Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

As I sit here watching the snow fall and reflecting on the past year, I can say for the first time in many years this has been a great year! The last couple of years have been rough, with something major happening that just seemed to tip the balance between it being a good year and a bad year. It has been a very long time since I have been able to reflect on a year and say with out hesitation that I feel blessed more than I probably deserve.

The year didn't start out on the best note, a couple weeks into it I lost my job. But looking back, and I really think at the time I knew it too, it was a HUGE blessing. I was very unhappy there, the position wasn't for me, and while the company as a whole was great to work for, the management I was under was not. On most days as I headed to work I dreaded it, it was effecting my health and I was starting to become depressed due to how unhappy I was. It's amazing how God has a way to get you out of bad situations with what seems at the time to be something terrible but in the end it was the biggest blessing there could be.

For the most part the rest of the year was pretty smooth sailing. By not working I was able to just focus on school and was able to get the best grades I have ever earned since I was in high school. While there definitely were a few classes that tested me on a daily basis, Stats and Decisions Science, I made it through and finished my degree a couple weeks ago. I would love to say that I feel differently but I really don't. Maybe that will change if I ever find a job.

This year has seemed to bring me a ton of blessings, the birth of some pretty adorable little babies that I can't wait to be part of their lives as they grow and develop. A ton of new friends through my church that I honestly couldn't imagine my life with out now. I was able to nurture several friendships and become closer with friends that I have known for ten years. While at times it may have seemed like I was fighting harder than I should have been to keep a couple, I am beyond happy that I did because with out them I wouldn't be who I am or where I am today.

But I think the biggest blessing this year has been my church. I started attending City Life back in August of 2011 and have felt at home since day one. Through volunteering in the nursery, City  Groups and the friends that I have made my faith has grown by leaps and bounds. For the first time in my life I feel strong in my faith and I have been able to give control of my life over to God, something that if you know me if very difficult for me to do... I may be a bit of a control freak. Boy am I glad that I have done so. God has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined this year and I am so thankful that he has done so!

So what does 2013 have in store? I have no clue! I know God has a plan, I know that plan is better than anything I could ever imagine and I know that I will learn what it is when God is ready for me to know it. There are a couple of things I would like to accomplish this year. They aren't resolutions because lets be honest how many people actually keep those? Here are a few:

1) I want to get job. Seems easy enough but in this economy it is not! I'm hoping that I can find a position which will allow me to give back to my community and help those who may need it.

2) I want to run the Prairie Fire half marathon in October. It's only 13.1 miles... HaHaHa! I ran my first race this year, an 8K and really enjoyed it. Well maybe not at the time but I was beyond happy that I did it afterwards. I have 10 months until the race and I know that I will be able to do it.

3) I want to maintain a B average in my grad school classes. In the program you are allowed one C, if you get two you are out. This might be the most difficult of the things I want to accomplish thanks to classes in accounting, finance and economics, all classes that I really struggled with in my undergrad. Luckily I have people around me who, for some reason, enjoy these classes and are willing to help me!

So goodbye 2012, thank you for being such an amazing year! Here's to you 2013, you have some big shoes to fill but I can't wait to see what you have in store for me!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

God's Plan, Not My Plan

This is a blog I have written so many times in my head over the last year or so. I never really had a way to start it, wasn't 100% sure what direction I wanted to take it in an egotistical way was afraid of how people would receive it. But there is something inside of me today that is calling me to write it. So I'm going to.

My faith has always been something I have struggled with, something I was never very strong in and something I wasn't sure how to really embrace it.  As a child I was fortunate to grow up in a church with my older cousins. For the most part it was awesome and I loved it, although at times it was hard to be known as their little cousin. There were a few times I wasn't sure if people were nice to me because they liked me or because I was their younger cousin, very much my own short coming! But please don't get me wrong, I am beyond blessed to have them in my life, as role models then and even now as an adult. I continually look to them for examples of how to live my life and how to be a better Christian. For my mom it was important to for us to have that education and to grow up in the church but my father wasn't, and as far as I know now still isn't, a big believer in organized religion. He believed you didn't have to go to church to be a Christian. At the age of eight I started swimming competitively, and it really didn't take long for it to take over our lives as a family. We were constantly gone due to weekend long swim meets and when we weren't there Sundays quickly became a day used for my brothers and I to get caught up on homework. This is to no fault of my parents, like any good parent they were supporting us in something we love, something I like to think of as a gift God had given us, the talent to do well in swimming.

Through out my middle school, high school, and even college years I would go through phases where I would attend church regularly but then something would come up, get in the way and I wold stop going. I felt disconnected from the kids I grew up with because due to swim practice I wasn't able to go to Wednesday night youth group, retreats or events. So slowly I began to with draw from those friends and even my cousins to a degree.

I can clearly remember the night in November last year, where I was lying in bed, unhappy with my current job, unsure if I should go back to school or not and really just unhappy with my life as a whole. There had to be something better, something more out there for me! I remember praying that night and just kept saying over and over and over "God my life is yours, please do with me what you want, please show me the path that YOU have chosen for me" and for the first time in a long time I started to feel at peace about my life. It was as if God was saying to me "I have been waiting for your to say that, I understand and will take it from here" (Is there a chance that this is just what I wanted hear at the time, maybe) Shortly after that going back to school quickly fell into place, my job situation was taken care of and I started volunteering in the nursery at church. Without a doubt I can tell you that was God's plan for me! The fellowship and support I have found by doing such a simple thing as volunteering in the nursery has been invaluable this last year as I have struggled at times with school, and even my walk as a Christian.

It's been a year now, and the last few weeks I have found my self in the same cross road position as I was a year ago. Although I am not unhappy with my life, in fact I love my life! I am beyond lucky to have the friends and family that I have. But I'm back to being unsure if I should continue with grad school now that I am done with my undergrad, and finding a job has been a real struggle. For a while I found myself trying to figure it out on my own and a couple of weeks ago I had to remind myself my plan doesn't matter it is God's plan that matters. For the last year I had allowed God to work with in my life, why is it now that things are really unsure am I trying to control the situation? Every night I have continued to pray the same prayer I have for the last year "God do with me what you want, that continue to show me the path you have for me " but now I have added to that prayer asking him to show me a position/job that will help me to not only serve him but to also serve my community. I got my first answer last Thursday when I requested some information from Newman on their MBA program. After a phone call, two emails and about 6 hours I had a provisional acceptance, I just need to get my official transcript from WSU and two letter of recommendation turned in. Tomorrow, Monday, I have my first meeting for enrollment . For me this is another situation that I find myself not questioning if this is what I am suppose to be doing, because I KNOW it is Gods plan! There is also a job opportunity that I have really been praying about and am actually really excited about. At this time I won't say what it is but will review more if it works out.

What have I learned this last year? While I would really like to think my life is my own, because lets face it I am human, it is not. It is Gods! I am here, in the situation I am in because it is what God wants for me. He has a plan for me that is better than I could even imagine I just have to trust in that plan! I struggle like everyone does with giving over control of life and trusting in the plan but when I have he has worked within me in ways I never thought possible. So thank you to everyone who has walked with me this last year, who have helped me to find and grow my faith, who have and will continue to loved me, supported me and pray for me. God has put you in my life for a very special reason and I am beyond thankful! I am a better Christian because of the relationships I have developed this last year. Here's to the future, to the plan that is unknown and to following Gods plan! I can't wait to see what it is!!!