Oh my! These are perfection. Thank you so much for this! :)

  3. I so agree. My un-resolution (?) is to continue to find margin in all areas of my life- to give myself wiggle room and grace and stop over-committing and over-booking and over-doing so much. To concentrate on what matters- friends, family, faith…and not worry so much about the little things. :) One small step at a time.
    I love the downloads! Thank you so much- I just downloaded your entire calendar as well…excited to plan well and play well. :) Enjoy the downtime!!

  4. Anna says:

    Lovely post! I couldn’t agree more.

  5. a says:

    Oh my goodness what a great post! You are so right less stress and just have fun.

  6. Haley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing such inspiring words. I ALWAYS look forward to your posts! You have inspired me to search for joy as opposed to “perfection”! Thank you, thank you!!! I think I might have to read “Seven” again. Seems a nice way to start thinking about 2014:)

  7. Jami Nato says:

    here’s a secret. there’s no such thing as balance.
    it’s unicorn you’ll chase and never find…of course we sure do love chasing it.

    try and find balance in the bible and it’s not there. you will find obedience. you will find times for laughter and times for sadness, times for sprinting and times for resting. but you will not find people managing their lives just so in order to feel “balance”.

    1 because it’s impossible and 2 because God says come to me and i will give you rest. even a ton of literal resting can’t satisfy you. but he made it so that only he could give you why you’re looking for.

    and why did i just write all that? LULZ.

    excited for what’s to come for you guys. happy new year!