Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Year in Review: 2015

It's so easy to look back in a moment of weakness and see nothing good through the fog. My memory is so fickle. So I'm calling to mind all the great from this past year (and the hard because I can see where the great has or is emerging). It's been really truly incredible to see how much God has moved in my life.

This is very non-traditional in it's layout and writing but it serves the purpose! I hope to continue with this tradition each year to create a place to reflect on all years past as I get older (God willing).

- New Years Word of the Year: Trust
- New Years Resolution: Sell a piece of my art by the end of the year. Go to the Influence Conference.
- Attended the Return to Rest Retreat. This was so good for my soul. Something that terrified me but has been a turning point in how I would be able to open up and socialize with new friends throughout the rest of the year. Plus it was beautiful. So, so beautiful.

- Desperately searching for a new place to move. Deciding if I can trust God with my finances.

- Moved back out on my own. The help that came through left me speechless. I've never had such a quick or easy move. Literally everything was done by 1:30 and I was laying on my mattress thinking about how God brought all these people into my need to lift the burden. Beyond grateful.
- Emotions about being alone were a mix of sad, stressful, sorrowful but exciting and new too. This little town is a new-to-me town. Exploring it has been so lovely.
- Took a calligraphy class with Laura Hooper in Boston!

- Hard, sad, tough but so sure of God's presence.
- Started the Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace University.
- Another successful SENE Film festival! Each year just gets better and better!

- Started going to a new church in Providence again after attending this church during Advent season in December. They scare me. They are amazing and creative and young and super hipster. They are everything I love about community and everything I desire and it terrifies me.
- Kat Graham visted our office and we got to meet her!
- Attended my oldest nephews first ever baseball game! Can you say Proud Auntie?!

- Spent the night in Boston with my friend after attending the Ingrid Michaelson concert!
- Kayaking with the Rhode Explorers girls!
- Spent a lot of time outdoors, walking - reading in the sun - by the pool (my apartment has a pool!! what, what?!) - exploring Providence
- First ever Federal Hill Stroll! (SO MUCH FUN!)
- Providence night out with my friend, Waterfire, Providence's first ever International Arts Festival, and Block Party! We even got to check out the only rooftop bar in Providence!

- Went exploring local and new to me parks, felt like a road trip!
- Drove THROUGH a rainbow! (it was soooo cool!)
- Got to watch my sister say yes to her dress!!
- Explored a new-to-me beach side town (Watch Hill, RI), by myself. It was amazing + incredible and felt a lot like being on vacation. I ate an ice cream cone on the beach in the dark listening to the waves. It was awesome.
- Beach Pond, RI on a boat with a few of my favorite guys.

- Took the month off of social media. It was hard, gratifying, peaceful.
- Got to see Sara Bareilles musically composed Waitress. (spoiler alert: it was amazing and Jessie Mueller is incredible)
- Started reaching out and meeting friends at church. A beginning of something so beautiful.
- Spent most of the month indoors because it was so hot out and I didn't feel well at all. Increasingly more sick and in pain.

- Attended the last Influence Net Conference. Met so many online friends in real life. Hugged them. Met a few new great friends. Hugged them too.
- Finally, finally gave my heart over to Jesus. (not to say I haven't picked it back up a few times, especially lately). First time I've ever felt so sure of His plan for me and my trust in Him. (hello word of 2015 coming to life).
- Travelling by myself. (So much fun!) Drove from Indy to Chicago (I love rental cars!). I always say I'm going to do these fun road trip type things and something always gets in the way. Is it fear? But I did it and then I got to spend a week exploring the city and spending time with my brother and sister in law.
- God prevented me from getting sick this entire week and a half. I was so thankful for that! Knowing now what was making me sick, I definitely wasn't following the right eating regimen to prevent the pain. It was all God.
- This is the first month I start to feel like I can talk about my past, even though I'm holding back tears, I no longer think my life is over because of what happened. Now I see new opportunities, endeavors, and a brand new beautiful plan.

- Finally had an appointment with a GI doctor, after literally a year of stomach pain. Pain that has increased and become more and more severe and frequent. Pain so bad that it would wake me in the middle of the night and keep me up in excruciating pain. There were many tears. Towards the end I was throwing up from the pain. Dizzy. This sickness has caused me to miss so many days of work this past year.
- Trip to Florida with the rents. Got to spend time with lots of family + went parasailing for the first time ever! It was such a blast!! Also, I kinda saw a dolphin and saw rainbows almost every single day. Some really gorgeous ones!

- Joined with the doctors who created Proactive to start my own Rodan and Fields business.
- God moved quick. I had an ultra sound on 11/5 which confirmed I had a large gallstone stuck in the neck of my gallbladder. On 11/13, thanks to a cancelled appointment - I met with the surgeon for a consult. On 11/20, thanks to another cancelled appointment (all God), I had surgery to remove my gallbladder. In God's also perfect timing it was the week before Thanksgiving which spared me a few days of PTO that I didn't have for recovery.
- A few amazing friends really came through and helped me. Supported me. Loved me. When I needed them the most. My heart has never been so broken for what I don't have because it's never been so clear just how alone I am. People who should have been there, really weren't. But then again, people I didn't want to have to help me, showed up anyways and their love and support meant the world to me. I literally could not have done it without them. Recovery was hard. The first few days I couldn't even stand up on my own without severe pain. I was throwing up from all the pain medicine (and probably from the anesthesia). Apparently during surgery one of my incisions didn't want to stop bleeding. Just knowing this fact is so scary!! All the unknown that could have happened. After surgery while in the hospital my heart rate kept dropping every time I fell asleep. Those days were no joke and whoever said it was easy, they lied. I also can't believe this is considered one of the easiest surgeries. Sign me up on the list to never need another surgery in my life. Thanks! Gods grace, mercy, love, compassion definitely carried me through all of this!!!
- I became Auntie to another little nephew, my brothers little guy, I cant wait to meet him! <3

- For the most part, my stomach pain is gone. I still get occasional pain there but it could just be part of the healing process.
- On a whim felt the urge + desire to jump head first into selling my art. So one night at 9pm, I announced a 12 day art giveaway + sale. I remembered my desire to sell at least one piece of art by the end of 2015. So far I've sold 6 pieces and given away 12! I'm learning so much, it's growing me and challenging me and showing me just how much hard work can pay off.

(I finished, I won't list the ones I started but never finished.)
- Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
- Scary Close, Donald Miller
- Freefall to Fly, Rebekah Lyons
- Finding Faith in the Dark, Laurie Short
- Let's All Be Brave, Annie Downs
- Wilderness Skills for Women, Marian Jordan
- The Best Yes, Lysa Terkeurst
- When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper
- The Selection, the Elite and The One, Kiera Cass

BIBLE STUDIES: (Started quite a few but did not finish, see ADD with books, same deal.)
- Power of God's Names, Tony Evans

- Parenthood
- Gilmore Girls
- Friends
- Once upon a time

- Ingrid Michaelson
- Mat Kearney
- Ed Sheeran (guest; Chris Martin from Coldplay!)
- Lord Huron
- Big Daddy Weave, Jason Gray, Citizens Way
- Howie Day

- Waitress in Boston
- Newsies at PPAC
- White Christmas at PPAC

- Financial Peace University
- Laura Hooper Calligraphy
- Business classes with Whitney English (and team leader Amanda)
- How to make the most of your single life with Stephanie May Wilson
- Aromatherapy Mask Sewing Class with Mikala Cash
- Container Gardening with the Rhode Explorers.
- Makeup How To with the Rhode Explorers.
- Many influence net classes!

- NH (return to rest)
- Miami (art deco fair!)
- Indy (Influence Conference)
- Chicago (Andrew + Sara)
- Ft Meyers, FL (with the rents)

Other great things worth noting:
- Ingrid Michaelson concert and spent the night in Boston with a friend.
- Ingrid liked our photo on insta!
- Mat Kearney concert that rocked. the. house.
- Oh yeah, and Mat liked my heartbreak dreamers photo on Insta.
- Church started a women's bible study! YAY!!
- First ever real Christmas Tree as an adult, woop!
- Winter photoshoot with John Pitocco!
- Quiet walks in the many snow filled nights we had this year
- Painted my largest project to date for Refuge Church!
- Watched the sunrise in Miami
- Met Charity Dawson (from Waitress)
- Chicago Cubs game
- Federal Hill Stroll
- Nantasket Beach
- Busch Gardens
- Brookfield Zoo

I don't dare list any of this in a particular order, but simply as they come to mind. I'm sure I'm forgetting to include something so obvious in this list. 2015 was a beautiful mix or hard and fulfilling and standing at the end of the year I can see so much of how God has been healing my heart. I will be posting more in a separate post, but thank God for His mercies that are never ending and Thank God that He provides us all with the chance to live life abundantly. There was no shortage of abundance in my 2015, that's for sure.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading through your year. We saw Newsies too. Amazing show!!! Which cast did you see? Steph Styles and Dan Deluca? Or the new duo? My kids love Newsies. My daughter runs a fan account on Instagram look her up under who I follow, its Cantshutup...
    Kudos to you for selling your Art!! I want so badly to do that!
    Hugs and Happy New Year!