15: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I love this time of year. We reflect on the year before us, and dream about what is to come. Yes, you guessed it, I’m one of those “goals” type of people. That person that loves to set goals, achieve, drive, and passionately pursue ideas set deep in my heart. But this New Year feels so different. A year of heartache and challenge has changed me. In a very good. A very rich and real way.

We had a magical white Christmas in Washington. It started snowing on Christmas Eve and continued all night into Christmas morning. The snow was a perfect little Christmas gift. It was almost like the Lord was saying. I see you, Alise. I hear you. I’m here with you. I know these holidays have been joyous and spectacular, and heart breaking at the same time and I want you to know I’ve got good gifts for you. I have GOOD plans and purposes already set in motion for you. I know this year has been hard, and I want you to know I’ve seen it all and I’m here with you. You guys, I was a wreck. I pray I never forget the magic of watching my kids open their gifts this year and playing in the perfect white snow all afternoon. I just want to seal that memory in my brain forever.

I love “calendaring.” Oh you know sitting down with my Emily Ley Simplified Planner and looking at the months ahead, the weeks, the days ahead. I love the potential of what the future holds. The possibilities. The newness of another year. Another month. Another day. This year, the girl who thrives off of “doing,” achieving, and performance wants to learn something new. I love the hustle, I can’t lie. I love the drive. The push for just a little bit more. The rush, feels so good sometimes. But most of the time, while in the moment it can feel good, I find myself so depleted. I recently finished Shauna Niequest’s, book Present Over Perfect and I couldn’t have related to it more. So this year, I don’t have a list of goals or some beautiful bucket list or to do list. While I do love all of those things. I want to create white space. Margin. Room to breathe. Space to hear from my God. I want to say yes to the right things for me. There’s a whole lot out there to say yes to. Lysa Terkerst writes so perfectly about your Best Yes. I want to say no more often, so that I can say Yes to the right things. I’m going to disappoint people this next year. I just am. There’s not really anyway around that. I pray I disappoint those people closest to me as little as possible. My husband, my kids, and my best of friends. I want to get better at being ME this year. At being the woman, wife, mom, and friend God has made me to be. Just me. Simply me. I’m settling in you guys. After 31 years of life, I'm settling into my imperfections and finding confidence in a God who makes me strong. Becoming a mom has made me so much more confident. You realize just how freaking amazing you are mama, right?. I mean come on. We birth children for crying out loud. Anyone who has seen a woman birth a child, knows that is a miracle in itself. Our bodies change and adapt and continue to sustain us even on days we think they might quit. We get puked on and pooped on and peed on all while lovingly nurture tiny humans. We serve and we serve and we give grace to those who come to us asking for it. We try again. We wake up in the morning, when all we want to do sometimes is hide under the covers. We find joy, that can only come from the Lord and we share it with those who enter our home. I mean come on. It’s amazing right? You are a boss, mama. You’re killing it.   

I want to encourage all of you to get quiet, if you haven’t already, and  sit with the Lord. Ask him to give you a word, a sentence, a purpose for this year. For This season ahead, that lies in front of us.

The Lord has always called me to encourage women while sharing the Hope I have in Jesus. That hasn’t changed. I don’t believe it ever will. So, here I am doing the thing I believe God has called me to. I’m certainly learning, and growing, and working hard at it. Thank you for journeying with me. Friends, go find me on Voxer. That may be one of my very favorite ways to communicate with people in my life. There’s just something so powerful about hearing someone’s voice. Their emotion. Their thoughts, their feelings. I think that’s why I’ve loved podcasts so much. If you haven’t noticed yet, I do like to talk. This we cannot deny. So this your invitation, go find me on Voxer. I’d love to get to know you!

Okay let’s talk reading lists. I’ve been listening to more audio books these days, than I have physically reading them in my hands. I want to share with you a few books that I’ve recently finished and want you to read:

Jen Hatmaker – For the Love

Erin Loechner -  Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path

Lysa Terkerust – Best Yes

Shaun Niequist – Present Over Perfect

Henry Cloud & John Townsend – Boundaries

Dr. James Dobson’s – Bringing Up boys & Brining up girls

Selena Frederick’s – Wife in Pursuit

John & Lisa Bevere – The Story of Marriage

Harville Hendrix – Getting the Love you Want

Rising Strong – Brene Brown

On my 2018 reading list:

Max Lucado’s – Anxious for Nothing

Emily Ley’s – A Simplified Life

Nichole Nordeman’s – Slow Down

Jen Hatmaker – Of Mess & Moxie

If there’s something you’ve read that you LOVE tell me, tell me. Send me a message, I’d love to know what you’re reading and what you’re loving. To be really honest, since having kids I kind of thought I was going to have to give up reading. I mean when was I going to find time for that. But, audio books have changed my life!

Many of you know about one of my favorite FREE resources I offer, but for those of you who are new, here for the first time, I’ve created a FREE 6 Day Email Childbirth Course, designed to prepare you for the best birth experience of your life. We will walk through 1 lesson each day for 6 days, getting you the information you need to make the decisions that are best for you & your family. Head on over to my website at alisemarsh.com and sign up for that course today if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. So I’ve got some news, for you all. My very favorite listeners. I’m creating a full, comprehensive online childbirth course. We will cover it all. Everything you need to know. It will be ready for the world in a few months, and I’m just giddy thinking about you all getting access to this resource first! Hang tight, it’s coming! Sweet goodness at your fingertips from the comfort of your own home, for you to playback at anytime. I’ll keep you all updated as the release date gets closer.

Thank you guys for hanging out with me today. I’m praying for you all. I’m praying for each person within the sound of my voice to feel the love of a God who cares so deeply for them. I’m praying you feel refreshed this New Years. That regardless of your circumstance, you can find hope in a God who has never left you and never will. You are incredible. Remember that, and let that soak in the next few days this week.

I would love to get to know you! Find me on IG @perfectlywonderfullymade and Facebook @yourbirthclass. It would mean so much to me if you would share the show with your friends & family. Email me anytime with your comments about the show alise@alisemarsh.com 

Okay, one last thing before I let you go, would you take a few minutes right now, and scroll down in your podcast app and leave me a rating and write me a review if you haven’t yet? It takes just a few minutes and helps the show so much! I would be so thankful for your support. Thanks for listening! Next week, I’ll be back with another awesome mama and a powerful birth story for you. I’ve got some awesome guests in store for you this year. It’s going to be good. Thanks for joining me! Happy New Year!