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I'm so glad you are here. I'm Elizabeth and this is the blog. This is the space I tend to. The place I share my heart and our stories. I pack these pages full of tips, stories, adventures, travels, outfits, and recipes. It's a little bit of everything and a whole lot of me. My hope is that these words & photos would encourage & inspire you. That being here will brighten things at least a little bit. Please stick around & explore. There is something here for everyone! Click through the categories below for more! 

Fresh Starts

Hello 2016 - Fresh Starts and the New Year

When the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve I feel like Cinderella – running into a new year, leaving shoes behind, feeling like everything is the same but that nothing is really the same (love me some mixed emotions 😉 ) My car doesn’t turn into a pumpkin on the way home and my dress doesn’t reveal itself as tattered and torn – in fact my life looks pretty much exactly the same moments into the new year – but at the same time it feels like everything is different. The magic of the clock and the new time stamp sets something afire in my soul – Fresh Starts. 

To be honest with you it gives me the fluttery butterflies mixed with sheer terror – just like falling in love (and I imagine what Cinderella felt as she fled the ball.) The new year can hold so much hope – dreams, goals, adventures, resolutions, and new beginnings. But it also carries a terrifying pressure – “better get it right this time”  with a lot of “go, go, go!” and “achieve, achieve, achieve!”

This is one of the first years since blogging that I dint make resolutions (2011, 2012) or pick a word (2013, 2014) or verse for the year (2015.) I just kinda ran into it like Cinderella with hope for the future but also a little confusion because life is messy and beautiful and busy.

I have dreams and plans for this space that I have not yet sat down to iron out. I have goals with work and have had conversations about budgets, giving, health insurance, and other grown up responsibilities. I’ve scribbled down notes on scrap paper and let myself chose community over planning. I’ve picked little changes over massive planning sessions and I’ve held vision meetings in the car as we drive around town.

The balance of setting goals (big heavy goals for life and this blog) colliding with spending time with friends and family, sleeping, and other wise not working all the time is one I have yet to figure out. I do know one thing – that pressure to have my life figured out before the clock strikes 12 is a burden I don’t need to bear.

Because new plans and fresh starts don’t need to come with the first day of the year or the 12th strike of the clock. Sometimes fresh starts feel the same – mixed with a lot of the old and a little bit of new. Sometimes the goals take days to form and the changes take weeks to put into place. This year I am okay with a slower start – heck I need it!

When the holidays settle down and the time to sit down to goal plan opens up, I will soak it in and dream away. Until then I’ll sleep in, spend time with family, and give myself a little grace to start a new year without a bang.

xoxo, elizabeth
  • I love your perspective on this! I hope that 2016 will be a wonderful year for you as you balance all that life brings you. You already have such a great way of choosing the right priorities =)

    Happy New Year, Elizabeth! I’m excited to follow along.

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much Emily! And thank you also for your encouragement!

  • Girl, I’m right there with you! I typically pick a word for the year, but in the midst of quitting my day job to blog/design full time (YAY!) it totally slipped my mind. Embrace the tiny moments of change and the messiness of life!

    Chelcey | http://www.chelceytate.com

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! You go girl! I love that! Sometimes the biggest changes don’t come January 1st!!!

  • This is my favorite post about the new year!! The week of Christmas, my husband found out that he was losing his job. He is a youth pastor, and the church has been financially struggling. He didn’t do anything wrong, they just can no longer pay him. Since we live in a REALLY depressed area of Michigan, there is no way that he could find a job to support the family (we have three kids) and stay with our teens. It’s hard, but we know God is in it. The New Year has stressed me out. We have through this month to hopefully find a new position, or we will be moving in with my parents. This new year has stressed me out far more than it has excited me. But, you are so right. I can set goals once life settles down again and we know where we will be and what we’ll be doing.

    • Oak & Oats

      Ashley,

      Life is so crazy right now – know that I am praying for you during this hard season! Trusting the Lord into the new year is the best thing you can do for your Husband and your family! I look forward to seeing how the Lord provides for you in 2016!!

  • Cute post! What is up with us girls and Cinderella? I wrote a similar post a few days ago about any entirely different topic, and this is why I love blogging! Happy New Year!

    http://backwardsnhighheels.com/2015/12/19/rocking-cinderella/

    • Oak & Oats

      Oh fun! I am checking it out now!!

  • Happy new year, Beth!

    Everyone has different perspective in regards to so many things in this universe. Some knew what they wanted right away while it takes times for the others. So what? No biggie. I’d say go sip on that cup of Christmas tea with an awesome snowing view (though I am drinking a cup of plain water and enjoying the rain breeze here in Singapore HAH!) while you figure out how this brand new year is heading. I mean, it’s only the third day into this new chapter.

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • I’m always excited to see what new things you’ll dream up for this space next, Beth! (And I’ve never picked a word/verse so I’m running into 2016 in simple faith, too! Haha)

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so much Julie! And yeah for simple faith – I think we all need those years and moments!

  • Beth, this is so beautifully written! I typically don’t pick resolutions because I don’t like the feeling of being tied down by a few goals (that, let’s be realistic, don’t always happen!). I do choose a word, but it’s typically a feeling that I want to have throughout the year. What’s really going to stick with me, though, is what you said about the New Year– “that pressure to have my life figured out before the clock strikes 12 is a burden I don’t need to bear.”

    Yes, yes, and yes. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    • Oak & Oats

      Love you Kiki! And yes, I feel the same way about goals and plans. I’ve tried to be intentional yet Trust the Lord. This year already looks a bit different but it is what my heart needs – simple faith.

  • Happy new year dear one! I have never done New Years resolutions actually. I don’t really know why. I tend to set little goals all through the year I guess!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much Rachel! And yes, little goals over time is a wonderful plan!

  • This is beautiful! I struggle with the balance of running after my dreams and goals and still choosing community and people over productivity and efficiency. It’s a hard one, but I’m right with you – maybe we don’t have to have it all figured out and can just keep joyfully and expectantly moving forward! Beautiful post!

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! It is funny how those can collide. This year I am starting with simple faith and it is a good rest for my heart!