That 4-word phrase seemed to be the theme of my 2014.
I guess when you make your #oneword2014 LESS - as in less-me-more-Jesus - He fills your year with crazy, unexpected grace.
My year felt like anything but less, but in the most crazy-grace way, it was filled with less stuff and more Kingdom - and could a girl ask for anything more?
And so we find ourselves here, at the 2014 Year in Review, and I can only look back and smile... Thanks.
January brought this blog's most-read post ever - by a long shot.
February was freezing... The perfect month to cheer on Team Canada in Sochi, turn sweet seventeen, and spend a night sleeping outside for a youth curriculum on empathy?! Sure. ;)
March felt like this year's quietest month. I did officially become our family's second-fastest cuber... Although I think my calling really is in helping to run those comps, not compete in them. ;) Spring was also a wondrous time to be a Toronto Raptors fan [as it is now] and you can be sure that this basketball family was cheering loud. [Like, loud. Really. Just ask mom. ;)]
In April, my family said goodbye to my beloved grandfather, as he stepped from this earth and into eternity with our Creator. As I've reflected on his life more than ever throughout this past year, I've only become even more thankful for him, his life, and his courage.
In May, my family and I started to tick down the days until our second trip to the Philippines in 3 years.
And then it was just a whirlwind from there... One I feel like I'm still just recovering from, in every good way possible.
June molasses-crawled its way by leading up to us getting on a jet plane headed for a certain cluster of islands that is quite close to my heart. My little bro graduated from the only elementary school either of us has ever known, this little boy named Jamson who stole my heart at a concert found a Compassion sponsor and finally, finally - we headed for the airport.
Our time in the Philippines was simply a joy. While there were many somber moments reflecting on the life of my grandpa, we knew we had so much to celebrate because of the life he lived. We met our newest Compassion child, JD, and we were able to spend time with Florianlyn and Rechelle for a second time. We visited with family, saw the field work of two of our other favourite organizations, International Justice Mission and Habitat for Humanity Philippines, and just enjoyed the relaxed pace of the Philippines.
And then... the biggest example of unexpected, crazy grace in this year makes a quiet entrance: Would I like to be the host of Compassion Canada's youth curriculum video series on poverty, injustice, and what our response as Christians can and should be?
And trip #2 to the Philippines ensued... this time to do some filming for the curriculum with JD, his family, and community.
The fall was readjustment back into First World culture. I grappled lots with what I experienced in the Philippines over the summer. September also brought the beginning of my last year of high school and the domestic filming of the Compassion Canada curriculum (which was also named True Story: What God Wants Us To Do About Poverty in September!).
The rest of Fall has been typical, busy Fall: university applications, Freedom Creations, speaking and advocating at Compassion events, seeing True Story begin to come together, scholarship applications, youth group, school, friends, life. Just your not-really-that-normal 17-year-old's life. ;)
I am ending this year incredibly thankful for the beautiful ways my Creator worked throughout this year. Less truly became more only through Him, and I can only marvel at the grace He continually gives.
To all of you here in the blog-sphere... I know this blog was one place where "less" was really evident this year. But thank you for reading these words when I come up with them. As we ring in the new year, the blog-shpere community is one thing I will surely be thanking our Abba Father for. Your words of encouragement, inspiration and love are so, so, so valuable to me. Thank You.
May His love, joy & peace be yours in the coming New Year!