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the written word.

that was my word of the year for 2016.  it started out strong.  i read 3 books in the first week of January, journaled, and sent several hand written letters.  i even blogged.  twice.

i read more this year than in recent pasts, but not as much as i had hoped.  i sent letters out well.  but by around march all journaling stopped.  i think i blogged once after march.  maybe.  

through a series of hard conversations i felt as though my voice was taken from me.  its a little hard to explain.  i tried to share it the other night.  i'm not sure i can.  but that conversation played in my mind frequently this year, mostly because every couple of months i got the chance to be reminded.  it was hard.  it stung.  it really hurt.

silence is hard for me.  almost deafening.

as the year went on i watched a world of sadness unfold.  from #blacklivesmatter to the election process. from hurricane matthew to ravaging fires.  from terrorists attacks to shooting after shooting on the local news.  this world breaks my heart.  

i had so many thoughts i wanted to share.  in fact, while driving across country for 10 days i wrote a lot of blogs in my head only to never put them on paper.  for i've learned if it stays in my head it can't be taken from me.

as the year wraps up, i feel i've come to an inner peace with my voice.  out of respect, i will work hard to continue to remain silent more often than not.  but i'm also learning that God does value my thoughts put to words.  it's a delicate balance of learning when to speak and when to stay silent.  and not one i'm good at.  

but i'm okay with who i am.  i truly feel like God has given my heart a unique bent on life.  i see things differently sometimes.  i'm tired of feeling guilty for that.  i'm tired of feeling robbed of things that bring me joy and things that break my heart.  

one of the books i read this year was "Let's All Be Brave" by Annie Downs.  I spent most of the year living in fear instead of bravery.  Thankfully, God has continued to grow my bravery.  You see, the world is LOUD!  oh so loud. and maybe, just maybe, some of the words i share will help people hear the loudness a little different.


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