Thursday, December 31, 2015

#bestthirtysix...

Two thousand and fifteen.
I wanted to get away to write this; I wanted to take a retreat to really spend time with the Lord and dwell on this past year and the year that lies ahead. But, sitting here at the local Starbucks, I think that the Lord is speaking just the same. This year has been abundant; I mean abundant in every single way, in both the trials and the joys. There has been an abundance of laughter and blessing, but also an abundance of change and mourning; an abundance of life and also death. 

As the year began, the Lord spoke softly to my heart a theme… "Be still." Throughout this year, the words of Psalm 46:10 were an encouragement and a comfort… "Cease striving, be still, and know that I am God…" Stillness, it's not my spiritual gift, but with each moment and lesson this past year, it was the sweet whisper that the Lord was faithful to give… "As you wait for this new position… be still. As you end seven years of junior high ministry… be still. As you pray through your singleness… be still. As you mourn the death of your grandpa… be still. As your best friend moves overseas… be still. As you welcome new babies and take on the title of "Aunt Kristi"… be still. As you seek God… be still. As you wait for God to move… be still." This year, I saw God move mountains and open floodgates in the stillness. This year taught me that stillness on our part allows for movement on His part. 

Social media has been blowing up with the idea of the #bestnineofinstagram. I love this campaign, but when I generated mine, I had a few thoughts. First off, this is generating the photos that "the people" (whoever they may be to you) liked most, NOT what I liked most about my year. Second, NINE SQUARES? You guys, only nine little squares?! That's not the way that I roll… So, here I am (and on Instagram!) with 36 teeny, tiny squares of memories and moments, reminding me that this year has been hard and rich and full. I want to stop and rest in that, just for today. 

This year has been incredible! When I look at the little details, I recognize it's true fullness. When I look back on 2015, I will look back to when I went to the IF: Gathering in Austin, TX, ended my time serving in vocational ministry at my church, started a new job at CBU, transitioned from junior high ministry to high school ministry, bought a new car, mourned the passing of my Grandpa, became an Aunt for many sweet little babies, turned twenty six, drank too many hawaiian lattes, was published at Incourage, had conversations with Annie Downs via Twitter, read some incredible books, watched every season of "Parks & Recreation",  quit my job as a substitute teacher and barista, went on my first date ever, got seriously healthy and became a runner/jogger, saw great movies, ate great food (mostly BBQ and Mexican), took rest very seriously, went to the 1989 Taylor Swift concert, went to a Luke Bryan concert, went to a Brett Eldredge concert, went to a Shane and Shane concert, learned the importance of FaceTime dates with my best friend living in Ecuador, had a house broken in to, went to Disneyland, spent a lot of time driving around my town and praying, had hard conversations with the Lord, learned a lot about myself, bought a rug, started a retirement fund, and nurtured old friendships and made some new ones. And I am sure I am forgetting a lot of other things! Man, 2015 was rich. (But please note, 2015 was NOT the year that I became rich. #targetstealsallmymoney)

I have spent time in prayer over 2016, asking the Lord to reveal a theme to me. I sat with an expectant heart, waiting to glean what He would speak. I am excited to share that with you all in the coming week, but for now, I am leaning into the gleanings of this past year rather than the excitement for the new one, because there is a lot there. 

So here's to 2015, the year that has come and gone. Whether you want to forget it forever or relive those memories for years to come, I pray that you would lean into the things that God has done for you. May the pains and the joys be redeemed by the work of Christ! Raise your glass (of sparkling cider) and celebrate that there is a time for everything, for mourning and for dancing (and lets hope tonight is full of dancing!)!

Cheers to 2015, friends! 

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