For the first time in years, I didn’t move cities or houses, just upstairs with one of the best humans I know. I bought a car and said goodbye to my first. I left my first salary job and started a new one. I skiied for the first time. I watched Serena Williams win the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. I watched my Young Life girls’ graduate from high school. I celebrated dear friends get their dream jobs, engaged, married and even give birth to their firstborns. I took a six day solo roadtrip. I went to the zoo on lunch breaks. I met Tom Bulliet of Bulliet Bourbon, who swiftly served me a rye on the rocks and stole my whiskey allegiance. I bought an old picnic table from a small town and spent most of summer making memories with friends around it. I got tattoos. I saw Justin Timberlake perform 34 songs live. I sent off chinese lanterns for the heck of it. I rented a pontoon boat with friends. I floated, canoed, flipped kayaks and sank an iPhone. I set the table for a lot of meals. I had picnics in the park across the street. I read on the roof. I bought my first Christmas tree. I saw, hiked and fell in love with another part of Oregon: the coast. I joined a new church. I took a self-date to my first symphony concert to see Brandi Carlile. I attended my first Cardinals home game. I had the time of my life at my first music festival. I filled a journal with poetry. I met my newest nephew in the beer aisle of a grocery store. I ate with the homeless. I was changed by the stories of dozens of recovering addicts. I picked up loved ones from the airport and hugged many goodbye. I made new friendships to be kept for a lifetime. I watched friends consistently show up, stand with and give selflessly. I fell in and out of love. I hoped big, doubted, mourned, then hoped bigger. I was inspired by great art and great words. I danced more than I did in 2012. I laughed tirelessly. And this I trust to be most true: the Lord was good. In ways I know and am yet to, He was good.
I hope you’ll find pause before the ball drops. You may find you have much more to reflect on than you thought: I always do. Here’s to experiencing more of His greatness and gifts together in 2014. Happy New Year!