2017: Roller Coaster year

It's 2018! A few weeks in now, and it's looking to be a good year already.  Before we focus on the brightening horizon ahead, I want to make some acknowledgements of some significant events of 2017.

2017 was a roller coaster of a ride for me.  It had some breathtaking climbs and unexpected falls with twists and turns.  It was not only this figuratively, I had several opportunities with friends and family to literally ride world-class roller coasters on a few occasions(Yes, I rode The Fury at Carowinds!!); something I had not done in many years.  Obviously the metaphoric parallels did not escape me.

1. Some of my higher, sweeter moments include doing a few rounds of Whole30 - an elimination 30-day diet that can change your life if you embrace it for what it is designed to do!  It's more than a diet, it's a transformation of how you relate to food, opening new understanding in how our body responds to foods.   The results/fruit of going through this a few times (In round 5D17 presently) include:

  •   I feel good, happier, more clear minded, overall healthier than ever.  
  •   It's definitely opened my eyes to see food differently.  I so enjoy cooking/creating a beautiful meal.  
  •   I enjoyed cooking before but this program upped the experience and knowledge of cooking, expanded my culinary skills, and has given greater confidence in the kitchen.
  •   I have lost several clothes sizes - I don't really weight myself too often, so I go by clothes, my BMI, and how energetic I feel, how I am sleeping, etc, to assess how my health is doing.  
  •  Last but not lease, I am beyond ecstatic that several of my family members and extended family members have taken the challenge, walking through January Whole30 style with me!


The Whole30 goes deeper than a diet if you allow it: it can truly be an amazing life-changing experience. Being a lover of life transformation, I love how it can be a fresh way of seeing your heart and mind issues.  Anything that can give successful, healthy, enlightening, transformation, has to be a a gracious gift from God.  If you want to know more or want some coaching for doing a Whole30, I would love to volunteer!  Send me a note!

2.  Paying off my school loans!! Doing the happy-dance here!  I have been chomping away at that debt for several years; fuzzy fog often hid the finish line!  When I finally hit it it was almost a surprise!

3.  I mentioned in last years New year's post the book "The Magical Art of Tiding Up" or it is also called The KonMari Method; I continued the process throughout this past 2018.  I am pleased to report my house, my possessions, are in much, much better order.  My home is much simplified, and yes tidy!  My clothes closet is NEAT and orderly, my living room and hallway closets are NEAT and orderly,  my books are simplified (from 400+ down to just over 100), my room is easy to tidy up since I now have a method and place for my belongings.  I have more space in my home to breath and enjoy less for more of what brings me joy and peace (God, people, and beauty).   My house and spaces have remained orderly too, and for some categories it has been well over a year!! (Quite a victory for me!)
I highly recommend the book.  DISCLAIMER: please know it weaves in eastern religious ideas.  You can easily extract good ideas, process and know-how without embracing the eastern spirit behind it.  IN fact, our God is a God of ORDER, from HIM comes ALL joy and peace, so when it comes down to it, HE gets the praise as YOU get rid of weighty burdens in the disguise of clutter! Clutter and disorganization can often be emotional and spiritual ties that can be recognized and severed, releasing you to greater freedom and space for what is truly valuable and eternal.  Again, if you want more info and coaching on this, give me a ring! As you see... it's another life transforming process...see a pattern? :-)

4.  Work took an unexpected, long-prayed for, undeniably a miracle, turn!  Seriously... I wrote about this in my previous post about the value of struggle.  This was one of those prayers that sounded like this: "Lord, get me out of here... or change my heart."  The latter part being something I had no idea how to do, but HE DOES.  God is good, I give HIM praise to have brought such a change in my place of work.  I can and do often say this year... "I really enjoy my work and my students!" and turn around to see if it is really me saying it.  I look forward to going to work, to greeting my kids, to being apart of an upward swing in my school.  I anticipate greater growth and dynamic changes to come over the next years, and I am so glad to be part of the team!

5.  2017 was a roller coaster ride in the area of relationships.  Yes, it was.  One word the Spirit impressed on me in the beginning of the year was "soft".  In the story of Ruth, the part when she goes to Boaz secretly, softly, uncovering his feet while he slept, was something the LORD made alive to me.  "Stay soft"... it was a lesson, a word, and a challenge to me.  One I did not expect.  Along came July, standing on the shores of Lake Geneva, the smooth rocks on the shoreline spoke to me deeper messages of softness.  The rocks were unusually smooth, rounded, worked by the waves and roughness of the water: rolling, rubbed, over and over... Something I want to expound on in another post.

6.  Significant songs that ministered to my heart included:
~ Rescuer by Rend Collective
~ The Gospel by Ryan Stevenson
~ Simple Pursuit by Passion
~ So Will I by Hillsong
~ In Over My Head by Jenn Johnson
Each of these songs spoke intimately to my soul.  I love how God speaks through music.

Looking ahead, I have several nuggets in my pouch.  The freshest ones have the words "Fresh Focus", Faith/Trust, Sovereignty etched on them.  Each term/phrase hold significant new meaning to me through the experiences of 2017.

So, here's to the New Year, to 2018.  

May I walk forward with a stronger faith, two-handed trust in my Sovereign God, who loves me, knows me and walks with me, each moment and calls me to set my focus high, on Him, on Kingdom pursuit and purposes.  

Blessings to you this New Year!


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