2013: The Year in Review...

Last year, I used RA's questionnaire as a end-of-the-year review, and I decided to the same for 2013. It's fun to remember the year and challenging to answer introspective (and retrospective) questions that force me to take an open, honest look at the past twelve months. (It's also pretty entertaining to read my answers from last year and see how many of them changed... and a few that stayed the same.)

  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went to church, sang in the ensemble and choir, kept the nursery during Sunday school, and went to Zaxby's for dinner... you know, glamorous stuff. Oh, and I turned 24.
  2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why? I was able to spend some really sweet quality time with my nieces and nephews, both this summer and at Christmas, and also I think (though it's not one particular event) that Jonathan and I grew closer to each other than ever before. AND I've had some writing opportunities/experiences that have been really exciting!
  3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before? I've been able to get close to some family I didn't get to see much growing up (yay!) and 
  4. What did you want and get? Well, it wasn't on my wish list, but Jonathan got his Mac (finally!) so I received his laptop as a hand-me-down and it's worked out beautifully. No more dinosaur computer that weighed as much as a small foreign car. 
  5. What did you want and not get? A baby =) No, probably a chance to travel more. We have California, Washington, and NYC on our list! 
  6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year? A baby! And a house!
  7. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Psssh... not really. I'm making more but they're not really resolutions as much as they are life changes that need to be made for Jonathan's health (and my own well-being.)  
  8. What was your biggest achievement of this year? Getting a copyright on my first play (publication, come next!), directing the Christmas play that I wrote, writing another (new) play, and becoming more assertive when I need to be.
  9. What was your biggest failure? Still being afraid of controversy when it's necessary, both personally and professionally. Also, I did the whole "eat well and exercise for a while and then fall off the bandwagon" cycle again, which I hate (but, isn't that the American way? I am nothing if not patriotic.)
  10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed? Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (It was posted on the chalkboard on my wall for most of the year.) And caffeine. I'm kidding, but only a little.
  11. What are your strongest recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc) I LOVED (could not love more) The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. As Janssen put it, "If I could write a book, this is the book I would want to have written." Also, discovering Jon Acuff, from his books to his blogs to his Twitter account, has been a major blessing. He is challenging and entertaining and I'm a little ashamed of how many times I've retweeted him. For music, I've been loving The Canadian Tenors, Jim Brickman, Carpenters, Jim Brickman PLAYING Carpenters, Casting Crowns (their lyrics are the BEST), and Michael Buble's To Be Loved has been on repeat since I bought it. I haven't watched a ton of movies this year but of course Psych remains my favorite show and I'm super excited about the return of the The Sing-Off to NBC.
  12. What song will remind you of this year? "The Well" by CC and probably "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman because we've sung it at church a lot. And, thanks to my school program, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." =)
  13. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).   "Life break and falls apart, but we know these are places where grace is... soon to be so amazing." (From "Unredeemed" by Selah.)
  14. What was your most enjoyable purchase? It's hard to narrow down just one but I've been better about consciously making an effort to only buy clothes that I really love, and that's paid off quite a bit. And investing in some nice boots (since I wear them constantly) was a good idea.
  15. Did you travel? If so, where? Yes, to Georgia, Tennessee, and through South Carolina. We're big adventurers over here. But, like I said, we've got some trips planned for 2014 that I'm really excited about. 
  16. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I'd read more books, planned more blog posts, invested myself into others (outside my comfort zone) more, watched more movies, written more notes and cards for people, studied more Scripture, exercised more, and saved money for more experiences than "stuff." 
  17. What do you wish you’d done less of? I wish I'd done less worrying, caring about what others are doing when it doesn't affect me,eating out, stressing out, and doubting myself and my abilities. 
  18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different? I'm closer to seeing some big dreams realized than before and more sure of starting the process to get there (for example, getting a copyright, I hope, will get me a step closer to publication.) I feel like I'm more sure of myself and what my priorities are, and maybe a little better at speaking up when I need to. =)
  19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same? I'm as awkward and self-deprecating as ever. =) Maybe someday I'll wake up a poised, graceful swan but not yet! I'd love to be able to gracefully accept a compliment without immediately deferring to "It's no big deal!" or something similar. I guess I'm still learning the difference between confidence and pride. Right? (Do I sound insecure? =)
  20. What’s a life lesson you learned this year? I'm a naturally curious person and a planner by nature, so often I want to know what's happening and WHY. At lunch with a friend today, I mentioned that I'm thrilled that, at this time last year, I didn't know what the next year would hold. It's been a difficult lesson to learn, and goes against my questioning nature, but knowing God knows what's next (and why) has to suffice. He knows what I can take and only chooses to reveal a little piece at a time, and I'm (slowly) learning to accept that. Psalm says that "the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" but He doesn't necessarily lay out the path (visibly) years, months, or even weeks in advance. So, day-by-day it is... not an easy concept to grasp, but I'm getting there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've also learned that the gifts and passions God's given me are just that... gifts from Him. And if He's entrusted me with certain abilities, I can't ignore them or feel weird about using them. I don't know what opportunities will arise this year, but I want my desires and His will for me to align. And, according to Psalm 37:4, they should: "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
My friend Laura asked us on Twitter the other day to "describe 2013 in one word." I chose challenging, because it was. Overall, I faced more challenges- good and bad- then any year so far, but that's good because it caused growth in my life and change, when needed. Like I said, I can't imagine a year ago knowing what all would take place in 2013, but God knew what was coming and equipped me (even when I didn't feel like it!) for each step of our journey. (This is all sounding very melodramatic and that's not what I'm intending. I didn't climb Mount Everest or backpack across Europe...) 

I'd love to take the hard challenges from this year and learn from them what I should, while taking the new and exciting ones and pushing forward in implementing them in my life. 

Peace out, 2013. I'll look back on you older, wiser, and with the memory of a perpetual headache...  But it's been nice knowing you.

Happy New Year!


1 comment

  1. Whoa, publishing your first play! Writing another! Awesome, awesome.


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