Instagram top nine—sorry Jane and Ila!

2019 is my favorite year so far. So much happened in our family and yet, through it all, God grew each of us immensely.

Miracles do happen—a full family picture!

At the beginning of the year we each had our share of physical ailments; resulting in multiple trips to the ER, surgeries, and sprained ribs from coughing #welcometoyour30s ! We discovered our family would forever advocate and journey with people with special needs and sent our first child to kindergarten. Brian and I celebrated nine years of marriage together. We took our first family road trip and watched our girls develop a special, sisterly bond. Brian and I took our first trip away from our kids and discovered how wickedly awesome Boston is.

Biggest 2019 highlight? Brian’s beard.

I switched from part-time to full-time work at our church and took my first solo trip in a long time with co-workers to Denver, CO. I discovered the reason God made me and applied to seminary because speaking and writing and connecting define me. I ran a marathon for World Vision and learned I like running and lifting and protein shakes and using my body for a greater purpose. My depression and anxiety popped up again and, for the first time, they did not crush me. Thanks be to Jesus, our community, and my wonderful therapist! I read a ton, blogged a little, received my first, unpaid publishing gig, and preached a sermon.

Glamour shot at mile 23/24!
Preaching or pottery class? Who’s to say…

My word of the year for 2019 was hope. God knew in order to get through the ebbs and flows of this year, I needed an abundance of hope. I am so hopeful going into 2020. My prayer is this new word God placed on my heart, dignity, would serve God and others well. The dignity of the human person keeps me up at night and wakes me each morning. My hope is through ministering, advocating, writing, speaking, and praying, God would use my gifts to uphold the dignity of all; especially women and girls, brothers and sisters of color, and people with special needs.

Pursuing God’s heart for justice is something I read about frequently this year. We cannot pretend we live in a world where everything is equitable for everyone. Our friends on the margins need the Church and although some pull away from organized religion, I believe God will do extraordinary things in this next decade if we as the Church keep the dignity of the human person at the forefront of our mind. While teaching at St. Kate’s I remember us constantly asking the question, “who’s missing?” Let that question sink into your heart as you pray for your schools, businesses, and churches this year.

Now that I preached to you, let me get back to my favorite year, 2019. Here are a some things I learned:

  1. People can be for you, not against you (a very hard thing for enneagram 8s to believe).
  2. People are worth pursuing. Friendships are tough to keep up with in your 20s and 30s. If you feel like you’re doing a lot of the work in a friendship, maybe you are and that’s okay. Relationships take work and life is so much better with friends!
  3. Boundary setting works! Healthy boundaries in all relationships make life more joyful.
  4. Therapy is for everyone. Even if you haven’t experienced capital “T” trauma. I saw so many lives changed from pursuing mental health and wellness this year. What a gift!
  5. God’s character never changes. Probably the best gift I received this year during tumultuous times is this knowledge–God sees me, hears me, and understands me because he gets suffering.
  6. Humor heals the soul. Find people and things that make you laugh.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

A picture of Ila and Jane because #momguilt

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