Yum

I closed the books on 2015 in an uneventful way.  We made homemade pizza with the kids and set off fireworks at 7pm (much to Calvin’s chagrin as he’s not a pyro like his brother… yet).  We pretended it was midnight at 7:30pm so they would go to bed on time, then put on our sweats and watched Netflix.  We were in bed and asleep before midnight.

2015 was a big year and certainly would have warranted an all-out celebration.  I committed to a life of sobriety, relaunched my brand, and experienced a bazillion ‘firsts’.  So many firsts!  So many terrifyingly, wonderfully, thrilling moments.  From sharing My Story to live TV to YouTube to a sober New Year’s Eve, I lived this year on the edge of my seat.  But, our quiet New Year’s Eve at home was the perfect way to end this epic year.  Why?  Because it shows that I have finally, after all these years, learned to take care of myself.  My health, my peace, my heart; These are my priorities above any outside expectations.  I have always felt pressure during any holiday to make it “perfect”.  The best Christmas, the best New Year’s Eve, etc…and we all know that never works.  The way to screw up anything fun is to throw expectations at it.  It was a year of letting go of expectations and flapping chickens and allowing God to make real changes inside my heart. I let go of the pressure of what New Year’s should be and let it be what it is in this current season of my life and that’s what made it enjoyable.

Am I making any resolutions for 2016?  Are you kidding?  I broke enough bad habits for a decade!! But in all seriousness, I think this year I’m giving up on making resolutions. Sure, self discipline and personal improvement are wonderful.  But, I know from this past year that true change doesn’t come as an act of the will, but from the grace of God.  Over the decade that I struggled with alcoholism, there were plenty of times that I said I would stop drinking.  The problem was that my will wasn’t strong enough to sustain sobriety.  It’s like using a bandaid when you really need stitches.  My will without my heart isn’t capable of longterm commitment.  The real change that happened in this landmark year came from arriving at a place where I was ready to work on the deeper parts of me, the things that scared me, facing my ugliness, my feelings of unworthiness.  It required an intensive personal inventory (with an amazing therapist) and lots and lots of Kleenex.  In the process, my heart was healed and its desires changed.  How did I finally arrive to that place of openness?  I’m still sifting through the specifics of that, but it involved a lot of prayer from me and from Ryan. God prepared my heart, I did the work and I’m now 9 months and 9 days sober.  So, if there’s one resolution to keep, it’s to do more praying.

I know I couldn’t have scripted what happened in 2015.  God’s a much more creative author than I am.  I’m thankful that the year ahead is in His hands and that my only task is to follow His lead.

…and yes, I’m working on perfecting my pizza so I can share the recipe.

Mushroom Pepperoni Pizza

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Hi! I’m Joanie.

I'm a pro food photographer living in Phoenix, AZ with my hubby and two little dudes. Join me on YouTube for photography and cooking tutorials.

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