Fifteen Things I Learnt in Twenty Fifteen

This week that follows Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. I love the ending of the year with it’s reflections on what has been and it’s anticipation for what will be. So as 2015 comes to a close let me share with you fifteen things I have learnt this year.

1. Having a baby and a toddler is hard!

Fifteen Things I learnt in Twenty Fifteen | The Open Home

Duh! I know, I know, surely I already knew this? Well yes, but only in theory. I now know this to be true in practice. The age difference between my girls is 20 months so I currently have a 2.5 and 1 year old. It’s been the most demanding, sleep deprived and challenging year I’ve ever had, but it has grown me as a person, as a mother and as a wife, it’s stretched my faith and filled my life with more love and happiness than I could ever have imagined.

2. Exercise should take priority


At the start of 2015 I read an excellent book called Everybody Matters, which I reviewed {HERE}. This book really challenged my priorities and helped me to see that focusing first on physical discipline will in turn lead to spiritual discipline. This is something I’m hoping to focus on in the new year.

3. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful

Fifteen Things I learnt in Twenty Fifteen | The Open Home

I struggled with perfectionism in my teens and early adult years, something The Husby has helped me to overcome, but this simple phrase from the Nester has truly made a difference. Decorating our home and completing craft projects are the only areas where I tend to find my perfectionist past creeping up on me but I now simply recite the above phrase and feel refreshed and liberated to know that it truly doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

4. I finally like living in Guernsey

Fifteen Things I learnt in Twenty Fifteen | The Open Home

After many years of planning to get off this little rock I actually realised this year that I am finally happy living where I am. Maybe it’s because I am older, wiser and more appreciative of my home town or perhaps it’s because I feel we’re exactly where God wants us to be.

5. Post natal depression comes in different shapes and sizes

Fifteen Things I learnt in Twenty Fifteen | The Open Home

I hadn’t realised that I had a stereotype of what post natal depression was until I found myself with it earlier this year. Perhaps I’ll share about my experience at a later date but for now all I’ll say is that mental health is a complex thing and not a one size fits all. Don’t generalise. Don’t assume.

6. Love languages are so very important

Fifteen Things I learnt in Twenty Fifteen | The Open Home

I personally find the 5 love languages to be fascinating and such a useful tool. I heard of them back in 2010 but actually only read up on them in depth this past year. Don’t underestimate the importance of expressing love to your partner in a way that communicates deeply with them – it really is what makes or breaks a marriage.

7. I am a minimalist

Fifteen Things I learnt in Twenty Fifteen | The Open Home

I’ve always been super organised and a bit of a neat freak, but I hadn’t realised until this year that I was in fact already a minimalist. It turns out that books on decluttering, tidying up and organising my home really aren’t that life changing for me.

8. Gardening should be a family affair

Fifteen Things I learnt in Twenty Fifteen | The Open Home

I don’t understand people who don’t like gardening, I mean what’s not to like? Fresh air, green grass, pretty flowers, tweeting birds? Gardening really is one of the best therapies for all ages and a great family bonding activity, we’ve made some wonderful memories this year working alongside each other in the garden.

9. To embrace white

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Despite all the nay sayers who said go cream we decided to go with our gut and embrace white walls and I am so glad we did! Don’t be afraid of white – even with children!

10. Welsh cakes are my favourite food

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It’s no secret that my family are partial to welsh cakes. They tend to be our fancy breakfast treat of choice and a Christmas morning tradition in our home. It was in fact this Christmas morning that I realised that if I were on my death bed and told I could eat one last meal, it would be welsh cakes! So please, no chocolates, just welsh cakes!

11. Marriage is more about making us holy than it is about making us happy

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A tough concept to swallow but it in fact holds many truths. Marriage highlights our flaws and refines us like no other human relationship can. It is not the easy, fairy tale route to happiness that many assume it to be, it takes work and it takes commitment.

12. Women are scary

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Being a stay-at-home mum can be pretty isolating at times, especially with a newborn in the house and nap schedules to work around. In my attempts to find mum friends to walk through life with I have come to the realistation that we women are scary! We hang out in protected packs that are hard to infiltrate, we have our preferred parenting styles and unwittingly add to each others mummy guilt. Here’s hoping 2016 is a little less scary on the mum dating scene!

13. Teenagers aren’t as scary as I thought!

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When The Husby became a Youth Pastor in spring of this year I was slightly nervous about his focus on pastoring youth despite knowing this was where God was leading us. I mean, teenagers didn’t really like me when I was a teenager so why on earth would they like me now! So yes, I was daunted to say the least but it turns out that God knows best and the teenagers we work with are all pretty great. Phew!

14. I’m not as adventurous as I used to be 

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This realisation made me a little sad. Perhaps its because I’m older or now a mother with more to consider but I do not feel as bold and courageous as I once was.  So my challenge for the new year – how can I maintain an open heart and adventurous spirit?

15. I have a holy discontent

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Photo Credit: Home for Good

Whatever we want to call it – a mission, a purpose, a passion, a calling, a God-sized dream or even holy discontent, we all have something that breaks our heart, shakes our soul and makes us want to take action and make things right in the world. Personally, my heart breaks for orphans and vulnerable children found within orphanages and the care system. I believe all children deserve a loving and safe family home and I believe the church should be part of the answer in finding them.

What did you learn in 2015?

5 thoughts on “Fifteen Things I Learnt in Twenty Fifteen

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