Most years on New Year’s Eve I sit and reflect and it is easy to remember all the great things that that year brought. As I sit and think about 2013, I have a hard time not thinking of all the not-so-good things. We buried GaGa. We buried my Nana. My parents’ house was broken into. My dad was involved in a pretty bad car accident (thankfully no one was badly injured). I lost my job of four years due to budget cuts. I took another job where I worked for almost 6 months with no pay. I spent my 30th birthday having food poisoning. I gained back about 15 pounds of the weight I worked so hard to lose. My daddy spent the last three months of the year in and out of the hospital. Our home was broken into. When I think of those things, it is easy to think that 2013 was a terrible year.
But 2013 also brought positive things. We started the year with a ski trip. I finished my first half-marathon. We celebrated our sweet precious Addisyn’s first birthday with BOTH of our families there. Ansleigh graduated from VPK. Lolli helped us enjoy Ansleigh’s dance recital. I ran my fastest 5K ever. We spent a week at the beach and got to see both famiIies. I presented at a summer workshop and people actually liked what I had to say. We started working with the youth group at church. I got to take and pick up my daughter from school and experience the car loop. We made many Disney memories with lots of Disney magic, including a FREE trip for four to Night of Joy and trips later in the year with both sets of grandparents. I was able to go on a life-changing vision trip to Boston with our church. I got an incredible job teaching at an incredible school with incredible people. We have developed a deep bond with our Life Group at church. We watched Ansleigh’s faith flourish through sweet precious late night (late for her) talks and the ministries of our church (AWANA, Kids Choir, Sunday School, etc.). We watched Addi bloom into an adorable cuddly little fireball. We had the opportunity to sponsor a child through Compassion International and even got our first letter from her. Ansleigh ran her first two races. I began being discipled by a very Godly woman in our church who has been in my shoes. I was blessed to see another solo performance of Anthony’s in our church’s annual Christmas concert. We celebrated Ansleigh’s 6th birthday with a trip to Legoland. We spent Thanksgiving AND Christmas with family.
2013 was a year that we were shaped and molded by the Father. It was a year where He taught us to trust him, even when we can’t see where He is taking us. It was a year where we struggled, but grew closer to the Lord. It was a year where I really began to realize that things that come from money are a luxury and that so many other things are just more important. Spending this holiday season with our families was just so much more important to me because we won’t always have them with us. That is a hard pill to swallow, but it is truth. This world is not our home and we belong with Jesus. We are just visiting and while my selfish desires are to keep my loved ones here with me always, I have realized that every moment I have with them is precious and should be valued. Each memory being made is a precious gift from the Lord and is more valuable than any “thing” I could be given or purchase.
As we begin 2014, there are a few things I’d like to try and focus on this year:
· Pray more, complain less
· Work as hard at home as I do at school
· Be a blessing to others—I want to try to be as selfless as my parents have always been
· Get back into the habit of exercising
· Drink more water
· Be more patient with my children
· Care more, not less
· Be more compassionate
These aren’t really "resolutions", but just goals I want to work toward. We should all always be working on bettering ourselves in some way. I’d love for you to ask me how it is going throughout the year, especially with the drinking more water thing, as I almost always have a Coca-Cola in my hand.
I hope your 2014 is full of blessings and that you make an abundance of memories that will mean a lot to you. I wish you health and happiness in the year to come.