2018: Begin

Yesterday we were singing a hymn in church and the lyrics struck me in a new way. A hymn I’ve sung for a long time and know the words to, but as I was thinking on the year wrapping up and a few other things going on, these lyrcis pierced my heart:

How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er

The words are from the hymn “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” and this is the rest of the chorus:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Thinking back on 2018, by trusting Jesus, I have proved him over and over, even in the unknown.

((In case you’re new here, every year I have a word that I feel is one to define the year and I don’t share the word until the end of the year. Any text that is bold is a link to another post from days and years gone by.))

2018: Begin 

As with any year, I really had no idea what this would look like, but I knew BEGIN was my word.  After finishing 2017 with a lot of commitments (Commit 30 and 2017. Every Day.) I knew I wanted to simplify the daily in 2018. The only thing I committed to and the first thing I began was reading the Bible In A Year.

I took my Bible in a Year a lot of places this year, or a note with what I was to read each day to read on my Bible app.  There were a few days I missed, a time I had to do some pretty major catch up, a few times I thought I’d quit, but I kept with it. This morning I finished reading the last day, and one of my favorite verses was included in the final day of reading. I’ll continue reading and I’ll continue fearing the Lord. Our church is starting Read The Bible in 2019, and I have a few thoughts about it, I’ll post those soon.

I began a lot of solo road trips to here and there to see friends.  I love this time to think, to pray, to process. This year there were tears shed in the drivers seat, lots of phone conversations, a lot of singing along to the radio and a lot of thinking.

The end of the year brought a scary road trip where a giant foam mattress flew from a passing vehicle and landed across my windshield. I’m forever thankful for protection of that day and what could have been.  That trip ended up leading to another beginning…my 3rd Tahoe

I began a few things that a lot of you probably began this year…

Camp Gladiator one month workout, which I really loved and was perfect timing for a period of this year where I had extra free time.

I finally got a Netflix account a began a series I had never watched. As of December 31, I know I am still not a binge watcher of TV as I’ve only made it through 3 seasons and don’t really think much about “I need to watch that show“.

I began a lot of days at the table with a friend over breakfast, which is one of my very favorite things. This year a very dear friend has spoken some very significant words to me at the table that have shaped me, stretched me and grown me.

I joined in again to begin #Write31Days every day in October and finished my 5th year in 2018.

A couple of significant beginnings happened this year, too.

I began life after grad school when I graduated with my MBA in May.  This was a goal I set when I graduated college with my Bachelor’s degree and a great accomplishment for me personally.  The free time has been glorious!!!

When I finished my MBA it seemed as if everyone around me thought I would begin something new after graduation, except me.  Lo and behold, in August I did begin a new job. One that I have really loved this fall semester and am excited about what is ahead. And, if you know me at all, you know those bookshelves are fully decorated now.  🙂

The one thing I was certain of beginning after my MBA was saying “no”.  I wrote a lot about this in October (click here) and this is still one of my most significant beginnings of 2018.  I ended my term as a Director for Polished Houston in June and a couple of months before that time said “no” to serving in the fall semester because I really felt the Lord telling me to begin life after grad school committed to nothing. I didn’t really know why at the time, but it has made so much sense to me now.  Those significant things above?  I had no idea there would be a job change on the horizon. But I trusted Jesus when I knew I needed to say “no” to commitments for the Fall semester.  Just one instance of many in 2018 of how sweet it is to trust in Jesus. I’m grateful for women who believed me when I said “no” and trusted me that I was being obedient. That decision alone in 2018 has had significant impact on my faith forever.

Another beginning was saying “yes” to meeting someone new and giving him my phone number. I’ve learned so much about myself in these months of dating and about someone new, too. There have been a lot of good laughs, sweet moments, growing and a lot of hard, too. The biggest thing I know to be true is beginnings are always a little scary, but if you don’t begin, you don’t know what can be. All things are also not for the internet, so I’ll leave it at that, but he has been a significant part of most of this year and a beginning I’m grateful for.

As 2018 comes to an end I was thinking back on all of the beginnings this year held and a puzzle I just finished working during winter break. Somehow in the midst of a few weeks on my table I lost one piece, so I really didn’t finish it. I finished 999/1000 pieces. When I realized I had lost a piece and still had a significant amount of trees and sky to finish, I almost quit and put it back in the box, because it wouldn’t be complete. But, I kept at it. I thought I might find the piece and even if I didn’t, I began it and I wanted to finish.

That pretty much sums up this year.  There are so many scenes and things that make up a year. So many beginnings and sometimes we know exactly what is missing, sometimes something feels like it’s missing and sometimes we don’t even know something is missing. But, the Creator of the universe has every piece of my puzzle in His hands. He is protecting and providing and day by day my puzzle is being put together, with all the pieces in His perfect timing. With that, I’ll begin another year most of all knowing, it IS so sweet to trust in Him, and I’ll keep letting Jesus prove that over and over to me.

Happy New Year to you!

2017: Grow
2016: Steadfast
2015: Believe
2014: Flourish

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