Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 in review

2013 was one of my greatest years! fo' sho. so much joy, memories adventures and even its fair share of downs. 
here's my annual play-by-play:

- I was half way done with my senior year, begging the Lord to do big things with the next chapter/season of my life, and working a lot and had a few coffee dates. 
(some real classy filters)
-February consisted of a lot of celebrating the little things, working, some rest, gratitude for amazing friends, watching my older sister fulfill her life long goal of moving to New York City, and an AWESOME youth retreat that helped me check off a few of my "Before I Graduate High School Bucket List" items. 

- I failed my road tests, which sucked so much at the time. 
- Did a lot of baking and reading and enjoying of snow days.
-Had an AMAZING (i use that word a lot) and memorable birthday on Easter, with my besties which indluded a lot of laughs, encouragment, and Thai food. 
(i'm such a dork, but i dig a social life with my co-workers)

(birthday love) 

-Mother Hen's 50th birthday, crafternoons, reading the Hunger Games Trilogy, and PASSING MY DRIVERS TEST!!!!

(mom and her favorite hobby)

-Much busyness, last month of school, some ugly cries with the unknown of my future, so so so much rejoicing with clarity, did a spoken word at my youth group create night, finished high school. 

-Was encouraged greatly, took a few mini road trips, reunited with a friend that moved away, oh AND GRADUATED and BROKE THE NEWS to my besties and family that im moving to AFRICA FOR 3 AND A HALF MONTHS to work/volunteer/have no idea what ill get myself into. and took family pictures (which won't upload :() 
good ol' lake george

Country Living Fair- super cool vendors but it poured buckets which sorta put a damper on it 

i babysit for a newbie photog so we did a service trade and gave my parents  family pictures (which we still have to print, maybe their next anniversary gift) for their silver anniversary that i would be out of the country for
gosh, i'm photogenic
pretty sure im grabbing my boob here, some of my nervous ticks
what im talking abouttttt
blood, sweat and tearssss-mostly sweat and tears

clearly, i was really devastated about graduating
also i look like an oompa loompa next to the kid next to me 

the reason i survived my senior year, and jesus a lottaaa jesus

my cheerleaders

Where do i even begin with July?!!?
-here is independence day:
i lied i don't have any pics that are flattering. 
-my besties LIED TO ME FOR WEEKS and I went along with it in order to throw me a FABULOUS, umm undeserved, going away/wedoubtyou'llcomeback PARTAYYY. blahhhed about it.  

     -and boarded some planes. started out my african adventure in M A L A W I.   
ohhhhh snap, forgot to say i went to the kruger national park in south africa too, legit times had by all. 
malawi buddies
-the start of my time in south africa working/loving/learning/pouring my self out/err so much at a children's home there. 
-in the beginning it was sorta a whole new set of a routine a lot of cleaning, a lot of working around the language barrier, a lot of prayer, a lot of a lot honestly, "africa" is not new to me but the "stuff" i encountered at the beginning of this felt alot like katie davis' story in her book kisses from katie, "like emptying the ocean with an eyedropper."
-i journaled lots of this and did a "sweet bits" of the day re cap my whole time there i just never got to blog it.
-i found my self in a new church family that is a sister church of my one back "home"
-near the end of the month i was asked my the manager (who do to maybe some of her own reservations never got to really enjoy me) of the children's home asked me to help teach at the montessori type school that they children's home had started for the kids with learning delays or some behavioral problems, it was a start to another unexpected, thrilling journey within a journey
-i was in a HABITUAL closeness with jesus that i've learned to still make happen or jesus made happen
-skypeing was always a delight

-Watched from a far my friends or old class mates settle into their opaque dorms in college town, america making new friends, studying, and doing college etc. while i was over on the other side of the world doing something quite contrary. I had no reservations about doing what i did, i knew the whole time i was in the epicenter of God's outrageous plan. 
-(crying right now as a write this i miss everything about it so so much)
-The pastors from my church back "home" (who are from south africa) were coming to the church i was attending at the time for a conference so we got to have lunch and catch up, felt pretty good
-i got to make memories for the kids i was serving which was simply the best the boys liked pizza and the girls loved taco night

-My last month in Africa 
-Thrived on times with the Lord in the morning, the hearty laughs from the babies, and texts and voxers from friends and family (well i do year round) 
-served my tail off!!
-i left johannesburg, south africa on october 28 (I was a HOT MESS walking all over that airport), owing the embassy 1000 rand for over staying my visit #YOLO and arriving at jfk international airport at 6:15 AM on october 29 and had a very decadent breakfast at max brenners chocolate restaurant and knocked out on the bus ride back to my town, my mom had the pictures i would email back all around the house and it felt okay, i knew in every season god is always god and he is good and this plan for whatever is next is always always better that what i could ever imagine or dream. im blessed to be his daughter. 

- i had a two day rest and i was back to work
-i was like a celebrity my first sunday back at church, i guess i was missed for something  
-starting to give back to the ministry that makes me who i am today- youth ministry, i co-lead an 11th and 12th grade girls small group with one of my besties
-thanksgiving was spent with family friends and gaining back my pre-africa weight ;))
-took a short road trip to visit my friend erinn away at college 
-applied to community college

-so busy between working two jobs full time, youth ministry, and all the other things life brings.
-my church's youth ministry puts on their talent show called create night which is incredible, i was just a spectator this time 
-started my college career taking the winter break classes at a community college
-christmas was simple and nice. jesus, family food. 
-new years was rung in my my crew of besties laughing and chatting. 

2013 has been so beautiful its taken me like a week and some to write this post. I would live it again but the best is yet to come. lets DO this 2014!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 declaration

2014 declaration... (a few days-ish late ;)

here's to more joy, more adventures, and being brave
here's to praying more and worrying less.
here's to caring more about my neighbor, the poor in spirit and being a hopeless encourager. 
here's to arriving on time, being less of a scatterbrain, and working hard and hoping it pays off.  
here's to writing a book proposal, getting grades i deserve, and learning more.
here's to loving and giving more. 
here's to drinking an insane amount of hot, caffiniated beverages and relying on more of his promises. 
here's to doing small things with great love. 

declaration inspired by the shine project blog. 

goals, catchup, and 2013 review to come! :))