Last New Year's Eve, I decided upon my phrase for 2013: It's Yours, Lord. I had felt the need for reset and focus for 2013, and that is what God laid upon my heart for the new year. In the blog post I wrote, here was my final words...."I pray that the year ahead is full of blessings. But no matter, I know that God is planning all for my good. And in that promise is where I rest."
Wow. How true those words became.
I love my blog for no other reason then the journal it provides me to reflect upon. I committed my year to the Lord and to get the "I" and "My" out of my plans and put "His" in first place. I believe that was all ordained from the Lord for me to walk the journey that was 2013. As I do at this time of year, I'll reflect on the year that was....
After much prayer for about three months, I decided in March to get my MBA. I still am in awe that I'm truly doing this, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it is exactly what the Lord wants me to do. With three classes behind me, and three A's (yay!), I am thankful for this break at the end of the year to take a breath.
The Louisville Cardinals won the NCAA Basketball Championship in April. I'm a Louisville girl and proud of it. It was an amazing run and my love of college basketball came from my Dad who taught me to love sports....since he didn't have a son. I was oh so grateful I got to watch many of their games at Dad's side this past season.
Shortly after basketball season ended, Dad had some health problems, and he passed from this life to the next on Derby Day, May 4. I still find it surreal that he is gone, but there have been so many lessons God has taught me through it all. I miss him and my Mom terribly now but know they are in a much better place...together....praising our Savior. Dad was so proud I was getting my MBA and that is one of the kabillion reasons I know the timing of that was perfect.
In June I served in VBS for the first time in years. I worked in the Preschool craft room (Mom would have been in heaven there), and loved every exhausting minute of it. I took vacation time and it was my "mission" trip for the year. To see so many of the children that attended VBS be baptized since then makes my heart sing. And knowing the seeds we planted in those preschoolers will take root one day and hopefully grow makes me look forward to next year's VBS already.
I visited my Alabama family for the Fourth of July holiday. I wanted to get away after the loss of my Dad and the Fourth of July was perfect. It would have been my Mom's 85th birthday. The rain never stopped on July 4th, and most of my visit there, but it was absolutely wonderful as always.
Our annual trip to see the Todds was delayed until September, but was a wonderful time. Seeing Allison and Logan and how they've grown was big fun. And great food and fun with the Gentrys is always some of my favorite times of our visits. Laughing and hanging out with the Todds is the best part of all.
I traveled to Northern California 3 times this year for work and each time was special. The first trip out there after my Dad passed was so needed. I drove out to the coast and ate overlooking the ocean. It was peaceful and such a great reminder of how the Creator of the universe cares about the smallest of details in my life.
Speaking of work, I am so grateful for my team. From the passing of Dad, through helping them through their tough times and changes, I absolutely have the best team on the planet. Hands down. I manage 14 people, which may seem daunting, but I love them all. I have been diligent to pray for each of them this year by name regularly and hope I have been a manager that has set the proper example for them. To me, managing people is my favorite part of the job....the part that drives most managers crazy. Realizing that helps me know I'm right where i'm supposed to be.
The last few days of the Christmas holiday have been beyond glorious. I may never understand why God blesses me with friends that are family (I refer to as "friendily") and love me so. Christmas Eve was spent with the Roederers and their new puppy, Penny. I'm an aunt again! I wish I had live tweeted the event because it's like a Cosby show waiting to happen. I love this family and how they let me be a part of their family Christmas. On Christmas, I was able to spend it with the Blackwells. Beth is a sister from another mister and her husband, Kelly takes good care of me. Kelly carted Brock and Kaylee over to wash my car one day and I am so thankful for those kind of surprises. Dad would be so glad I have Kelly (and other Kellys) around to take care of me. Makes me very thankful I asked Kelly to be a pall bearer for my Dad. Kaylee was quick to show me all her gifts and even Lexi, her cousin, became my BFF. Yesterday I got to spend the day with Christie, my NOK (next of kin), and her Mom. Again, they are family to me and her Mom is one of many who take care of me like a Momma....especially on those days when I miss my Momma so much. Tonight I get to hang out with the Thelma to my Louise, Amy....eating Thai food and crafting....and catching up on life. I love her so. The Lord sovereignly arranged all of these friendships in such a way that He knew who I would need in my life. Blessed seems so minor to describe how I feel.
When I sat in the church last New Year's Eve, praying about the coming year, I had no idea what God was doing in my heart. Oh, He did, and He was preparing me for the year ahead. Reading the words I wrote reminds me how much better it is with God in control. I look back and see He was planning all for my good. And the year was full of blessings....even with the loss of my Dad, leaving me without my parents. His love for me is immeasurable. Lord, may I always make my life Yours.