Sunday, January 12, 2014

Twenty Thirteen Recap and Looking Forward

2013 was busy.  I didn't make enough time during the year to process every meaningful thing that happened and to try to analyze it all now would be too hard. So I won't. But here's a short description of what it was like:

I fell in love.

I survived my first 9-5 job and my year as an AmeriCorps VISTA and moved on to another position in December earning my first full time salary!

I joined Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

I dealt with divorce and death at the same time, tasting a kind of grief that felt like too much.

I went to Nashville for the first (second, third, and fourth) time!

I adopted the label "queer."

I became a faithful viewer of DearNaptural85's vlog.


I realized that "germophobic grump" is an accurate description of me.

I turned 25.

I shaved my head.

I got a lot better at doing my eyebrows.

I gained a new respect for individuality and human dignity.

I grew distant from my closest  friends.

I came out to my sisters (who didn't already know), my women's group at church, and MY PARENTS.

I shacked up with Hannah.

I ate lots of salads...and tacos. So many tacos.

I went to museums and art openings.

God frequently amazed me with undeserved faithfulness and kindness.


Although we're almost two weeks into the new year, I'm just now experiencing the feeling of a new season beginning. January 2013 was extremely significant to me. It was a dramatic month with equal parts hardship and excitement. On this day (the second Sunday in January) last year, I went to a certain church for the first time. I was incredibly sad that day-- filled with turmoil and unsure of how to proceed with my relationship with God or in my friendship/ relationship with Hannah who I'd just began dating some days before. It was a hard church service for me to get through. Today I woke up in a good mood (something that doesn't happen often) excited to go to that same church. We (Hannah and I) got there just as worship was starting and as I stood singing to God, God took my thoughts back to a year ago. I immediately began to cry as I realized that I was unbelievably in a much better place today. In 2013 I hadn't been consistently faithful to God. I struggled a lot, felt anxious and depressed frequently, and was not as loving to people as I knew I should be. I felt distant from God frequently, all aspects of our relationship changed in some way. Still, I never stopped talking to God or turning to God for help, and although I didn't realize it throughout the year in the day by day, God slowly moved me forward--away from that particular place of desperate confusion and sadness.

Last week at church I wrote this down during the sermon: "A new season. That season of tiredness, distance, weariness is over. A new season. Stirring afresh. Amen." A paraphrase of the words the elder giving the sermon had just spoken, and my prayer for myself going into the new year. Today, I felt God telling me that it was time for that new season to begin. I am thankful for God's faithfulness and God's grace and God's love. Grace. God's grace...I see it all over my life as I mentally review the past 365 days. I feel it now as God invites me to love more and to worship more and to do so as a person fully accepted by God.

A New Year:

I have lots of hopes and goals for 2014. I want to be better:  loving more actively, living more presently, hiding less, being more consistent and faithful in seeking God and truth, treating myself well, loving my friends and family well, and working hard. I want to finish the things I start, meet the goals I set, and keep the promises I make to myself and to others.

I want to, read through the Bible, schedule more times for quiet time, meditation, and prayer, be firmly established and active in [Jesus loving] community,eat unprocessed foods 85 % of the time, exercise at least 3 times a week, take a  hip hop dance class, continue to improve my cooking and make-up doing skills, journal frequently, drink less alcohol, read 50 books, act boldly and speak loudly, go to therapy, learn more about and invest in organic/natural beauty products, be more OUT, talk to my immediate family and close friends more often, practice compassion, embrace my 9-5 job as an assigned mission from God, finish my MPH application, have a more consistent and cohesive online presence, live on a budget below my means, train for and run a half marathon, and y'know, other things :).

We'll see how it all goes!

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