The Year in Review- 2014

This is my third year to use RA's year-in-review questionnaire, and it's always fun to take a look back over the last year (and read the answers from the year before!). I've always enjoyed this type of list (chain email posts, anyone?) and it's nice to have a yearly documentation of what was going on in my life. This year was the most different by far since we've been married but hey... it's over! =) Here we go!

  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I had Chick-fil-A for breakfast, Rudy's for lunch, and Chili's for supper. Basically I ate my way through the day... the best way to celebrate, right? Turning 25 felt ooold (mid-twenties! Agh!) but it was a fun day and the next morning we left for NYC, which took a little of the sting out of it. 
  2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why? I'll never, ever forget our trip to New York with Blake and Brook. It was a magical little break in the middle of a crazy few months. And seeing Newsies on the trip was pretty much the best day ever. Also, meeting Ella (my newest niece) for the first time was amazing... five babies later and that feeling never gets old! 
  3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before? For the first time ever, I watched a new school year begin without me (as a student or teacher.) It definitely took some getting used to!
  4. What did you want and get? I wanted a change! This time last year we knew that some kind of ministry transition was in the future but had no idea what it was. Thanks to quitting teaching, moving back to Goldsboro, and raising support as church planters, I think I got even more change than I bargained for! =)
  5. What did you want and not get? A baby (that was my answer last year too! Ha!)... I have firmly crossed over into baby fever territory but I'm very thankful for the Lord's timing because He knew exactly how much change was coming this year (unbeknownst to me) and a baby would have complicated things just a tiny bit. =)
  6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year? A baby =) and possibly a house. And just a few solid months of feeling settled would be wonderful, but I'm learning more all the time that sometimes God's plans are not as tidy as we would like them to be. 
  7. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did okay but as far as resolutions this year, I'm working on incorporating some of the (many) tips I picked up in The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I'd really like to see some long-term, specific changes rather than the typical, vague "I'll do better at __________" goals. We'll see!
  8. What was your biggest achievement of this year? It's funny because this wasn't even on my list of goals last year, but I have read more (far more!) than any other year of my life, I think. If my list is correct I've read about 115 books this year, most of them from June to now. Thanks to Janssen and her nearly limitless book lists, I have really branched out (especially with nonfiction) and I have absolutely loved it. Of course it wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't been unemployed so I guess there was a perk to that! (To quote Kathleen Kelly, "If I hadn't had all this time...") 
  9. What was your biggest failure? Ouch... this is convicting but probably being negative and sad for the first few months of the school year... I missed teaching big time and when that part of me was over it felt like the world was ending. I feel like that extended to a lot of things (this blog being one of them) and it took me longer than I'm proud of to pull out of that funk.
  10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed? Music. I feel like there are a few albums/playlists that have "been there" for me as much as any person this year. Is that weird? It's true... of course Scripture and prayer were a big part, but I think the Lord uses worshipful music to comfort too and that was definitely true for me many times.
  11. What are your strongest recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc) Ah- so many book recommendations! If the best indication of how much I love a book is that my husband is sick of hearing about it, then Unbroken remains at the top of that list and is joined by Boys in the Boat, The Happiness Project, anything by Roald Dahl, and These Is My Words. I'm not watching much TV these days (mourning the loss of our DVR) but Person of Interest is our current favorite. (Psych ended in March and no, I'm not over it.) We haven't seen very many movies lately but I have to recommend When the Game Stands Tall because it was awesome and because I could watch Jim Caviezel read the newspaper. Music? Broadway soundtracks... all day. And just for all-around entertainment, Jimmy Fallon forever.
  12. What song will remind you of this year? Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman and the Broadway Newsies soundtrack.
  13. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).  "Never once did we ever walk alone; never once did you leave us on our own. You are faithful, God , you are faithful." (from Never Once by Travis Cottrell.) 
  14. What was your most enjoyable purchase? I don't know if "enjoyable" means "popular" but this time last year I owned about two baseball hats... in the last several months I've somehow accumulated nearly a dozen. Mysterious. 
  15. Did you travel? YES. Aside from our trip to New York (will I ever shut up about it? Nope!), Jonathan and I went through/to Tennessee (including a few days in Nashville- the best!), Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. And visiting my sister included D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Oh, and we went on a slightly life-changing trip to Texas. 
  16. What do you wish you’d done more of? Writing (not just blogging, but writing creatively again), exercising, reaching out, and trusting.
  17. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying, napping (okay, not really) and drinking soda.
  18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different? Ha- when I read through last year's answers I felt like someone else had written the post! It's been a crazy year and I feel like I've changed a lot. (Maybe I haven't but it does feel that way.) I have had to learn to trust, to surrender control of my circumstances, and to figure out who I am outside of being a teacher. I also enjoy being more well-read than before. And I think I'm a little more serious than a year ago and a lot less quick to pass judgment on people who have transitioned in ministry. 
  19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same? Considering that virtually nothing about my life aside from Jonathan has escaped change, this is a hard one! I guess I'm still silly and sarcastic and obsessed with Disney, but last year I didn't feel my age. Now I do.
  20. What’s a life lesson you learned this year? God does not give you a specific calling only to abandon you once you begin to pursue it. Over the last few months, our lives have changed drastically and some days it felt like all these plans were a mistake. But through the unmistakable grace of God, we have seen every need met (and even many wants!) and He has validated our decision so many times. 

Well, I'm not going to say I'm sorry to see this year end... it's been one for growth, change, and yes, delight... even when things didn't feel particularly delightful. But the truth is, the Lord honored our prayers and willingness to be moved and ultimately gave us the desire of our hearts, which is to serve in a church plant. So even though the actual process has been challenging, the end result (which hasn't quite arrived) will be a "glorious unfolding," I'm sure. 

Goodbye, 2014. And a Happy New Year to all of you, my dear friends. May your 2015 be filled with joy! 


See my year-in-review from 2013 and 2012.

1 comment

  1. This year was crazy, but I am thankful for all of the personal growth we experienced ! Love you guys!


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