Who else thinks 2017 was a wonderful year? I’m back to my regularly scheduled program of sharing my year in review. While this year certainly did fly by quickly, 2017 gave me lots to be thankful for — new friends, new mindsets, new adventures, new opportunities. With a little bit of heartbreak and sadness too, it only leaves me hopeful for what’s to come and learning from past struggles.
My word for the year was strength. I tried to focus on working hard, overcoming fears, and knowing that my strength comes from the Lord. I focused on giving up perfection and giving up evaluating myself all the time. While I’m still working on these steps towards strength, I think 2017 gave me grounding to be strong in who I am and be excited and confident in what’s next.
I like to highlight my year by seasons, since there is a time and place for everything God gives us. Here’s a little bit of my year!
- I celebrated the coming of 2017 with my friends in NYC. It was definitely a memorable New Years and a special time to explore the city for the first time.
- I visited the Baltimore Aquarium and saw a variety of fish, birds and swimming creatures. I definitely recommend if you’re in the area!
- A silly one, but I had sushi (vegan) for the first time!
- My family ventured to Seville, Spain to visit my brother studying abroad. I was able to return to a city I love and show my favorite people the ins and outs of Spanish culture. It was my family’s first time abroad, so it was definitely an experience to remember. We may so many memories! We visited: Seville, Ronda, Marbella and Málaga all in 9 days!
- My friend introduced me to band called Branches and we went to see them live. They have such a unique sound, and they quickly became one of my favorite bands. It’s always good to get introduced to new music, arts, books, etc. that you really love.
- I bought my first car!! It’s 17 years newer than my previous car, and it’s been so wonderful!
- My nonprofit had its third 5K fundraiser – a “Go with the Glow” run. After months of planning, it finally pulled off and it was a very fun event, as the kids said.
- I was named Executive Director of our nonprofit and began to plan for the upcoming year. It’s been a learning curve, but a great chance to see how to bring our work into its next stage. We also got a new office and a new employee, so those were big blessings!
- I visited my friends in Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC — two cities I’ve never visited and friends I haven’t had seen in a while.
- I launched my new website here! It was so fun to work on this rebrand and design :) And to continue working on it as I envision next year. Thank you all for being supportive!
- My church opened its first building! I was on the planning committee for its grand opening celebration weekend, and we saw it all come together! We had a music and dessert evening, a Saturday festival and Sunday church service that showed how much God has blessed us and how it’s been working in our community – through trials, waiting, testing, surprises and everyday life. It was so great to see the ribbon cutting and the space and resources for our building in person and all together.
- I turned 24, celebrated with awesome friends and ate vegan cupcakes that are delicious! It’s the simple sweet things that make the world go round.
- My nonprofit had a partnership with Whole Foods (my favorite place on earth – or at least in my town) and we put on a Halloween fundraiser. It was a great success!
- I went to a writing workshop by Allison Fallon (one of my favorite authors) in D.C. and it was an awakening experience, full of things to learn and things to practice. It was wonderful to surround myself with a group of creative people who were learning how to make writing part of their daily life and part of their calling. It was both therapeutic and educational. If you haven’t connected with Allison online yet, I highly recommend reading her work.
- My family and I drove to Kentucky to visit my cousins, whom I hadn’t seen in a very long time! My mom’s side of the family is pretty big, so it was wonderful to catch up with everyone. We also saw the life-size Noah’s Ark museum. It was so amazing. I learned so much about the story of Noah, the Bible and how it all fits together. I highly recommend visiting, so worth a trip!
- I celebrated Christmas with my family and my church, and it was a great time to reflect on where I am now and where God is calling me next year.
Wishing you all a festive end of 2017 and an exciting 2018! May you reflect and discover new parts of yourself and the world that will carry you into your next season.