In these last days of 2014, I can’t help but look back and count all the many, many gifts God blessed me with this year. We’ve had quite a few hardships come our way these past few years, but this year has been a much better one. The best one in a while, in fact. If there’s one thing I learned this year, it’s that God is ALWAYS with us. No matter what we go through or where we are in life, He’s there. Guiding us, caring for us, loving us. Always and forever. When I’ve struggled to find comfort and joy, His love has encompassed me, reminding me I don’t have to go through it alone.
I feel like this year really reminded me that, hey, life is a beautiful thing. And there’s joy to be found EVERYWHERE. I’ve hit a few milestones, experienced numerous exciting moments, and just had an all around lovely year.
I think we need a list. I mean, who doesn’t love lists??
This year I. . .
-After a torturous 2 year wait, started the year off right with BBC’s Sherlock season 3. FINALLY. (Now where’s season 4?)
-Had the opportunity three different times to stay with one of my very bestest friends of 14 years who woefully lives out of town. During which we fangirled obsessively over Sherlock, sniffed the majority of the books in almost every bookstore in town, and ate copious amounts of snickerdoodles.
-Saw Tim Hawkins live and laughed my socks off.
-Experienced my little sister driving for the first time. . .and in my car. o.O Okay, okay, I was actually very impressed and proud! (You know, after I recovered from a heart attack.)
-Did much squealing when one of my other besties had her first baby, the cutest baby girl you ever did see!
-Participated in my very first Camp NaNo in April and made my goal of 30k words.
-Said goodbye to 21 and turned 22 years old. O_O
-Got my very first SMARTPHONE. Whom I call Lola and love.
-Experienced the magic that is Baskin Robbins ice cream. I can never return to a life without it.
-Went to see Maleficent in theaters and FELL. IN. LOVE. It is now officially on my list of favorite movies. (Not that I have a physical list, but ya know. . .)
-Revisited Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and enjoyed it almost (emphasis on the “almost”) as much as the first movie.
-Wrote Fallen Matter, a dystopianish, sci-fi book (which is something I NEVER thought I’d write) and completely fell in love with it to the point that it took over my life. Seriously.
-After a lifetime of despising it, discovering I actually like reading and writing in first person.
-Joined a critique group of girls that has been one of the BIGGEST blessings in my life this year. You all know who you are. Love you guys! <3
-Wrote my first novella—a Beauty and the Beast story for the Rooglewood Press fairytale contest.
-Had the chance to visit the first house my brother and I lived in. Now that was special!
-With a few tears, said goodbye to Matt Smith, Doctor Who’s 11th Doctor. But excitedly welcomed Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor. He’s an absolute perfect Doctor!
-Got the awesome opportunity of critiquing numerous novels by my super talented friends. Guys, get your novels published! The rest of the world needs them!
-Experienced the “fun” of sanding and putting polyurethane down on the floors. (Okay, hectic, not fun. But it was an experience. o.o At least our floors look better now.)
-Witnessed a fox just hanging around outside of my grandmother’s apartment. Foxes are one of my favoritest animals and I’ve always wanted to come across one and it was just THERE. Made my year!
-Took an impromptu trip where we found a secondhand bookstore as big as a warehouse and I got an almost replica of Legolas’s twin blades.
-Celebrated the birth of my other bestie’s precious, adorable baby boy! Two new babies. In one year. It was fantastic! <3
-Got to actually MEET my bestest internet buddy, writing partner, and fellow Tolkien lover Celti in PERSON. Coolest. Thing. Ever.
-Had a FANTASTIC time writing More White than Stars for NaNoWriMo and making a record of finishing a book in 22 days.
-Discovered the awesomeness that is the board game Carcassonne. Seriously, go check it out. My family is addicted.
-Shed a lot of tears in the Mockingjay Part 1 movie. Oh, how shall I survive part 2?
-Hit a big milestone of sending off my Beauty and the Beast novella to the contest judges. That’s the first time I’ve ever done anything “official” with my writing. Wow, so nerve-wracking! But now that the first time is done, maybe any future such experiences will be a wee bit easier.
-Visited Middle Earth for perhaps the last time in theaters by seeing The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. Tolkien’s stories shaped the Christine I am today, so that was a very emotional time for me. Bittersweet.
-Had an absolutely LOVELY Christmas celebrating the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2014, you have been good to me. I feel as though I’ve made strides in my writing, discovered a lot about life, made some awesome new friends, and experienced God’s love time and time again. I still have a LOT of growing to do, but I’m grateful for what I have learned this year.
2015, you’re a new slate. Soon color shall splash onto your fresh pages and swirl into another year full of brand new adventures.
And I can’t wait.