Monday, December 30, 2013

End of the Year Wrap-Up

I debated for quite awhile over this post. I wanted to talk about all of the new products I received for Christmas, and ooh and ahh over my new Naked2 palette (more on that next time), but then I realized it's December 30th. After tomorrow, 2013 will officially be in the past.

And I got a little bit sad. 

Like every year of life, there were a lot of ups and downs. Many disappointments, tears, and let downs. However, I believe there were even more moments of pure happiness, love, and success. 

As I was reflecting on 2013, I started to beat myself up a little. Some of the mistakes I made (as recently as...yesterday) were some of the same mistakes I vowed I wouldn't be making at the beginning of 2013.   But, here I am, still dealing with the same failures, and still trying to erase some of the same wounds. And honestly, it's upsetting. Why cant we just BE better. Why can't we automatically learn from our mistakes and correct our future? Why can't we avoid pain, even when we see it coming? 

The only answer I can come up with is...because... we are human. We aren't perfect. Sometimes we have to make the same mistake 500 times before we learn how to avoid it. Sometimes we have to give ourselves the time we need to grow and heal. Sometimes we shouldn't rush it. And most of all...sometimes we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves. 

2012 was a bad year. I am not a fan of being a negative Nancy, but it legitimately was one of the hardest, most painful years of my life. But as I have discussed and wrote about before, because of that year, I grew as a person, emotionally and, more importantly, spiritually. I couldn't have gotten through that year without my family and friends, who were there to encourage me and love on me until I wanted to be "me" again. And because of that year, I understand that no hardship, trial or pain is without a purpose. More often than not, we cannot see the "why" or "how" in the present. But sometimes we are lucky enough to look back...maybe a month later, or maybe 5 years later, and see God's plan. And more importantly, how he loves us enough to protect us from things we can't even see.

So, coming into 2013, I was a little bit gun shy. I was hesitant about what the year would bring. I was scared of who I would be, or more importantly, who I wouldn't be. And while I am trying to learn more about that very topic every day, I am okay with the small and simple realization that I know I have done at least one thing this year: progressed. Progress certainly doesn't equal perfection, but it also means that I am moving forward, even if just one step at a time. 

In conclusion, the only resolution that I want to make for 2014 is to extend more grace to others. The kind of grace that Jesus extends to me every hour, every day of the week. I know I don't give it enough. I certainly don't deserve it from the people around me, either. Even still, it's there. The only way we can truly grow, truly learn from each other, truly heal, and truly thrive in relationship with others is by pouring the kind of grace, love, and humility into each other that Jesus so openly gives to us. 

And it's not easy. So I think I have my work cut out for me. Of course, I would love to lose 5 pounds as well. But as long as the Oreo franchise doesn't go under in 2014...that isn't happening. 

Thank you to the people reading who I would affectionately call "mine." Thank you for loving me and showing me grace in 2013... I can't wait to spend 2014 with you! 


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