Dear 2016

Dear 2016,

You were good. You were hard. You were non showered and messy. You were fun. You were educational. You were life-changing. You brought me closer to Jesus than I ever thought possible. Being that “Grace” was my word for you, I sure did learn a lot about it. How to extend it and how to accept it. Overall, I can confidently say that I liked you.

You started out with a fun trip to Austin, TX for a life altering experience with my buddy Katie and the IF: Gathering Conference.  While there I ate yummy food, got food poisoning, went to bed early, slept in late, had the best almond milk vanilla lattes of my entire life,  heard from Jesus that this season of young ones is a season to embrace and that He sees me. Also, the stirring to start a blog resurfaced.

Spring time brought about the adoption of our second son! Such a miracle and joy! As well as, many, many opportunities to embrace my kids with a good attitude 🙂 It also included a quick trip with some awesome ladies to Arizona to celebrate Neue Thing and its very first women’s gathering. Cherie’s heart is amazing and humbling and it showed through so much that night!

Jason and I were blessed and stoked to end spring time with the purchase of our dream home in our dream location. The only way to pull that off was to buy a complete fixer upper which means we dove head first into crazy renovations. Why not take on a fixer upper, it’s not like we had 3 kids, 4 and under at the time. Washing bottles in the bathroom sink for 5 weeks may have been my least favorite part of the whole ordeal 🙂

I’m not going to lie, summer started out rough. 2016 Summer was actually brutal. Hardest part of the entire year. Full of a lot of tears, anger, frustration, and brokenness. But I made it through, and actually made it through stronger and closer to the Lord.

Summer wasn’t all bad though, it also brought about a couple of KIDLESS nights with Jason to attend a Saddleback conference with some of the Southwest staff, a 2 week trip to Tahoe, and the celebration of 10 years of marriage with my best friend! I ended summer with sending my first born to transitional kindergarten.

September was cray-cray! A weekend away with my conference junkie, Katie! Once again, awesome conversations, going to bed early, and waking up late 🙂 With this weekend came the final push to officially start writing my blog. I started it immediately after we got home. All Sons and Daughters brought me to my knees this month. The 23rd Jesus spoke to me more clearly than He has in a long time, or  at least I heard Him more clearly than I have in a long time. My life was forever changed that day and the few days following.

In October Jason was asked to be a birthday present for one of our dear friends in Nashville. With plane tickets paid for and a brave and amazing couple willing to take ALL 3 kids for 5 days, we were off! Crossing something of my bucket list with Jason and one of the coolest couples I know was AMAZING!! It was the first time in 3 years that Jason and I were able to vacation without kids. HUGE GIFT!

One of my hi lights from the year actually happened in November. Almost all of my favorite girls piled in a van and went up to Idllwylid for the day. I laughed more that day than probably the entire year combined. To be up in cool weather surrounded by women who love me just as I am cannot ever be taken for granted.

Here we are, 2016, finishing you up! Thanksgiving and Christmas were awesome, despite sickness that never left our home, it was a good holiday season and I am thankful. Hundreds gave their hearts to Jesus at our Christmas Eve services and that is what life is really all about!

In the beginning of the year if you would have told me all that 2016 held I would have laughed in your face and then maybe punched it 😊 So many unexpected blessings and refining moments. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for both. God is so good and faithful. He loves us enough to refine us and He loves us so much to shower us with blessings that we don’t deserve. 

I don’t know what your 2016 held. Maybe it was horrible. Maybe it was the best. But let’s grab hands and embrace 2017. Let’s be expectant of ALL that God has in store for us and let’s be committed to look to God’s faithfulness and unfailing character in it all! 

There are now 1.5 days left of 2016. I am going to send it off all fancy like with some of my closest friends and I can’t wait! It’s not too late for you to make plans to ring in the year with excitement and surrounded by those you love… start the goodness of 2017 early and call up your peeps! 

 

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