So many people say you have years of answers and years of questions. I like to think it’s true and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for you, 2016. This year opened so many doors, stretched me farther than I ever thought possible, and all while making sure I learned to savor each moment. Today is a reflection of what 2016 taught me. I hope you enjoy! Have you sat down and really thought about what you learned in 2016? Have you dived deep and realized how much you grew? or how much the Lord worked in you?
S L O W D O W N
If you know me, then you know I’m a girl who sticks to her word, even if that means it runs me absolutely down to the ground, completely fried. I like to do it all by myself and without any help. This year, I learned to slow down. There were several times, my life was brought to a complete halt. At the time, I had no idea what God had planned or what he was doing. I even questions his intentions several times.
But it taught me to have patience, with not only myself but everyone around me. At the end of 2015, I was completely burned out in so many ways. This carried into 2016 and if you have ever been burned out before, I feel you. Goodness it may just be the worst and one of the biggest sins, I never seem to learn from (#honest). In 2015, I didn’t have the energy to care or pour into those I loved. Quite honestly, this breaks my heart.
Last, learning to slow down has taught me just how important being present is. Just how much sweeter life is, when you actually take time to smell the roses or have a dance party with your best friend. It’s truly the little things people! Stop multi-tasking and slow down. Just Be!
D R E A M B I G // the bigger the better
I have always been a dreamer. Ever since a little girl I wanted to be the president, a lawyer, inner city school teacher and even a pastor (Jokes on me). I lived as if the sky was the limit but as I grew up and went to college, began adulting, I realized then what this new reality was. It wasn’t exactly what I dreamt it would be. It definitely was a wake up call. My first year out of school, I realized just how little I was in this big world and just how many barriers there are in regards to chasing after what you love.
My dreams became a lot duller and few and far between. I just wanted to honestly make it through the work week and not even think about completely changing my career or starting a side hustle.
SO thankful for the lord opening my eyes this year. Through this blog and a few other opportunities I have realized just how joyful going after what you love is. There is something so satisfying about running after what the Lord has called you to and people God puts desires on your heart for a reason. This was truly the first year this resonated with me. We were all created with more detail than we can even imagine and all with a plan and desires placed upon us. So trust your gut, pray about it and run after what you love. Just absolutely do it.
L O V E & L O V E B I G
This one is absolutely huge. Love is honestly the key to just about everything. Learning this and truly trying to adopt it in my everyday life changed me this year. To start when you fully love, the connections you make with people are beyond anything you can imagine. Guess what? We were designed to pour into others constantly and steadfastly. Do you know how many times steadfast love is mentioned in the bible? 123 times. Like what? Don’t just love those you’re closest to, love strangers, love your coworkers and love those who get on your nerves most. Love wins in the end.
Last note about love. 2015 left me with a whole lot of heartbreak and confusion. I was facing a lot of things head on and some things in my past that I just never handled. I shut down and had huge walls up when it came to love. As a result, I became fiercely independent, to a fault. But 2016 showed me how important it is to let people in and let people love you. I am and will be forever grateful for this. Love is the greatest thing and the key to making this big mess of a world we live in go round. Whether it’s loving yourself, loving others or opening your eyes to the idea of love, all are equally important.
G R A T I T U D E
Finally, if 2016 could have one word it would be gratitude for me. It is quite honestly the most important and humbling lesson I learned this year. Anne Lamott said it best
Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides…. When you are aware of all that has been given to you in your lifetime and in the past few days, it is hard to not be humbled and want to give back.
Show gratitude in everything you do and I promise it will surely change your life (or at least your outlook). This year I depended on those I love most, and coming from a girl who likes to do it all by herself, it was truly humbling. Accepting the help and love from others and showing the gratitude is what I owe to all of the good this year and there was so much good.
Someone very special to me this year taught me that we ‘get to‘ not ‘have to.’ So often I say I have to… But most of the time, this list of things I ‘have to do’ are things I love and feel incredibly grateful I get to do. I get to go mentor, I get to set aside time with my girlfriends for ladies nights, I get to setup at church, pour into others or I even get to wake up and work. It’s truly humbling to realize there are people who are praying for the things you ‘have to do’ or they are happy with far less than what you have. So join me in praising a little more each and everyday.
2016 was by far one of the hardest, most growing year of my life but goodness it was a great one. I absolutely cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store. Love you all so much and seriously cannot thank you enough for reading!