Refocusing in January


January. You enter bringing hopes of newness and something fresh. New goals, fresh start, a refocus. Whatever it is you want to call it, it happens. And then life happens and it’s so easy to forget or get distracted or even give up on what seemed important and urgent January 1. I get it because I can say that is me. That is my life. And yet. Yet, I want to continue to pursue those things that were on my heart as January 2017 opened. Those ideas of others and refocus. I’m pursuing those. Yes, I’m not exactly where I want to be but I’m a work in progress and I’m going to keep on pursuing with grace on my mind and not perfection.

Grace is not easy for me to give myself. Most of the time I can give that out to others but not receive it for myself. But I’ve been reading about what grace looks like in other people’s lives because stories help me to understand. Understanding helps me to accept and hopefully apply.

I’ve been working through a short devotional called Rhythms & Grace from Amen Paper Company. It is short and simple and it’s exactly what I need right now. You see I’ve spent years studying theology and I’m solid in what I believe. Heck, I even when to seminary and graduated but knowing something and living it out are different. That rub has been with me for a while and I’ve been off and not myself of who I know I am. So I made a decision to go back to simple. To listen to stories of others, stories of and about Jesus and let that work its way through my heart. I want to be back to my normal now, today or yesterday but grace says I can get there without a deadline. Humans are a work in process. This human is working through the process and learning rhythms through grace and by grace.

2017 might be the best year. It might be my best year. It might not be either but in the end if I get grace just a little more, 2017 might just end on the hope with which it started.

Rhythms & Grace has been teaching me a few things I thought I would share:

from Day 3

“I want Him to tune my heart to hear His voice above all the other voices that seem so much louder”.

My response: Lord, tune My Heart to hear your grace.

from Day 5

“I want to surrender the way of the critical, harsh, perfectionist taskmaster in exchange for the way of the gentle Father”.

My response: Can I give up striving for perfect and embrace the gentleness of grace?

 from Day 8

“Grace is love that seeks me out when I have nothing to return”.

My response: Do I give that grace to others?

from Day 9

“I had come to care more about what my life looked like than I did about Him”.

My response: Ouch!

I’m not finished with this little devotional yet and once I’ve finished it, I think I’ll read it again. It’s been that powerful. Simple, piognent and powerful!

Much of my refocus has been on my faith but it’s also been on what I’m wearing and how I’m approaching my wardrobe. Refocusing has encompassed what I’m eating and how I’m staying fit too.

I’ll leave you with January in pictures. A few of my favorite looks posted on Instagram. Shopping my closet daily and recording outfits using the hashtag #frommycloset2017 has been super helpful to me. See a pattern here? I’m understanding my go-to style so much better by this little experiment.

januarylooksA sampling of what I’ve been eating in January. Simple, clean, healthy and yummy!

januaryfoodWhat did early mornings in January look like? THIS!

januaryexerciseBye, January! You always have short days and long nights but I feel blessed that you motivate me to refocus!

Friends, what did your January look like? Would love to know….leave me a comment.

Have the BEST last day of January and let’s welcome February with some LOVE!

Carrie ~ xoxo






  • Katie Mitchell
    Your words are positive and powerful to me Carrie!! I need to refocus too...I went a little off track in January with my word...savor! The only thing I think I savored was my time alone and early bedtimes! January is always the toughest for me! Too dark, too early and not enough excitement like the holidays! It kinda drops me down a notch if that makes it weird that as I'm writing this, I feel like it could be a blog post?!? Lol...Maybe I'll write it! Have a fabulous day! And yes! Can't wait to begin the month of LOVE...the world could us more of that!!
    • Good morning, sweet friend! I think you should write a blog post about it. It sounds wonderful! For me, I've decided to write these type of posts this year. It's what I wanted to do all along. Truthfully, I felt constricted by the previous title of my blog. Now I feel empowered to talk about all sorts of things were "fit" applies. Have a beautiful day!
  • Grace is so very important, isn't it...I need to focus on this more. Great post.
    • Oh it is! I realize that more and more each day!
  • Love the idea of refocusing. I will join you in this! Mary
    • That is awesome, sweet Mary!
  • "I’ve been reading about what grace looks like in other people’s lives because stories help me to understand." I love learning through story! Even Jesus taught that way! It's be BEST way to learn! Thanks for sharing yours!
    • Totally agree with you, Sheila! Stories...the bomb!
  • I love that devotional you're reading. I think I might have to take a look at that too. Grace, love the thought and everything that is behind it.
  • Thoughtful post, Carrie. Your devotional sounds like just what you need for now. I am thoroughly enjoying Mary Clewley's (from GYPO group) Victorious Living. It is a workbook - love - that speaks to me almost every single day through its simple, uplifting assignments.