Exiting the Year of Unknowns
Maybe I should preface this post with GO READ THIS: http://kindnessandchaos.com/?p=231. It’s my post from this very day, last year.
I knew 2015 would be a year of unknowns for us, but I had no idea of the surprises it had in store for me.
- I entered a pageant. Who would have thought? When I hung up my pageant hat (or should this say crown?) in 2010, I thought it would be for good. I made a game time decision to compete, with no real knowledge of the system. I just went to have a great time and stir those stagnant pageant waters. The crazy part is, I loved it! Perhaps the craziest part is that I walked away with a fitness award and was one of the top 3 contestants. I walked away with some wonderful new friendships, and have decided I’ll be going back in 2016.
- I got a new job. 1 year ago today I would I have told you there was no way this was a possibility. I loved my job at CBMC. However, over the course of many months, I began to feel God pulling me in another direction. He wanted me home with Lucas more. I needed flexibility in my schedule that I just didn’t have working 5 days a week. After wrestling with God (I lost… imagine that) I accepted a job at my church. I became the administrative assistant to adult education. You guys, I love my job. I love the environment and the people I work with. I love that Lucas is in the same building as me 2 out of the 3 days that I’m here. I love that I have some flexibility to focus on the other things that God has called me to. This was a wonderful move for me, and I’m so glad I chose to make it.
- Russell lost his job. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are aware of the crash in oil prices. After 5 years with Schlumberger (and a short stint in Saudi Arabia), Russell was let go. Many others that we know also went through this in 2015. It’s been a rough year for many Oklahomans. I initially panicked because I’d just left a 40 hour a week job to take a part time gig, but God had us right in the palm of His hand. We’d luckily planned for such an event, and only took a hit to our savings over the 3 months that Russell was unemployed. But more than all of that, we grew together in our faith, as a family. We were able to take a small trip down to Broken Bow, spend more time together than we ever had, and really reconnect. I’m so grateful for that time. Russell is now working for the official moving company of the OKC Thunder as their operations manager. We love having him home every night. 🙂
- I completed my 2nd Susan G. Komen 3-Day; this time in San Diego. What an experience! While it wasn’t unexpected for me to return, it was completely different than my first walk. I had a little more fun this year, but it was just as impactful. I look forward to walking again in 2016.
- I read 64 books! Last year was the first year I’d ever hit my reading goal. This year I was positive that I’d never make it that far, but I did and surpassed my goal again.
- I haven’t had any caffeine. Ok, for a lover of Dr. Pepper and mom of a 2 year old, like myself, this was a hard one! I will say, I’ve had some natural caffeine, because there was no way I was giving up chocolate, but I’ve steered clear of all drinks with caffeine in 2015. I think I’m going to venture into the land of no pop for 2016. I’m not sure I can do that one. A good Sprite every once in a while is a favorite splurge of mine.
While 2015 was a year of unknowns, it was still a good year. We had a lot of bumps in the road, but we leaned in the Savior more with each passing disappointment. That is something I want to carry over into 2016. I want to intentionally run, arms open wide, to my Savior.
So maybe 2016 is my year of intention. To intentionally embrace each moment that comes our way. I honestly haven’t done much praying about 2016 this year because I’m still trying to claw through each day in 2015. A few months ago I posted Matthew 6:34 on my mirror, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”, and I have tried to truly live by it. I’ve memorized it and tucked it in my heart. It has cast away worry and doubt and helped me through the last 3 months of 2015.
December 30th has become my day of reflection. To think on what I’ve learned and prepare for what the new year will bring. If 2016 is to truly be our year of intention, I can already see many things that we are moving intentionally toward. Some are broad ideas and others are very specific (some silly) goals. Here are just a few: I want to focus more on The Art of Encouragement, take another family vacation, take an anniversary trip, restructure our finances, read through a majority of my signed book collection, take Lucas on adventures, study my Bible more, go for the gold, change the world, and not drink any pop ;).
This year isn’t just about planned intentional-ity (yes, I made that up), but being intentional when it comes to change. If there is anything that 2015 has taught me, it’s that change is wonderful. It’s hard, sometimes unwanted, and stretches us, but it’s in the stretch that we find wonder. I refuse to re-live any of my past years and call it living. I’m ready to embrace each day as it’s own. I’m ready to change the world, one small step at a time. I hope that I can continue to look back on my life and see new themes in each year as proof that I’m moving forward and not standing still. So as we enter 2016, my prayer from last year is still the same: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk along the waters. Wherever you would call me.”
Here’s to intention, the unknown, and 2016!