Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

How'd we get here so fast? 

Similar to last year, I thought it'd be good/fun/reflective/nice to do a little year in review before sharing my #oneword2014. [See last year's here!]

I was patient this year. Or at least I tried to be. I've waited for words. I've waited for loved ones to see light. I've [tried to be] patient through goodbyes, health scares and forever figuring out how to be damaged. I've waited for things that didn't come, but most times I saw patience end in ridiculous amounts of beauty, time and time again. In the end, patience has reminded me that my God is always faithful even when it might feel like those 400 years (and really, it's usually not that drastic.), and that slowing down to listen for His best is always the better option.

[ps Loved these beautiful blog posts on patience this year: Hope is Slow {Minivans are Hot} (I'm forever coming back to this.) | When You're Missing Hope {A Holy Experience} (This: "And the only kingdom that will last for eternity still waits, this millennia-long, unwavering-hope for return of its King. Instead of chafing, we accept that waiting is a strand in the DNA of the Body of Christ.") | Pause {Shaun Groves} | Christmas in Africa {Seeing Joy}]

In January, I got back to blogging after a month-long break, trying to sort out peace and perfectionism. Y'know, everyday, light things like that. ;)

In February, I turned sweet 16 and got blown away by the beloved people around me who responded to my foolishness and gifted me with a ridiculous amount of world-change for my birthday. [This also became my most-read post ever.] Oh, and I also got a driver's license!

Blowing out 16 candles.

My first time behind the wheel... Let's start in the parking lot, shall we? ;)

In March, I was so humbled to be awarded with a provincial writing award for a piece I wrote on the courage of Malala Yousafzai (which I didn't get around to writing about until the summer). I also went to Wilmington again and God answered my "discomfort me for the things that discomfort You prayer", then turned my world upside down all over again.

With the published piece! :)

At UrbanPromise Wilmington - Camp Victory. Love and miss that place.

With the Wilmington team.

Basketball in Wilmington.

Visiting Camden, NJ - One of my favourite memories of 2013.

In April, worlds exploded - and this girl, born into a crazy broken world, just tried to make some sense of the pieces.

May and June brought some quiet time here on the blog, while I said goodbyes to a few beloved people and spent lots of time with friends (leaving and not leaving), just because I was so reminded of how fast people go.

The summer brought reflection, more broken-world, scary vision loss and a big 'ol famjam road trip (during which I get to show my family around Wilmington and be a tourist in that city I love so much!).

Showing my family around Wilmington - so thankful for this opportunity.

September came around and that's Compassion blog month, which I suck at and love all at once. Find that here, here and here. Oh, and my brother also became a teenager and officially taller than me and last week someone may or may not have asked who's older. Yeah.

The rest of fall was a whirlwind of not a whole lot on the blog, but a whole lot did go on. I was awarded with a YMCA Peace Medallion, guest blogged about peace on my church's Transform blog, spoke at the same event as a federal MP and was on the front page of the local newspaper which was really no big deal, right? (AHHHHHHHHHH) In all of that I could only repeat one thing to myself: Only. by. His. grace.

Speaking at the Peace Medallion Ceremony

Fall also brought Compassion Canada's 50th anniversary, where I met Wess Stafford (!!!!!) and was through the roof inspired and in love with Compassion's work all over again.

Such an inspiring human being - one of my greatest role models.

However, what sits heaviest on Fall for me is this:

Typhoon Haiyan

The country of the Philippines, that I love so much, engulfed and devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Fall was filled with pleas for donations, Compassion events dedicated to Typhoon relief, and a lot of heart-wrenching CNN-watching. It's not on the news anymore and the government matching is done, but the Philippines still needs every prayer, donation and support.

December saw the blog-introduction of Freedom Creations, something I started in October to simply try and do something in the fight against slavery. I've been ridiculously blown away by the crazy response this has gotten. Again, only ever by His grace. Check it out here.

And these past few weeks have just been a time of returning to the manger. (Here on the blog, that was through creative words.)

It's been a whirlwind, crazy, overall wonderful year of patience, growth, community, family, love and hope. Always hope. :) It's cliche - but when looking back, I can only ever marvel at God's amazing grace. <3 nbsp="">

And to my beloved bloggy friends: Thank you for journeying with me this year. Much love. :)

[Stay tuned for #oneword2014... can't wait to hear all of yours, too!]

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