Well, we’re 5 days into this new year. As I write this, I’m sitting in a crowded Starbucks, drinking my favorite sugar-filled latte. This is about the time when most people have gone back to drinking soda, given up on the gym, and broken other corny resolutions.

If you’ve read past blogs, you know that I thrive on making lists, setting goals, and dreaming bigger dreams. While other people are breaking their New Year’s Resolutions, I’m just now taking time to reflect on this past year.

2015 was filled with big changes: some wonderful and others painful, some planned for and others unexpected. In the midst of it all, God’s goodness and faithfulness stands out above all else. My word for 2015 was “growth,” and it is very evident how different my life is from this time last year. God has blessed me this year with so many adventures and opportunities! Some of the big highlights included helping with a church plant in Miami, traveling Europe with my family, studying abroad in Spain, starting in my Early Childhood Education cohort, and being in my big’s wedding!

 

Of course, these big moments were surrounded by a surplus of love and laughs and friendship.

 

The absolute highlight of my year was serving as Delta Gamma’s chaplain. My spring and fall semesters were filled with planning Bible studies, taking up prayer requests, sharing Bible verses at chapter in front of 280 girls, and so much more. I hope these “sisters” of mine know how much of my heart and time and prayers were poured out to them.

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Well, with this new year, God is bringing me into a new season of my life. My word for 2016 is “rest.” While last year was filled the busyness of fun adventures and chaplain responsibilities, this next season will look like sitting at God’s feet, doing more listening than speaking in prayer, one-on-one discipleship, and hopefully preparing myself for a summer adventure.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun. {Ecclesiastes 3:1}

Believe it or not, this blog was more than just a public journal entry sharing my year in review and favorite pictures with you. The point of this was to encourage you. God has big, huge, wonderful plans for your life!

His grace abounds and His mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23)! Every day is a chance for a new beginning, but sometimes a new year is just the extra push we need to really make those changes in our lives.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. {2 Corinthians 5:17}

I want to challenge you to reflect on 2015: what did you accomplish, what did you like, what do you wish you could change, etc.

Even more so, I want you to dream about 2016. While I would love to see you quit drinking soda or spend less time on Facebook, I want you to dream a little bigger than that. What are some of your life goals? How can you accomplish them this year? What gifts has God given you that you should incorporate into your day-to-day life? How can you make the most positive impact for God’s kingdom?

Maybe, like me, God is calling this year of your life to look much different. Maybe He just wants you to step out of your comfort zone more or resist that sinful temptation.

No matter what all of this might look like in your life, be open to what God is wanting to do. Don’t put Him in a box by expecting Him to act or work in a certain way; give Him plenty of elbow room to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes and the question, “How are you going to change?”

Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life. -Donald Miller

Lots of love,

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