Folks, we made it.
Another year down.
Another trip ’round the sun.
Another tax season, another summer vacation, another birthday candle in your cake.
It’s about this time every year that I start seeing all kinds of posts on social media about how they can’t wait to watch the previous year burn, and how “*insert next year number* I’m coming back”.
Our Pinterest boards start lighting up with resolutions, new workout plans, diet ideas and organization tips – these are the top in popular resolutions for each year.
So before we toss 2018 out like baby bathwater (I’ve never understood that expression but hopefully you’ll understand what I’m saying here.) I want to take a moment to reflect on all the cool things I learned in 2018. Maybe you learned some of them too. Maybe you learned them with me. Maybe you already knew these things and are glad that I’m finally enlightened. Maybe you’ll read my list and learn something too.
Numero Uno: Choosing not to do something because you’re afraid of failure, is already failing. I have had the biggest fear of failure for my entire life. It’s honestly a pride issue. In some ways it’s healthy because it always pushes me to be my best, but in other ways it holds me back from what could have been some of my greatest learning opportunities. I was reading Mo Isom’s Wreck My Life earlier this year (if you haven’t heard enough about it already) and she said something that stood out to me and I’ve held in my heart for months. “No is not dismissive. It’s directional.” It’s putting you on a new path. “No” is closing one door so you don’t need to worry about what’s behind it anymore.
Numero Dos: Kale doesn’t taste that bad. I KNOW, I KNOW. IT IS THE WEIRDEST LEAFY GREEN. But during the whole “nobody eat romaine” scare, a lot of restaurants had to replace romaine with kale in their salads. This led to me eating quite a bit of kale, and I’m here to tell you that it’s not that bad. It’s actually quite tasty. The end.
Numero Tres: People should read more books written by people that they don’t necessarily agree with. I’ve noticed that people create a sort of bubble of people, authors, pastors and news outlets that fall perfectly in line with their beliefs. The problem with this is that you don’t ever learn anything new. It’s like having a round-table discussion but everyone sits around repeating each other’s ideas and then saying they’ve made a good point. Read books that are controversial. Listen to people so you can learn what they have to say rather than so you can just find an argument to throw at them. Learn something. It’s amazing.
Numero Quatro: Weightlifting is my favorite form of exercise. There isn’t a whole lot to add to this. I’m just saying, I learned that this year. It’s great. It makes my heart happy. It makes you strong. It’s good for your heart. I’m a fan.
Numero Cinco: Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day because it kick-starts your metabolism, it also is the best meal for having conversation over. When I think back over conversations that I’ve had in 2018, the great majority of the really good ones, have happened when I was meeting someone for breakfast. I’m not sure what it is about breakfast food that keeps people together and opens hearts, but it does. 2018 has actually been my favorite year for conversations. Conversations where people shared their heart with me and I could feel God filling my mind with words He wanted me to share with them. Conversations that left me so broken, I knelt on the floor of my room in despair when I got home. Conversations that taught me more about the world. Conversations that would sit in my mind for days afterwards while I digested everything that had been said. And somehow, most of these happened while eating breakfast.
Numero Seis: I learned that worship is more than a word, more than a song, and more than a prayer. I got the privilege of worshipping in multiple churches this year, and something that fascinated me was the vast ways that each congregation chose to express their worship. My favorite of which came from San Marcos, Texas where I met believers whose deepest point of worship is to serve others. I went to churches where the congregation was encouraged to sing along, dance, clap their hands and embrace one another. I went to churches that prefer more “old school American” worship. Worship, in action, is amazing.
Numero Seite: Kylie Jenner has a great makeup line. I had strong suspicions about her lip kits for a while, but I can attest, as someone who used to never use lipstick because I could never find a formula that I liked, Kylie Cosmetics are where it is AT. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Numero Ocho: You can love someone, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for them to be in your life anymore. I recently had God speak to me while I was praying about certain things and people that I still wanted to fit into my life – even though they were unhealthy for me. I love them. I want them a part of me. God gave me the image of me standing before him with shards of broken glass in my hand, begging Him to add them to the mosaic picture that makes up my life. He told me “I’m not adding them to your picture. They don’t belong there. The longer you hold them, the more it’s going to hurt you. Let go of them and let me fill the space.” Loving someone is wonderful. You can let go of them and still love them. But do not let loving an unhealthy person be the justification for why they remain in your life.
Numero Nueve: I learned how to use a bottle opener. Now I don’t have to use the side of a table anymore. Thanks, Liz.
Numero Diez: I learned that I can write a blog, and people will actually listen to what I have to say on it. The first time I had heard of blog writing as a profession was when I saw Julie and Julia back in 2008. I was twelve and I thought “what a cool thing to do someday.” I never saw myself as a blogger. Frankly, sitting in front of a screen and writing about my life on a chronological basis sounded like torture. But God somehow led me here, one step at a time. I look back and see moments that God’s fingerprints are all over, and I realize they were part of the story that led me to this point.
I have been indescribably blessed in this last year. I feel cheesy saying it, but there really are no limits to the greatness of God and His love – a fact that I’ve learned more about this year than any before. I just keep thinking to myself “I’m so, so, so grateful for 2018”.
Sneak Peek into 2019:
2019 is going to be an equally amazing year, including (but not limited to)…
- I get to start student teaching in January as a Communication Studies Teaching Assistant for a Small Group Comm class. (Essentially I’m going to learn how to be a Jedi in communication and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to meet the young Padi-Wans.)
- I’M GRADUATING IN DECEMBER. HA. LE. LU. JAH.
- I’m traveling a lot again. Stay tuned on that. It’s gonna be cool.
- One of my friends is having her baby in the summer and I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.
2019 is going to be a lot more learning, growing, crying, laughing, making weird Snapchat videos, watching movies late at night, praying, reading, arguing, spending too much money at Target, and talking about things that make my heart sing.
It’s going to be so great.
I can’t wait to tell you all about it.