2017, brave, change, gratitude, grief


Another year has come and gone. It’s hard to believe 37 years have already passed. When did that happen? How is it possible? At the start of this year I wrote a blog reflecting on the past year, but that was more events and experiences. For today I want to reminisce a bit and honor the struggles and joys of this last year…

  • Just a few weeks after my birthday last year I started my sabbatical – three months of learning to let go of my identity as a youth minister and just settle into the daily rhythms of life with God, nature and my own reflections. It was a lot harder than I expected and I’m still sorting out the lessons learned during those three months.
  • I got to travel quite a bit over this last year – Boston, New Mexico, New Orleans, Mexico and as always, Tennessee.
  • I’ve made 18 quilts and several tree skirts in the last 12 months. I also started my Solstice Challenge quilt – it’s ready to be quilted, I just haven’t been brave enough to begin!
  • I started going to yoga last fall. In a year I’ve come into wheel, crow, fallen triangle, countless downward dogs and warrior poses, and just yesterday I did fallen angel! I’ve learned to breathe deeper and appreciate the strength in both my movements and stillness.
  • I stopped running then started running again. Both were necessary and appreciated!
  • I learned that it’s not likely we’ll have children. That’s been the hardest part of 37. This one will carry over into many years to come. But, we’re learning to move through it in healthy ways. I’m incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from our family and friends.
  • I resigned from a job and even though the process was painful and scary and full of a lot of unknowns, I started a new job. I had to say goodbye to a lot of people I love – but it’s not a forever thing.
  • I went from three months of sporadic church attendance back to working at a church full time to sporadic church attendance once again. And yet, this year I’ve felt closer to God than I ever have.
  • I’ve learned that it’s okay to put more energy into some relationships than others. I’ve learned that some relationships are meant for a season and will return again but for now, it’s okay to step back. I’ve learned to really honor what I need and then follow through with it.
  • Many of my friends faced some really hard times this past year. It’s been sad to watch them go through it, but such a joy to come through the other side.
  • 37 taught me that there’s no else I’d rather do life with than Brad. I can’t imagine going through such dark nights of the soul with anyone but him. He comforts me when I’m sad. He asks what I need instead of assuming he knows. He makes me laugh. He truly loves me for me – there’s no holding back with this guy. I’m so, so grateful for our marriage.
  • I feel like I’ve cried more this year than in the last few. I haven’t laughed as much. But recently I think that’s beginning to change. I notice when I laugh. I really hear it. And I like that – I like hearing my laughter again.

37 was a doozy. There were some very challenging moments for sure. However, I’ve also grown in amazing ways. Those lessons will serve me for many years to come.

I really can’t complain. I’m alive. I’ve always loved birthdays, but ever since my friend Katy died I’ve made a promise to myself to really enjoy each birthday that comes along. I’m not going to worry about aging or the gray hairs that won’t quit or the wrinkles beginning to form. I can’t complain because all of those things mean I get another year to live this beautiful life. I don’t have a birthday agenda this year (yes, that’s been a thing in years past!), but don’t worry – I’ll celebrate as much as possible! Here’s to 38!



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