At the end of every year I write a review of that year, they always look different, but, this particular post is one of my favorites to do because it makes me stop and reflect… Which, inevitably leads to gratitude for what God has done in my life… Even during the hard years.
So, here I sit reviewing and reflecting on 2015.
This year from beginning to end felt like warp speed, it never slowed down.
I have now completed my first year at my new job and back in DC. This year has been full of stress, frustrations, and confusion as I tried to navigate my new job and rebuilding my life here in DC. Yet, through it all there has always been an overwhelming amount of contentment and certainty that I was and continue to be exactly where I am supposed to be.
Some things took much longer to resolve than I anticipated, like my stress level over money. I had not realized how much being unemployed created an obsessive compulsiveness in me to check my bank account every couple days… I stressed about money constantly. Through work because I manage a budget I was given the opportunity to take Financial Peace University; I love what it has done in my life. While I do not follow it entirely (I’m really bad at using all cash), I certainly have seen it change my stress level, and I have more money in savings, and a greater understanding and comfort (peace) with my finances than I have ever in my entire life. I have a lot of debt to pay off, but I also was able to pay off half of my credit card debt this year.
Blessing #1: Finances settling.
I loved the house I moved into when I first got here. I liked my roommates, and the location was great. Then, we had a curveball thrown at us, and we had to move after only a few months of living there because our military landlords were returning. Insert: Chaos and stress. Figuring out what we were going to do and searching was chaotic and stressful right in the middle of chaos and stress at work. Then we found this amazing row-house that was smaller, but somehow actually better than our last. We lost and gained a roommate in the transition, and yet again, the move seemed to create this pressure valve, and peace, laughter, joy, and community have settled in our home.
Blessing #2: Amazing house and community.
My car. Not much brings me to tears faster than car problems. There were so many car problems this year, as a carry over from my head on collision a couple years ago. It took a lot of money and time to get everything up to inspection and then in August for a routine oil change my mechanic called my car a “rolling death trap”. He more or less instructed me to get rid of it and stop putting money into it, then parked my car until I decided. After lots of back and forth, I let my trusty car go and have been without a car since. My goal is to go a year then reevaluate, and use that extra money to pay off debt faster. I have loved that not having a car forces me to walk, I have access to vehicles of friends if I need it, and I live in a massive public transportation city which makes life much easier.
Blessing #3: Having to walk everyday.
This year has been absolutely stuffed with adventure. Which, as I reflected on the different adventures, I looked up the definition just to see how accurate of a term it was:
“an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.”
Every day was full of adventure this year.
And, just to give a (very) small window into the adventures and people that made life so fun and funny in 2015:
Blessing #4: Adventures.
A couple years ago I topped out at my heaviest weight of my life, and it was not due to muscle. So, I decided in 2014 to start purposefully eating better. In 2015 I was still not happy with how I looked, but also how I felt, so I got a gym membership and began working towards feeling better. It has been 10 months, and I am happier with my body now than I have ever been in my life. I am not yet where I want or need to be, but it is so encouraging to see pictures of myself this year compared to the last two, and find myself satisfied rather than embarrassed.
Blessing #5: Better health and confidence.
It would get exhaustive to list a paragraph for each of the blessings I see as themes from 2015, so here are a few additional:
Blessing #6: Growing and Re-growing.
Blessing #7: Seeing and experiencing God’s faithfulness new.
You can see the community throughout all of the pictures. The community of people both near and far that fill my life is overwhelming in the best of ways.
Blessing #8: Community.
Blessing #9: Music.
Blessing #10: Family.
What an incredible year it was. 2015 certainly did not disappoint, so much laughter, crazy challenges, some heartache, and a few curveballs, but I find myself thankful and amazed at how God was with me throughout it all this year.