Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back to 2013

I thought about how to recap this past year in so many different ways but I always went back to  
that has been going on for many years.


2013 was a beautiful, difficult year for me and my husband, especially in terms of ministry. 
Difficult does not mean terrible but it did take us to the rawest spiritual places that we have never ventured before. These questions present a valuable reflection of God's unceasing faithfulness in my life through the 2013's ups and downs.


1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Traveled through Europe! We trekked seven cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, and Amsterdam for 30 days. I spent quality time with my family and found rest from a busy life in Nashville.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for 2014?

I consider myself an organized, goal-oriented person. However, I don't care much for resolutions. I need entire blog post just for this!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I have two cousins who live in Atlanta. I grew up with them in the Philippines so they are like brother and sister to me. Nick has twins Noah and Nina. Cathy has Logan. I am hoping to finally meet them this year!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Abuelita (grandmother) passed away in March. This was one of the hardest personal times this past year. I was really close to her. She had dementia the last few years of her life. It was heartbreaking losing her even before her death.

5. What countries did you visit?
Look at my answer to question #1: Spain, Italy, France, and Netherlands.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I would really like to have my writing voice back. I felt like words that have been spoken to me have been used by the enemy of my soul to silence me. Once again, this feels like it deserves an entire blog post. I am finding my way back to freedom.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 17, 2013. The day we moved to Franklin. It's been wonderful living in this city and having people over all the time!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I was able to close my eyes with a smile and feel His utmost peace even in the most trying times. To be able to pursue joy regardless of circumstances. I lost my job of 9+ years in the summer and managed to praise Him and His ways. I cannot really own this "achievement" because I know this was done not on my own strength. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Missing singing but not having the desire to use that gift again. I continue to struggle with it. I pray that I will just go and do it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was very sick while in Disneyworld! Pictures don't show it but no voice was coming out on roller coaster rides.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I did not buy anything significant but my amazing husband gave a DSLR for my 37th birthday!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Electric. Utilities. Internet. Gas. Food. Debt. Sowing. You know, the usual.

13. What did you get really excited about?
I was excited about it for weeks and when I did see it, it did not disappoint. I want a ticket back. And I will get really excited all over again.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
"Oceans" by Hillsong UNITED. A close runner-up:"Love Me Again" by John Newman.

15. Compared to this time last year, I am:

More calm.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Making time to be mentored by a wiser, older woman.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being intimidated to ask a wiser, older woman to mentor me.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Had Christmas Eve lunch with close friends. Went to our church's candlelight service. Then spent it quietly with the love of my life! Our first Christmas alone EVER. While I still believe in family time for the holidays, I know we needed to be alone this time. I enjoyed every minute of it!

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Parks and Recreation. Nothing else comes close.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I loved books such as David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. But my favorite goes to Tullian Tchividjian's One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World. Not only was it a pleasurable read, it was necessary.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Emeli Sande's Our Version of Events album.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Zero Dark Thirty was released in December 2012 but saw it in 2013. Sadly, I have not seen any excellent feature film since then.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My husband invited close friends over and surprised me with cake and ice cream for my 37th birthday! I felt really loved and appreciated.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I look back to 2013 with contentment.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I don't have a single personal style. But I do go for comfort at all times.

26. What kept you sane? 
Knowing that Jesus died for me and I am living today because of God's grace.


27. Share a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

My God is faithful. Always.

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