There is just something about ringing in a new year that brings hope and optimism to my heart. Over the years, it always seems that no matter how dark things seem around me, the Lord abundantly makes it clear that He has had His hand on me, and that I should walk in the peace of that.
This year is no different.
No matter what lies before me, I rest confidently in the promise that He hems me in behind and before.
Where are you tonight, reading this?
For those of you who are new to this blog, and have not traveled with us this last year, let me introduce myself. My name is Heather, and I have been building and developing The Welcoming House blog seriously for almost exactly a year. Tomorrow, in fact, is our one year birthday, and that is such an amazing cause for celebration around here that I am not sure you would believe it.
Until January 2012 this blog was actually rarely used, with simple postings occasionally about our family, our adoption of our two littles, things the Lord laid on my heart, etc. It was rarely read, and rarely shared with anyone, almost an online journal if you will.
But late last Fall, around the same time as us finally seeing the answer to a 9 year old prayer to own our own home again, the Lord really began to lay on my heart that what HE had taught me, needed to be shared.
You see, we are not exactly your conventional family. We live in a small town where everyone knows one another’s business, and even here, we stick out. Why? Well, because I may be 37 years old, but I can almost everything we eat for the year. I lovingly raise two HUGE gardens, and was one of the first people here to ever consider using raised beds instead of digging in the ground. Add to that we heat with wood, use a dehydrator, make a million things that we use, just planted a mini-orchard this fall, raise rabbits, and ALL WITHIN CITY LIMITS, causes a lot of people around here pause.
I am a mom to three beautiful girls with a heart to adopt as many as the Lord lands on my doorstep. This passion of mine has been woven into the fabric, and even the name, of this blog. As sister to two beautiful ladies adopted from foster care, and a few others never “officially” adopted, friend to others who were adopted into forever homes,
adoption is simply at the core of who I am and how I think.
 I want my home to always be the place where people can come in and feel welcome.
This blog has been no different. I try to write the way I think and speak, opening my home, my life, my family, and all my crazy passions and pursuits open to you. In December last year, when the Lord laid on my heart to begin using this blog as an outlet for sharing, teaching, writing, encouraging, and talking with others, it has gone from only 800 readers that month to over 25,000 this last month.
I would say that is a pretty incredible thing for a simple piano teacher who loves her kids, loves to teach, loves to can and preserve, and loves to share. Never in a million years would I have thought a single year would be such a crazy, fun , and wild ride.
What does this next year hold?
 I don’t know,
but I am just going to keep doing the things that I do,
sharing them with you,
 passionately encouraging you to step outside the box,
 to think about each thing you do and the impact you can make,
and to approach life
with your arms wide open to receive the blessings God has for you
in the year ahead.
I want to encourage you to join with me here at The Welcoming House, and check back often. I never know what will be coming a week down the road, but it is always a ton of fun to share with you! This is normally how we run things, although I promise you, I am really great at all of sudden changing things up and taking a serious rabbit trail. Mondays are mostly Make it Yourself Mondays (DIY and Preparedness Topics), Tuesdays are ALWAYS tasty, as I share my favorite kitchen recipes and chat about my WonderMill. This year we will begin having new Linkups on Wednesdays where YOU will get your chance to share what is going on over where you blog or write. Thursdays are my day where I take a moment to share the thoughts of my heart for the week, and Fridays are my Fabulously Frugal Fridays, where we talk about mixing up frugality with fun and how to do things that would just not occur to most people in today’s world. 🙂
I hope to see you back here tomorrow as we celebrate our first BIRTHDAY!
May this year be so full of blessings in your life, that the dark moments of the last are completely forgotten.
Many blessings to you and yours,