As 2013 comes to a close just one week from today, I thought i’d do a year in review for my blog readers. It’s so hard to even remember the beginning months and their happenings sometimes but I tried my best. You might want to grab a cup of coffee or tea, it’s a long one today.:)
//January. The beginning of the year. Also when I went to Passion 2013, my last passion going underage;) The month I began to really think about what the year entailed including the prospect of moving, my last year at home, & college.
//February. Celebrating Valentine’s Day with one of my best friends for the second year in a row was definitely a highlight. I’m so thankful for friends who don’t take dating lightly and are trusting in God to bring their future spouse in the right timing.
//March. The month i got braces for the second time. (See HERE for the blog post regarding this) I learned in this month so much about trusting God and about second chances. It was a hard month both physically and emotionally and actually thirdly, spiritually. It made me so so thankful yet again for God’s mercy and grace in any and every situation of my life.
//April. I don’t remember much about this month except it was the month that we had the big celebration of my dad’s 33+ years at Bethlehem Baptist Church. He officially stepped down from his pastoring role the end of march and then april 14th there was a service and reception for him & our family. It brought tears to my eyes to see how many people showed up and showered us with gifts, kind words, and just love. Precious time for our family.
//May. The month that I moved from the only home I’d ever known to a small town in Tennessee. One of the hardest things in my life so far. But i wouldn’t have traded it for the world. I learned to rely on God in a new and fresh way. We started attending a church of only about 40 to 50 people in Knoxville where I’ve made (I believe) friendships for life. It was also the only church in all the churches we had visited that I completely felt at home and felt like the people were actually interested in me for who I was instead of just that I am John Piper’s daughter. So refreshing. We absolutely love it there.
plus side as well, i know everyone in the church!:)
//June. What i remember is hot, hot hot! oh and traveling of course. But seriously it was really really hot outside. I’m so thankful for air conditioning! Also finally not living out of boxes by this point. Though we didn’t move all our stuff, we still had a substantial amount in a moving truck and it took quite a while to get the last of it out of the boxes.
//July. Still hot. And oh the bugs, my goodness the bugs. Such creepy, crawly, nasty things. I can’t stand bugs. But at least I learned I don’t always have to scream when i throw my shoe at one. Oh and still traveling of course, my goodness this summer was probably one of the most busiest traveling times ever!
//August. The month of traveling, again.:) I went back to europe for a missions trip with several members from my original trip in 2011 to do what we did then, which was ministering to Third Culture Kids (kids who don’t belong to their birth culture (America most of the time) or their passport country (wherever their parents are ministering with them as missionaries) while their parents attending a weeklong conference. This was probably the hardest missions trip I’ve ever been on and I’ve been on quite a few. However, it was also a refining time for me as I really intensified my time in the Word and prayer as Satan was just attacking our team right and left! And of course I ended the trip with sickness. What’s a missions trip without it?! And also pretty much five days after getting back on American soil after being gone almost two weeks, I packed a overnight bag and headed out with my family to a weekend lakeside last hurrah before school. Only catch, school had started already TWO weeks ago. So yes I spent most of that time was spent inside, catching up on my four online dual enrollment classes through Boyce. So many tears were shed during that time as I tried to recuperate from my time overseas AND catch up on heavy classes AND somehow sleep.
//September. The month I count as officially starting my second year of dual enrollment ( what they call PSEO in the south) through Boyce College, online. A full load including my last math class (counting for both high school AND college credit!) and a C.S. Lewis course. So. much. reading. But good, good reading. All I had read of Lewis was The Chronicles of Narnia, so reading the other books such as The Screwtape Letters, Surprised by Joy, and a FANTASTIC biography of Lewis by Alister McGrath, was very enlightening. I learned so much about Lewis’s life that i had no idea about. I feel like I underlined and highlighted the entire book most of the time I was reading. Such good quotes everytime you turned the page.
//October. MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! Such a fantastic month full of celebration and finishing! Yes I did finish my finals just about a week & a half (give or take) after my birthday (the 11th). Earliest I’ve ever finished ANY finals. I worked ahead a week to take off my birthday weekend so i could go to Nashville with one of my best friends and celebrate there. We went to the Ryman and took a backstage tour, we walked around downtown Nashville, and we talked and laughed and ate wayyyy too much junk food. But it was my birthday so nobody was counting calories, especially because it was my 18th birthday! Also on my actual day of birth, we were shopping and I heard my phone buzzing so I reached down and actually I had just missed a call. I looked in my voicemails and listened to the most recent one. I had been accepted to my number one choice of colleges, Boyce College, and yes, I sure did start dancing right in Old Navy with my friend. I couldn’t believe it so I listened to the voicemail probably ten more times. PRAISE. THE. LORD. best birthday ever.
//November. the month of giving thanks. For the first time in pretty much forever, I had no school due before OR after thanksgiving. So for the first week it was so weird just not having to do anything. I definitely caught up on much needed sleep. I also got to actually enjoy my evenings without worrying about studying. Thanksgiving 2013 was good. We ate, chatted, enjoyed the fantastic weather, and laughed a whole lot. We also set up the christmas tree, and decorated the house. I started on my christmas cookie making and registered for my next semester starting in the middle to end of Jan. We bought and wrapped christmas presents and began really thinking about how fast Christmas was approaching.
oh also i got my new camera and sold my old one. I’m now the proud owner of a nikon d3100 with 18-55mm & 55-200mm lenses AND while i was at it i went and bought myself a good and steady tripod. Officially ready to begin a new season of (hopefully) a little more intense schedule of photo sessions for families, couples, or high school seniors around the Knoxville area. Want to learn more about my photography? Check out Godward Photography for more info and how to book a session!
//December. the final month of 2013. This year has whizzed by. Some parts did feel quite slow but most of it felt like a flash. Currently writing this blogpost with no snow outside and the sun is shining. I love country christmas. This was also the month I found out huge news regarding my schooling. I’ve been awarded a scholarship which will take care of my tuition for all four years. speechless.
I cried when I got the letter. I cried initially anyway because it was my “official official” letter of acceptance to Boyce but I especially cried when I read the part about the scholarship. We hadn’t filled out anything. We hadn’t asked. It was just given by God. Completely underserved gift and my heart is still just bursting with happiness. Also this means i don’t have to take the ACT again to see if I can get a higher grade, YAY YAY YAY. The ACT is SO not my cup of tea. or cup of anything for that matter.
And there you have it folks, my year in review for 2013. Thanks for taking time and reading it. I do realize most of you are probably spending time with your families right now so you might not see this till later but i just wanted to say too,