I’m excited to close off the year on the best and most beautiful note! I here by declare 2016 as the year of love! Every month was filled with tender love and care because so many important things happened that changed my life. Those moments were filled with passion, hope, light, and utter joy. As I reflect on what this year has given me; I think I’m so blessed to have a God that loves me so much. I have no one to thank but Him for all the loving moments I lived this year.
And so, I’d like to share just some highlights with you. These were moments that I loved, where I learned about love, where I was loved, and where love challenged me to continue to love.
LOVE (1… 4… 3)
When you start the year praising the Lord, he answers, on his own precious time. January helped me realize how important it was to build a solid relationship with God. I learned about His love and mercy. I also learned that I need to trust in his plans for me. It’s hard to stand still when the Lord isn’t necessarily moving at your pace, but that’s the beauty of His love. He is moving. He’s just acting in our favor as he sees fit. That’s how much He loves us. At this point in time, I’m allowing myself to let God love me, and so far it’s been the best decision ever. God opened 2016 and He’s going to close it off too. I welcome him in 2017 too! Praise the Lord.
In February, I met this guy, Gus! He makes himself at home pretty much every night. I curl up to him when I’m feeling sad, but also when I’m feeling extra happy. He’s a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift from my now boyfriend. It was the first Valentine’s Day where I felt giddy, full of hope, and joyous. Gus represents so much to me. It’s silly to think that a stuffed animal gives off so much hope, but for me it does. Gus showed me to believe in love again, to hope for it, and to let it consume me every waking day.
In March, I got the opportunity to coach my favorite sport. I fell in love with soccer when I was six and I’ve been playing the sport since. When I was approached about coaching, at the middle school level, I had to to yes. It was in middle school that I truly got to enjoy the sport. I’m so lucky that I was able to coach these lovely girls. They made my first time coaching experience one for the books. Even more so, I feel in love with the game even more!
In April, Micah finally asked me to be his girlfriend, officially. It was probably the best month out of the year. After April, love has had a different meaning. I’m so in love guys! Love with Micah is so different, it’s so real, it’s so hopeful that’s easy to understand why I care about him so much. Now since this great man has entered my life, I’ve been nothing but happy and spirited. He brings the best out of me and he makes me want to be a better person everyday. He challenges me everyday to succeed and to be good for the sake of being good.
I prayed for him for years and years and finally God answered.
In May, my younger brother graduated from college! I always find it exciting to share not only special moments with others, but to see others succeed. It was such an important moment for Alan. My parents were so proud of him it gave me the feels. He’s off being a big boy now and the real world has treated him fairly well. I even got him to pay half of our cell phone bill. #winning
In June, the first of us cousins got married. It was a family affair. It was really special to see him get married to the love of his life and even more so that he let us share that moment with him. As a family we put our pretty in green outfits and wished the lovely couple, good luck.
In July, Micah took me to Arizona. It was probably the first trip we took as a couple. It was super fun because we got to hike some mountains and explore a small chapel. Micah was able to enjoy the heat in the pool the entire time and I was able to soak up the sun in the desert like state. The tiny market areas we walked through were filled with native items that filled my heart.
In August, I started year 4 of playing teacher! Teaching has been so rewarding and it has filled me with a lot positive traits, like when to have patience. Lord knows how much of it I need daily, but I wouldn’t trade my profession for the world. Teaching allows me to be involved in my number one passion–journalism. Also, it helped me find the love of my life, which makes me love teaching even more.
And because sometimes there sad moments in life, August also brought tears to my eyes as I had to say “see ya later” to my best friend who moved to California. I hadn’t been her friend for long, but she instantly won my heart with the way she cared for me and listened to anything and everything I had to say. Now, I told her see you later, because in March I’ll get to visit her. I’m uber excited for that.
In September, Micah took me to my first football game. We watched a crazy ending to OSU falling to some Iowa team (you can tell I’m not very familiar with college ball) Despite, Micah being utterly upset, he put on smile to take this picture with me. I’m excited to watch some more OSU games in the future. I didn’t think I would look this good in orange.
In October, I took Micah to Southwestern College, where I graduated. It was my five year class reunion and we got to spend the day on campus celebrating Homecoming. I shared with him one of my favorite traditions which was the rocking painting and tossing into the mound. At the beginning of each school year, as a good luck, we would paint rocks and throw them into a mound that has been a part of this college for centuries. The rock we painted had our relationship verse, Colossians 3:14, a cross, our names, and Dodge City the town where we met. We tossed it into the mound together as a sign that we would respect each other during our romance. We look great in purple!
In November, I voted for the first time ever! It wasn’t the most positive election for various reasons, but I was just thrilled that I was finally got to have a voice. I missed the last election because I wasn’t a citizen. I’m so grateful to now “officially” be American despite the fact that I’ve never felt like I wasn’t. Being able to vote became an important aspect of my life because the power of voting is so significant and empowering at the same time.
In December, I was blessed to play the Blessed Virgin Mary during our church Christmas play. I’m grateful I got to play the mother of Jesus because she’s everything I strive to be. She was obedient, a woman of pray and hope, and she carried God’s plan not only for her, but for the world. My Christmas gift to the Lord was to practice Mary’s lines and to share them with my church in order for them to understand the real meaning of Christmas. I was also thankful to share this production with my fellow group members. We struggled. But, God works for good and he never lets us out of his site. He truly blessed all of us during this performance.
And finally, I’m closing 2016 with Micah’s Christmas gift to the slopes. Micah played a major role with 2016 being a year full of love. I enjoyed every moment I got to spend with him. I’m excited to see what 2017 will hold for us.
To close: 2016 was great to me. I enjoyed every moment. This year made feel like I was born again, no more tears or negative times, because it was filled with happiness and joy.
There were so many great moments in 2016 that I couldn’t share with you all, of course it’s the little things in life that make us want to get up in the morning. It’s also having God at your side. It’s also being thankful for a great family. It’s also taking care of yourself and others. It’s also being hopeful. It’s also just taking a moment to breathe.
Goodbye 2016, you great.