As I look back on this year, my soul just feels a big huge sigh of relief. I love traveling and being adventurous, but I can not even explain how good it has been to be back in Wichita, in a home, where I can be still. That would pretty much sum up my year in one big thought.
However, 2016 brought lots of other things too.
Dave and I started off the year by traveling from Canada all the way down to California, through Arizona, New Mexico and then home. That trip was one of the most beautiful trips of my life. The scenery on the west coast is one of a kind and if you haven't traveled that way I highly recommend it. It was also special to see my brother fly his jet out of San Diego for his deployment. That trip was also one of the most stressful of my life. From sleeping in our car a few times to knowing that when we got back to Kansas we had no home of our own nor did we know where we would live sent my emotions into one big massive roller coaster. It's so weird how a trip can be so wonderful but so hard at the same time. I'm still glad we went though.
God opened doors for Dave to get a job in the ER, and although it's been intense, I'm thankful He has that job. I've worked at the Y as a swim instructor and that has been a big blessing for me.
We purchased a home! A home that would, a few months later, need new plumbing which would mean a 20' trench in my backyard. SO STRESSFUL! And our yard still isn't fixed. Oh well. I still really love our house and I've become a huge homebody. I have always been a homebody but having my own place to just retreat away is exactly what I have been doing.
2016 also brought some really hard things, the kind of things that make you fall on your knees in tears and prayers. The kinds of things that only God can fix, and although the journey isn't easy I can, with confidence say, that God answers prayers. He picks up shattered pieces, restores and pushes back the power of darkness. God's grace is sufficient. I've heard that all my life but seeing Him restore and redeem is something so beautiful that I can only stand back and praise Him for.
This year, with Dave's crazy work hours, I have had some time to be alone and be still. It was weird at first to be home and alone so much, but to be honest, so many nights I turn on worship music, cook and pray a whole lot. It's been a really good chance for me to get alone with God and I'm thankful for those times. It's also weird because I have NEVER in my life been afraid to stay somewhere alone. However, shortly after we moved in Dave went to Texas and the first night he was gone I heard gunfire. Not just one shot but EIGHT and it terrified me. Then the next night someone kept knocking on my window so I frantically called my Dad to rescue me and he figured out that when I walk upstairs it makes one of our doors rattle, which also sounds like knocking. ha ha! It was so scary though. It took me about six months to not be scared at night anymore when I was alone.
We can't forget flowers. There were lots of those too! I think one of my favorite memories from this summer was meeting my Mom or Dad at the Farmer's Market and buying goods and I pretty much always left there with flowers.
And here is a list of my favorite things this year:
-sidewalks, like real genuine sidewalks that don't have holes with sewer under them.
-walking in my neighborhood
-planting my garden
-painting my front door teal
-seeing my parents more
-seeing my family more
-seeing friends more
-laughing with friends
-traveling to Colorado with Dave, that was probably my favorite trip of the year
-having Ana, Elliot and Alba come here for a month
-going to Whidbey to babysit my nephew and niece and to spend time with Alba
-going to Idaho to see my brother-in-law, sister, Z and Ike
-sharing Christ with kids at the Y
-getting Dave's cat, Weasel back. Which by the way, I'm her favorite.
-Burgers & Dresses
-My Mom's 60th birthday
Can you all believe 2017 is here? That is so so crazy! Here are some of the things I'm looking forward to this year:
-Traveling in March for our anniversary trip. I told Dave we have to go somewhere warm with an ocean.
-Photography - I'm hoping to start up a little photography business
-Planting a new garden
-Fixing our yard
-I'm running a 1/2 marathon. I don't know if I should be excited or cry but I'm hoping to hit it hard and run super fast!
Here are some blog posts I will be sharing in the new year:
-A word - There is a word that has been such a big blessing in my life over the years and I want to share it with you all.
-What I miss about Asia
-Some thoughts on prayer
-Foundations: Living our Life on the Bible
-My Travel Bucket List. Yes, I still have one even though we've traveled a lot.
What was your favorite memory for 2016?
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?