The world feels differently these last few days of the year. Old. Winding down. Ready to start something new. There’s no reason for it to feel any differently than another part of winter, say January. But having a calendar puts it all into perspective. Those little boxes that divide our lives up into weeks, months, years give meaning and significance to our days. Helps us to classify transitions, beginnings, and endings. Even if no one else can see it, the calendar change on our lives helps to steer and maneuver us so that we can be given a breath of fresh hope. All of us, I think, look forward to new starts and untarnished opportunities. And with a new year, the calendar graciously allows us that chance.
I always love new things. New books. New journals. New clothes. New goals and lists. And especially new years. What kinds of amazing experiences and opportunities and dreams fulfilled lie within the year ahead? I always wonder. Although small at the time of days and weeks passing by, when one stops at the end of a year to look back, all that has occurred can take one by surprise.
And so that is why I pause to do a year-in-review … to look back upon another year of blessings with gratitude and try to put into words a small picture of part of a life lived. This year especially was filled with things I never would have expected, but have been so incredibly blessed with. Hopefully through these few pictures, I can share the joys of blessings with you, and eagerly look ahead to a new year.
Who would have ever thought when starting off the year with this group of kids I call my HYPE family that a few short weeks later CYT National would contact me and ask me to plan the National HYPE Conference? What an incredible honor and privilege – and what a beautiful thing to be able to share my love of the HYPE family in such a bigger way. And then to have that extended in July with the invitation to become the National HYPE Director was even more mind-blowing and exciting. I pray that I can be faithful to my duties and open to God’s leading in this position in the year ahead.
When one determines not to be bitter about a holiday that could make one cynical … and instead chooses to focus on all the loved ones who are in one’s life, that holiday becomes a beautiful one. Celebrating with a 50’s sock-hop and decorating cupcakes with a dear little nephew was the perfect Valentine’s Day celebration.
FroYo adventures with this sweet girl!
March also began the adventure of intern directing for “Bye, Bye Birdie” with dear Kristine. Note to self: you are not super-human. As much as you love theater, don’t ever attempt that many projects at one time again! It was an amazing ride though, and I learned SO much from start to finish. And I was grateful to get to work with so many special students before they graduated!
In the midst of remodeling our bathroom, we had lovely visits from these two sisters! I dearly love sister time.
There was also this one time where Danika and I spent a whole afternoon in the campus mall, using up a container of chalk. That was an adventure that helped to begin a friendship that has only grown more precious and deep as the year has progressed. I am beyond thankful for this girl and her love & loyalty – and sense of adventure! 🙂
Birdie Dress Rehearsal Week – I love working with children. And this experience helped to confirm it even more.
The month of May also brought the most beautiful wedding of my dear, dear friend, Jenna. Along with that blessing, I got to be reunited with several other Capernwray friends … oh how sweet the bond of kindred spirits. ❤
That little vacation ended with a day-long visit to the Sebens house … where we had photo shoots with Gwen and awkward family photo shoots … how I love these girls who are like sisters to me!
God’s promises are never-failing … as He reminded me smack-dab in the middle of the year.
I saw my nine HYPE seniors graduate this month … dear ones whom I fondly referred to as my “HYPE babies,” four of whom were the “originals” that I began this HYPE journey with. What a beautiful testimony to these lives and all they accomplished – I’m excited to see what they will accomplish in their next phase of life!
June also saw the fulfillment of my dreams with the National HYPE Conference … what an enormous blessing to see so many kids turn out excited and passionate about pursuing leadership! And then to get to spend a day in San Diego with our own Spokane group was another beautiful blessing …
And some holidays … haha, well … are celebrated in a rather non-adventure! Nevertheless, they are still memorable, and I’m glad that Lisa, Theo, and I could share it together. 🙂
Most of my summer was consumed by summer camps once again … but when working with such amazingly fun people, how could it ever be a bad summer? 🙂
Adventures going to see Bung Campo perform … 😀
My most favorite part of the summer (apart from the HYPE Conference) was the amazing opportunity to play Tzeitel in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Such a dream come true, especially with one of my very best friends and an artistic team out of this world. I love being onstage again. :]
Melting Pot with Joe … at least we got one thing checked off my bucket list this summer!
Summer Camp Staff Olympics. :] I love getting to work and play with these amazing people!
And what a blessing it was to escape to a Priest Lake cabin and retreat with my HYPE-sters, passing the torch and preparing for a new year together.
Sweet summer nights … spent with these beauties whom I love with all my heart.
Dinner parties with friends that result in the most hilarious of inside jokes … love ’em!
One last adventure before we all split to college …
I love getting to mentor and hang out with this girl. She blesses my life
And this month began one of the biggest adventures of the year … choosing to live on campus. It was a huge step of faith, but one that has already blessed me in hundreds of ways. And this room, though it be ever so tiny, is such a sweet haven on campus. :]
This was one of my most favorite nights from this quarter … making pumpkin cake-in-a-mug with Sydnee & Danika and watching “Anne of Green Gables.” One of the best things about living on campus … getting to have “college-life” adventures together!
Such a rare opportunity … getting to go back to my childhood town and seeing friends I made when I was only five years old …
Celebrating Halloween with new friends … costumes, Olive Garden, and a photo-shoot. What could be better?
An adventure in learning to fear less, trust more, and live more in abandon for Christ …
Just loving life and enjoying getting lost a little bit!
Isn’t it amazing how God brings people into your life that you need? I’ve been so blessed by this girl’s friendship – though it’s only been in place since August, she has brought so much encouragement and affirmation to my life, like only kindred spirits can. 🙂
Sledding with Danika Beth!
No better way to celebrate my birthday and start the month of December than on retreat with these fabulous seven (plus two more not pictured)!
Encore, Encore … my favorite CYT event in the whole world. I love my job so much. :]
A new haircut for a new year and a new outlook on life!
One last visit from a best friend in 2012 … one beautiful wintery morning together making memories.
And how better to end the year than with a dear sister, watching fireworks by a misty river under a full moon? Beautiful start to a new year.
2012 has had its share of triumphs and failures. But overall, no regrets. None whatsoever. The mistakes made have given me lessons learned and I hope that I become a better person because of them.
My verse of the year for 2013 is Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
He will make this year beautiful – in HIS time, not my own. My hunger and prayer is just to know Him better – to fall in love with my Savior in new and exciting ways – and to be joyfully surprised by new dreams that He will put in my heart. This is the year for my dreams to be radically reshaped by the Master as I surrender control to Him. May my pen, my voice, my theatrical endeavors, my teaching, my leadership and planning, my relationships, and most importantly my walk with Jesus bring Him all honor. May my prayers be bold, my hunger fresh, and my passion contagious and forward-moving in 2013. This year is Yours, Papa. Do with it what you like.