2014 // year in review

Every year ends. Year after year. It comes to a close.

This time last year I had no idea what the year had in store. none whatsoever. I know we never really know what will happen each year, but this one was different. For the first time in my life, there were no big life markers. Graduate high school:Start college. Finish Sophomore year:Work at Garaywa:Start Junior year. Graduate college:Start graduate school. Graduate from graduate school:Start first real job as SLP. There were always important moments to revolve the year around.

2014 was different. There was nothing. No set life milestone. A completely blank slate.

The calendar was empty. 365 days yet to filled with a single date. Little did I know the roller coaster of a year I was in for.

On January 1, 2014, I wrote these words of prayer to God:
Push me out to stand on my own two feet & to truly rely on my faith. Turn my world upside down if you you have to. What I want more than anything this year is to fall more in love with you & bring more glory to your name. I have no idea what this year holds. I pray that no matter what happens, you draw me deeper in your Word, your arms, your love, & your will. I want my life to reflect you in every way possible. My ultimate goal is to turn everything over to you & allow you to work it out according to your glory & plan.
At this point {365 days later}, my words are just comical. God did far more than I could have ever imagined and did exactly what I prayed. He turned my world upside down. Like this ...

January // Began working out/training with the amazing Alicia Burr at Jane's Gym. Started Beth Moore's Bible study, Believing God.

February // Valentine's Day was one for the books. One of the most breath-taking and awe-inspiring sunrises I've every seen. Jordan's broken elbow which sent this aunt's heart into full panic mode. A month full of God's provisions.

March // Weddings galore. Mac {the mini aussie} entered our lives. My 25th birthday spent with sweet friends and amazing family. Ministry opportunities that God used to refocus and refresh my heart. Jonah study with She Reads Truth. Homecoming at the W. A prayer for God to lead where my trust is without borders and that my faith would be made stronger which changed everything. the 29th was the night I first felt God calling me to New Orleans.

April // Worked a Garaywa Mother/Daughter as camp missionary. Made the first trip to New Orleans with my mom to tour New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where I plan to take classes eventually and look for apartments. Was told by a therapy company that it was unlikely I would find a job in NOLA due to the job market.

May // Had two interviews for school jobs in NOLA. Received and accepted an offer for the job with Jefferson Parish Public School System. Finished my Clinical Fellowship/first year as a school SLP at DeSoto Central Elementary and said a tearful goodbye to the best first job I could have ever asked for. Got on a plane headed out of the USofA and to the greatest place on earth, East Asia.

June // Packed as many meetings and people into one month as I could in East Asia. I ate the best food on the planet. Made new and lifelong friendships. Traveled in EA to a new and exciting city. And had the privilege/honor of leading a brother to a relationship with the Lord alongside two dear friends.
July // After a typical turbulent {not literally} flight schedule back home, returned home from EA. Granny had a heart attack just hours after my return sending our family into an even more turbulent next few months getting her better. Signed HR paperwork for my new job in NOLA later that week. Chaperoned LHBC Beach Week and enjoyed pouring into the lives of the youth girls while also getting poured into by the other women on the trip.  Spent the last two weeks packing up all of my belonging and squaring away the short period of life I lived in Olive Branch.

August // Said my final goodbyes in the beginning of August and moved to New Orleans. Started my new job at Paul Solis Elementary. Moved into my new apartment. Attended Beth Moore's Living Proof Conference in Memphis. And celebrated Jordan's 6th birthday.

September // Spent every other weekend traveling all around the state of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama for recruitment, wedding stuff, and a concert. Adjusted to my new life in NOLA. Started going to First Baptist New Orleans and Level Ground Community Church.

October // Participated in a write 31 days blogging challenge. Started a one year chronological reading plan of the Bible and finally learned how to wake up earlier to spend time with God to start my day. Reconnected with a childhood friend. Seafood festival. More wedding festivities and traveling. Signed up for a half-marathon. Started teaching GAs at FBNO.

November // Attended my best friend's wedding. Moved my grandparents to Olive Branch in order to better take care of them and ensure that they are around as long as possible to make even more memories. Continued half-marathon training. Went home for the Thanksgiving holiday, caught up with some sweet friends, and spent thanksgiving eve at the ER because mother loves to scare us to death.

December //  She Reads Truth Advent Study. Nights and weekends filled with holiday movies, lights, and parties. Celebrated Gage's 4th birthday. Spent quality time with family celebrating Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas. Headed back to NOLA for new years.

This was really just for my benefit, so if you made it all the way through that, God bless you.

God is faithful ... even through the changes. Not a single month went by without clear evidence of God weaving together a bigger picture. One thing is clear: God is in control. I wouldn't change one single moment of 2014, and I am already looking forward to what God has in store for 2015.

Goodbye, 2014. Hello, 2015