Seasons of Joy: 2021

Seasons of Joy

I love a new start. A whole new day, with no mistakes in it… yet – one of the few quotes I remember from Anne of Green Gables, probably because it resonated with me.

I can honestly say that the last few years, and particularly the past year, have been the hardest of my life. Watching a child slowly fade away before my very eyes was incredibly difficult. Thanks to my mum paying for us to see a doctor privately, we finally got three diagnoses for her and I really do believe things are on the turn. The diagnoses have somehow kickstarted the NHS and she is being referred left, right and centre to various health professionals. I finally feel like she/we are being taken seriously and that we can now look forward to the future. One day at a time, but I think 2021 is going to be a good year for us.

Harvey with his Becca-made antlers!

Word for the Year

Sometimes I choose a word for the year, sometimes I don’t. There is no rhyme nor reason for this, other than some years I am inspired by a specific word, and sometimes I am not. This year I have chosen a word, and that word is ‘Courage’. I have no big goals for this word, only that I want to be more courageous in the little insignificant things.

Goals for the Year

Spending time alone each day…reading

I have two. The first is to carve some time out of every day to be alone and read. Last week I finally reached a point where I simply could not go on anymore. I spent four days in bed with a headache I couldn’t shift. Gary and the teens took over everything. I literally did nothing for four days. I emerged a different person. I didn’t feel exhausted and ready to burst into tears at the slightest thing. I didn’t groan inside when a child came to me with yet another health issue. I didn’t feel the need to lock myself away and shut out the world and everyone in it. Instead, very very gradually I began thinking and making plans for the future. I felt ready to tackle my shambles of a house (which had rightly played second fiddle to caring for Charlotte). I felt alive, kicking and enthusiastic. Joy began to grow in my belly until I felt ready to burst. I was back. Relaxed and ready to face my life with clarity and forebearance, it made me realise that as a family we had gone from one health drama to the next over the past twelve months. COVID was the least of our concerns (and for that I feel so blessed). We were weary, and I think I was rundown and exhausted, both emotionally and physically. Those four days in bed, though, were a God-send. My incredible Gary did everything and wouldn’t let me do anything except rest. It made me realise how important it was for me (in particular given I was, in general, the one everyone came to if they had a problem) to have some time each day to build myself up. I needed to pour truths and spiritual sustenance into my heart so that heart was never running on empty again.

So each day, my goal is to spend a whole hour by myself without being interrupted. I am making a sign for my door so everyone knows to leave me alone. Unless they have lost a limb. Then and only then can they knock on the door. And even then I may not come.

I’m joking.

At least, I think I am…

My second goal is to spend an hour outside each day. It doesn’t matter to me whether I am walking or simply lying by my front door soaking (freezing) up any rays of sunshine. It is all about the vitamin D and making sure we all have enough. Vitamin D deficiency is known to be a factor of COVID deaths so I thought I’d do my bit. I shall encourage the offspring to follow my lead, although I’m fairly certain that they will refuse to lie on the freezing ground by the front door… so a walk it is… or gardening – I could put them to work! – they’d LOVE that!


That is the one thing I felt we got right last term. Our school day was beautifully balanced between workbooks (getting the basics in), delight learning (Abs baked whilst Becs sewed) and project based work (a unit study on the Edwardian times), as well as finishing off Apologia Botany.

My goal is that we finish the Edwardians off by the end of this half term, and give a presentation, continue with baking for Abs (she is going to focus on cupcakes) and sewing for Becs (she is going to learn to patchwork). I want to finish off Apologia Zoology I, and maybe do one lesson a week from Mystery of History: Ancient Civilisations. And, of course continue with the workbooks. We have probably had the most successful school term ever for the littles last year and I want to continue maximising that success.


This has been my nemesis since Charlotte became unwell. I really, really (really) want to keep blogging: for myself because it is very healthy for me to have a hobby, and for my children because they love having a record of their childhood. I shall try really, really hard to blog on a fairly regular basis. The girls and I have vague plans which are slowly becoming more concrete for creating an online shop attached to my blog. Charlotte has already published a book of poetry, and has many more book drafts in the pipe line. Lillie would like to use her art to create birthday and Christmas cards as well as offering to carry out commissions. And I have a couple of projects I have been working on for a while… Our combined goal is to create one product between us a month and open up the shop sometime over the summer. We are going to have a girls’ night once a week for brainstorming ideas and catching up what each of us has been working on. Fun family times ahead!

I guess that’s it. No major goals, just keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus and my heart fixed on my family.

What are your goals for the year ahead?


  1. I’ve found, for my own mental health, that sometimes one has to allow oneself to “crumple” for a day or two. I’m so glad that you did just that, and that your family supported you in it.

    The littles are no longer looking so little. Wow!

    Sending love from across the pond xo

    1. I had to look twice to work out whether it was Becs or Charlotte sitting up on the counter! They are all growing up so fast (and so well).

  2. I think those are great goals and a wonderful word of the year! I try to carve out “me” time each day too and we walk whenever it’s not freezing freezing cold or rainy.

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