For this first time in what feels like forever, I am sipping on a vanilla latte, gazing out the window watching cars go by as I settle into the comforting feel and buzz of the chatter at my favorite local coffee shop. Whether writing a paper in college or working on a message for college ministry, planting myself at a little coffee shop to get things done amidst the light chatter and sounds of the espresso machine has always been the perfect environment to encourage the words to pour out from my fingers. So when I had a little time in between appointments and my computer in the backseat I knew that this was just what I needed to spend some time looking back on 2014 before the next year is here.
Growing up in the late 80s/early 90s, when I thought of the year 2020, I pictured an environment very much like the Jetsons. I figured that we would be driving around flying cars, have robot dogs and live in homes that looked like spaceships. Although things are not quite as I hoped as a kid, zooming around in flying cars, I am so thankful for where the Lord has lead me thus far. (and I mean shoot, we have 5 years till 2020- you never know what technology will look like by then!)
Looking back on 2014, here are some of the highlights and lessons that I’ve learned:
- In January, we added Finn to our family!! I learned lots about trusting the Lord as he had many health issues as a kitten, and realized just how much having children someday will require every fiber in my being to rely on the Lord.
- It was a rough winter!!! But that made me super thankful for two things: sunshine and a fireplace!! I cannot tell you enough how much I love making a fire in the fireplace- it is sooo nostalgic of childhoods spent by the fire or trips to Colorado warming up our toes after a long day skiing. I am soo thankful that we were able to get an insert in our previously unusable fireplace to make it a toasty asset for warming our house! You can count on me to be making a fire anytime you come over to visit- it might even be borderline warm outside and this girl will still find a reason to get the fireplace going.
- In March, my sister turned 30! It was so cool to be a part of this monumental year in her life and to see the way that she embraced the sometimes intimidating big 3-0! Celebrating with a scavenger hunt was one of the many fun things we did to honor her special year!
- I definitely learned that friendships are HARD. Struggling with the ebbs and flows of long-time friendships and others that have dropped off the map, I discovered that my desire for community and deep relationships is as strong as the hulk. I’ve learned to rely on the Lord to fill the void left by friendships lost, and I am still learning how to adjust to changes. This has been a huge part of my 2014 and I am eager to see how God grows me and teaches me in this in the next year.
- Surprising my mom by taking her on a trip for her 60th birthday was a ginormous highlight of the year. Thinking she was just going on a trip to an unknown destination with my dad, it was so fun to show up at the airport and reveal to her that we were not just there to send her off but to join for a fun-filled vacay to Maine. This was a first time with my husband on a family trip- so this was a blessing and a learning curve as well.
- This past summer, I finally took the jump into all things Young Living. Having used essential oils for several years, I finally took the dive to sign up, learn more about it, and share with others the immense benefits and blessings that can be found through essential oils (and I’ve already reaped some of the financial benefits too!). They have changed my life, and I can’t wait to put more effort into this endeavor of sharing Young Living in 2015. P.s. want to know more, please let me know!!
- In November, my husband and I took an anniversary trip to Seattle – this was definitely high on the list of highlights. Continuing what we hope will be a tradition of taking a getaway around the time of our anniversary, Chris and I explored and relaxed in the delicious food-filled, beautiful although sometimes rainy location of Seattle. We also marked this 3rd year as a special one by having anniversary photos taken by our wedding photographers who live in Seattle (like the one above- can’t wait to share more). Spending time with Marissa and Meghan, two phenomenal and oh-so-talented photographers who share our love for the Lord, was like donuts for breakfast- a joyful and filling time. They showed us places of the city we hadn't seen, snapped pics, and chatted and laughed over wine and cheese. (It's pretty cool how the Lord connects believers together through his Holy Spirit- I LOVE when this instant bond seems visible.)
This is just a tiny taste of my year and the highlights and lessons I have learned. Don’t get me wrong, there were difficulties and sad moments laced into the good... but overall, I am so thankful because I feel so so blessed. The Lord has been so good to me and my family and He deserves so much praise and thanksgiving for every way that He cares for us.
I am looking forward to 2015 and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store.
May your end of the year be so full of joy and love and bubbly! Praying that you are able to look back with thanks and look forward with hope to what the Lord has planned for you in the next year.