The Manhattan cityscape is a beautiful creative habitat! I'm looking at it right now as I write this from our hotel room 32 stories up in the heart of NYC - Times Square.
To be honest, I can't believe I am here. I am not a fan of huge crowds and always find myself grateful to be sitting in my cozy home or really anywhere other than Times Square on New Year's Eve. As I watch the ball drop year after year, I think to myself, "Whew, So glad I'm not there!"
Well, I can't say that this year because I am in the center of all the action, thankfully in a hotel room and not braving the frigid cold! They are saying this may be the coldest New Year's Eve in New York to date! Prayers for all those facing the chilly weather now.
Also, prayers for our country. As I face my very real fears of terrorism sitting in the biggest US city in one of the most saturated crowds on the planet and awaiting one of the most watched global televised events of the Times Square Ball Drop, I find myself contemplating the state of our weary world.
Despite my fears, I've been told by multiple people including the police officers I personally spoke with over the past couple hours that Times Square is the safest place to be on New Year's Eve. There are police officers and SWAT teams everywhere! They have closed all of the parking garages, removed all of the trash cans, and welded all of the sewer holes surrounding Times Square. So, with all these protective measures, why was I so fearful to come on this trip?
There is the obvious fear of leaving my kids. They are with their grandmas in Colorado while my husband and I get some alone time here in NYC. Now, don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for their help and know my kids are in good hands and loving arms. I am also grateful for alone time with my husband who planned this trip a year ago using hotel points he has been saving for this VERY experience. I AM grateful for the experience, but ladies...make no mistake...this is a HUGE trip of faith for me!
The fear I felt leading up to this trip ruined several nights of sleep and resulted in me trying to sell our Times Square hotel room on Craigslist and also booking 2 airbnb lofts in Brooklyn - both of which I have since cancelled. Speaking of cancelling, I almost cancelled our flights! Imagine how that would have gone over with my husband who has put as much effort into planning this trip as I have put into unplanning it!
All this to say, this trip is AN ACT OF LOVE! I have had many opportunities along this journey to turn around and say NO...from buckling my kids into Gammy's car and saying goodbye while mommy "goes on an adventure with daddy," to driving to the Denver airport to stepping on each of the 4 planes it took to get from Colorado where I left my kids to this very hotel room.
But instead, I said YES!
YES to adventure with my husband.
YES to what has turned out to be one of the coolest hotel rooms I have ever stayed in.
YES to trusting God with my kids while we are in NYC for a few days.
And YES to trusting God to protect not only my husband and I here in Times Square but the millions
of others waiting for that 2018 ball to drop.
I've decided 2018 will be my "Year of Yes!"
YES to God's best! NO to worry.
One of my most special Christmas gifts this year, other than this NYC trip, is a pendant necklace with my favorite verse - Philippians 4:13 - I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me...including enjoy Times Square on New Year's Eve which I am signing off to do now.
Trusting the best is yet to come in 2018 as I take steps of faith to continue to develop Creative Habitat as a nonprofit coworking space with coop childcare to support moms in my new hometown of Des Moine, IA and beyond! I envision a space where moms can come and tap into their creative gifts and refuel while their kids also have a space to develop their creativity - all for a much lower price than paying for daycare or a babysitter while also being surrounded by a community of support for the whole family! WIN/WIN/WIN!
I'll keep you posted on the progress of this project! In the mean time, wishing you a creative and refueling year ahead!
Everyone in my house is asleep and I should probably use this time to order groceries which I have been meaning to do all day - but all I want to do is sit in front of the Christmas tree and take in this pocket of peace.
As I sit here in the soft glow of Christmas lights I can't help but sense God's goodness and faithfulness over the past year. 2017 has been a year of transition and new beginnings - it's also been a year of personal editing - and making value-based life decisions.
Little did I know this editing and refining process would lead our family to plant roots in Iowa. In fact, a year ago, I had never even been to Iowa! Despite my initial hesitation to accept Des Moines given I LOVED living in San Diego, I knew in my heart it was time for a change.
As with most changes, we have faced ups and downs throughout the transition but overall Iowa has been an awesome fit for our family. For the first time in a long time, we have margin allowing our family to spend more quality time together and allowing me to invest more time in the development of Creative Habitat.
Here are a few highlights from 2017:
- Bringing a baby girl into the world!
- Soaking up our last few months visiting our favorite places in San Diego.
- Potty training my son!!!
- Finding a home!!!
- Making a cross-country drive with 2 kids and 2 dogs!
- Embracing a new state and city with an open heart and open mind - this is a huge blessing.
- Enjoying quiet time with my husband for our weekly "Deck Dates."
- Getting connected with local moms and mompreneurs here in Des Moines.
- Starting to work with my own mom to serve others.
- Attending MOMCON as an exhibitor in Kansas City, MO!
- Developing the Forming Hands Clay workshop with my mom to help women discover and develop their God-given creative gifts. - Scheduling these workshops for MOPS groups across the nation starting Spring 2018!
- Dabbling in Instagram - it took me a while but I finally started using this platform to post updates on my creative process while continuing to develop Creative Habitat. You can follow this creative journey @creativehabitatmoms
- Training a VA to help share Creative Habitat resources on social media starting in the new year so I can focus on my strengths (after trying to manage by myself, I have come to realize posting on social media feels like it takes more effort than I can realistically give) so I've decided to ask for help!
- Pivoting my focus from online coaching to developing a business plan for a nonprofit coworking space with coop childcare - a physical Creative Habitat to serve moms.
- Starting to look into spaces to house this Creative Habitat coworking/coop childcare space here in the Greater Des Moines area.
- Connecting with the local law school to request help in establishing Creative Habitat as an official 501(c)3. I will be working directly with a group of law students and their professor as part of their legal clinic and course project starting in the new year. I am very excited about this opportunity!
- Laying the foundation to launch a Founding Moms Exchange in Des Moines starting early 2018.
- Attending the Legit Local Market as an exhibitor with my mom in November and getting featured on the local news!
- Feeling comfortable in my own skin - letting go of my insecurities about what others may think about my decision to pursue this Creative Habitat vision.
- Finding joy in the simple act of developing creative habits and tapping into my creativity. I truly believe I am a better mom, wife, and friend as a result of carving out creative time and space to refuel regularly!
As I look ahead to 2018, I am filled with hope knowing when God begins a good work in us, He will complete it (Philippians 1:6). Trusting 2018 will be a year of fulfilled promises for this vision I have nurtured with God's help for the past 3 years.
Thank you for sharing this journey of faith with me. As always, wishing you creative and refueling days ahead!
I am launching a guest blog series starting next week. I look forward to sharing other moms creative habits and creative gifts with you! If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please follow this link for more details!