Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcome 2015.

One year ago, just after the clock struck 12 and we welcomed the new year, I made the bold prediction that 2014 was going to be a great year. I just knew it.

Ringing in 2014.

I was right.

2014 was wonderful for many reasons. This year was full of new opportunities, new relationships, chances to trust in God, and answered prayers. It was also full of challenges, hardships, disappointments, and even some tears. It wasn't a perfect year, but in my opinion, it was the best.

Every year has trials. But if you can come out stronger on the other end of them, it's a win. I had some very low points this year, but I'm a much better person because of them. I learned not to take anything for granted. I learned that God has my back no matter what. And I'm starting to learn (though I'm not quite there yet) that I shouldn't let what other people think of me dictate what I think of myself. 

This morning, we had to put my sweet dog Zoey down. We've had her for a little over 7 years and it was a hard but necessary decision.

RIP Zoey Holiday, August 3, 2001 - December 31, 2014.

Losing her was hard, but I can only imagine that the pain is just a small fraction compared to the loss that several others I know have experienced this year. I can't even begin to understand what those people have gone through.

If you're one of those people, I'm truly sorry. Know that you are so loved by so many and we are all hoping and praying that God will bless your socks off in 2015.

2014 was a hard year. For some people more than others, but in some respect it was a hard year for everyone. For me, it started out great until I had a mental breakdown over what seemed to be a hopeless job search this summer. A mental breakdown that lasted about 3 weeks during which time I was convinced I was going to be unemployed and have to live in a cardboard box on the side of the road. And then God said "watch this" and blew my mind with the best job ever. And everything was great again for about a week until I realized that the best job ever was actually the hardest job ever and the mental breakdowns started all over again. And then my dog died.

So yeah, I could say that 2014 sucked.

But I actually think it was the best year I've had so far.

I want to end the year with looking back on all the great things that happened. I've done this every year for the past 3 or 4 years and I really believe it makes the upcoming year better, to start off with a positive perspective. I would highly encourage you to to do the same. Think of all the ways God pulled through for you this year. How you were blessed this year. Adventures you had this year. Write them down. Post them in the comments. Start your own blog and post them (and send me the link!). Whatever works for you. Just do it.

Okay, stepping off my soapbox now.

Here are my top moments from this year.

1. I started this blog with this post.

I've been blogging for years, but felt like it was time for a fresh start (I'm very big on fresh starts). I wanted to go in with a bang so I wrote a very personal post about my life struggle with insecurity. It is one of my most popular posts. 

That post is what my vision for this blog is all about. I want to be real. I know from experience that sometimes the most encouraging thing someone can say to you is hey, I struggled with that too. Expect a whole lot more of that in 2015 (of course with a few fun posts sprinkled in).

It was a week of firsts! I've always wanted to ski and I must admit I am horrible at it and will probably never go again (because OUCH) but hey, it was an experience.

3. Fast forward to August (because apparently April - July were pretty mundane) when God totally pulled through for me even though I was waist deep in doubt at the time.

My most popular post of the year is the story of how I got my teaching job. Anyone who has ever doubted God should read it. So, everyone.

4. Cake.

There was a lot of cake this year. Actually, there were two cakes. And A LOT of cupcakes. Like...500 or something. Maybe more. I don't know. I stopped counting.

I got to do TWO weddings this year: one wedding cake and one bushel of cupcakes. How much is a bushel? Is it less than 150 cupcakes? Because that's how many I made. I bet that's more than a bushel.

What even is a bushel? That word is starting to look weird.

5. I turned 21, almost went blonde (but not even remotely close), and got a new cat.

All this is discussed in my last post and I don't want to sound like a broken record so why don't you just go check it out yourself?

6. I learned a lot of hard, but good, lessons about God.

Like, He won't rip me off. His plan is way better than mine. I don't always need to understand why because He will work it out in the end. He will fill in all the spaces I'm lacking as long as I'm living for Him. 

I need reminders constantly, so I started a little thing on Instagram called #RomansTwelveTwosday because you know I love combining words. Basically, Tuesday is my least favorite day of the week. And there's been this thing around for awhile called Transformation Tuesday and one Monday night, as I laid in bed dreading the next day, I was thinking of Transformation Tuesday and how my mind needed some transforming on Tuesday. And then I remembered Romans 12:2 --

"Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

And I was like, "That's what I need! To be transformed by the renewing of my mind!" And ever since I have been posting encouraging verses/quotes on Instagram on Tuesdays as a reminder to myself (except the past two Tuesdays because I'm on break and never know what day it is).

Follow along by checking out #RomansTwelveTwosday. Feel free to participate, but I'm not trying to start anything. I just like making up funny hashtags. Though if it caught on, that'd be really cool.

Also this year, I crossed 4 things off my bucket list, so that's cool.

Anyway, as I was saying, 2014 was a great year.

But somehow, I think 2015 will be even better.
So bring it on, 2015. Let's do this.

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