Have you ever had those years that seemed to fly by? One minute you’re wearing those goofy 2013 glasses and the next, you’re toasting to 2014? The year seems to slip by like mist, and before you know it, it’s over.
This year wasn’t like that at all for me.
I’m ready for 2015. I’m ready for the newness, the adventure, and the love it will bring with it. But I think I’m only ready for it because 2014 was so very full. I feel like I lived every last drop, in fact, I’m not sure I could have lived any more.
And so with 2015 just around the corner, I want to take some time to look back. I’m a big believer in the fact that you start one season the way you end the last and I want to start this one with some intentionality, reflection, and gratitude.
So, because I watch too much football with my husband, lets talk highlights.
I want to share some of mine with you and I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on your own too.
One quick note: I want to be intentional with the way I share these as well. It would be easy to share only the best parts—the days where my hair looked amazing, and everything was going my way. But I want to go about this differently—setting a tone for what I want this next year to be about.
I’m going to share these reflections honestly because I believe that’s the kindest thing we can do for one another. We tell each other the truth about our lives because, if nothing else, that truth helps us all know we’re not alone.
So with truth and honesty sitting next to me like warm cups of coffee, here are my 2014 highlights.
1. Carl and I planned a wedding
Carl and I spent a good portion of 2014 planning our wedding—an endeavor that was a blast, full of champagne and presents, and one that very nearly killed us.
If you haven’t planned a wedding before, you think it’s just about as much fun as a girl could have. Parties, best friends, gorgeous dresses, what’s not to like?
Planning a wedding is a full-time job. It’s an exercise in budgeting (Carl learned that’s not one of my strenghts), in logistics (also not one of my strengths), and keeping your cool when things inevitably go awry.
It felt like a 6 month long team building activity for our still-new relationship.
It was a challenge, for sure. But it was a fun challenge, and one that taught us a lot about working together and being a team. Also, the result was superb.
2. We got let go from our jobs
This sucked. There’s no way around it. There’s nothing quite like going into your stable job one morning, and having it all disappear by lunch.
My heart was broken that day, and I have to be honest that it’s taken me the rest of the year to stop feeling so broken about it. But slowly and surely, God’s brought healing to those broken, bitter places in my heart. And slowly and surely, I’ve become able to look back on what happened as a blessing. But trust me, it’s taken awhile.
3. We learned what community really means
I can’t talk about losing our jobs though without talking about what happened next. We lost our jobs with coworkers who had become friends, and as we all walked out of that office for the last time that day, I watched amazed and teary as those people and I grafted together.
I can’t think about that season without remembering midnight runs to the grocery store for a frozen pizza and margarita mix. I can’t help but remember how many dinner parties we had, and how late people stayed at my apartment because suddenly every day was a weekend.
I learned so much about friendship, and about the power of community this year. I learned how going through something together is the way to go, and how people who love you can carry you right through your worst seasons—seasons where you barely know how to walk on your own.
4. We moved to Nashville
With a part-time job between the two of us, Carl and I moved to Nashville two weeks before our wedding. I still can’t believe we did it—moved to a city we knew very little about, moved into an apartment we had only seen online. It was surreal, like it wasn’t really happening.
Since then, we have been creating a routine, and a place of our very own. We’ve been making friends and forming community—meeting people and getting to know a new city and our new selves in it.
5. We got married
In 2014, Carl and I got married. We had a wedding, everyone came, I wore a white dress and he wore a tux. With our best friends by our sides and our teary parents in the front row, we said vows to each other, claiming the other as our own for the rest of our lives.
It was beautiful and a blur and the best weekend of my life so far—the weekend where I made the best decision I’ve ever made: I married Carl Wilson.
6. We began learning what marriage even means
This feels even more significant to me from where I’m sitting than the wedding does. We’re 6 months in and I can’t believe how much we’ve learned. We’ve learned how to fight, how to talk to each other when the other one is hungry, or cranky, or tired.
We’ve learned what the other person needs—what keeps us sane, what drives us nuts, how the other one folds clothes.
But mostly we started learning how to be best friends. Marriage has been far more fun than I ever let myself hope for, and that’s been my favorite thing of all.
7. I released my first book
I swear this almost killed me. I worked on my book for about 15 months before my friend, and co-worker Darrell lit a fire under my butt with a deadline. “You have two months before the release date,” he told me, picking an arbitrary day.
The next two months were a blur. I re-wrote everything I’d spent so long working on, cut things, added things, sent it off for feedback, made changes.
I sat in front of my computer for 12 hours at a time until Carl would come home and force me to eat, closing my computer, lovingly ignoring my protests.
Releasing my book took so much out of me and gave me even more in return, and I cannot, CANNOT wait to start working on the next one.
This year has been a year of change. If I’m being honest with you and with myself: I don’t love change. In fact, I hate it. But this year I’ve learned that when things change—even if that comes with some fear as change usually does— there’s almost always something better around the bend.
Happy New Year friends. I hope you spend some time reflecting on 2014, on the best moments, the hardest moments, and what you’ll take into 2015.
I love you all! I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring.