Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back on 2012

2012 has come to an end.

Looking back throughout the year, I could easily claim this year as being one in which I have grown up the most. It has been a year of struggles, joys, and ultimately trusting God through it all.

Picking a few things to highlight is tough, but here is a quick overview of my 2012 and God's faithfulness in it all.

1. The classes I have had this year. These classes were fabulous. In the Spring I got to write my own children's book for a class (Which was a blast, and if you ever want me to read you my story I definitely will!). I was also in Developmental Psychology. In this class I got to write my autobiography. It was fun to write. It was also neat to see all that God has done in my life. The Fall semester classes were good too. It was named fall block due to the classes being in blocks and being switched up mid semester. It involved 9 education classes. I loved them! It was wonderful having in depth classes on each subject that I will be teaching one day. 

2. Health. There are some things that I don't realize I take for granted until I don't have them – health being one of them. Coming back from Zambia at the beginning of the year I was feverish and weak for about two weeks. I got malaria medication which helped for a bit, but then I got sick again. Another round of malaria medication did the trick and I was semi back to normal. Except for the headaches. I have had headaches for a while, but suddenly I was having intense headaches and a few migraines. I'm thankful for the friends who have prayed with me and for me about my headaches. They come and go still, but for a few months at the beginning of the year it was rough. I am thankful for the days that I feel healthy and normal! 

3. Watching Damarise run her first 5K! It was exciting to watch Damarise complete her first 5K! She had been practicing for a loooong time and finally ran it! She got second in her age group, and I couldn't have been more proud! She also inspired me to get into running. I am no where near as good or as fast or as graceful as her, but I do enjoy doing it.

4. Spring Break 2012. By far the best school break (outside of the long breaks) that I have had. Damarise, Davey, Micah, Janessa, and I spent Spring Break in Missouri. We've all been friends since freshman year and it was great to take a week break and spend time together. We had a blast talking, singing, and hanging out with each other without having classes or work to go to. 

5. Graduation. Usually watching my friends graduate is a little bittersweet, but always exciting knowing that they're off into the real world. This graduation was more intimidating than anything else. This year's graduation bid farewell to the seniors... leaving me as a senior! It was a bit nerve racking to realize that next year it'd be me and my friends walking across the stage and being handed our diplomas.

6. Tomato plants. Those tomato plants were one of the neatest things to grow and showed me how, in the end, I cannot bring life to anything. I can nurture and help, but ultimately God is in control of even the tiniest thing as a tomato plant. Having Him make the dying plant produce tomatoes (that were scrumptious too!) was such an encouragement to me especially at the exact time when He did it. I realized that if He cares enough for a plant, how much more does He care for me and have my life under control! It was (and still is) a great reminder for the year.

7. B.E.S.T. This summer Damarise and I worked on B.E.S.T once again. We were placed in a house with 6 other girls and loved it. We made wonderful friendships with many people and have continued to be blessed by having them in our lives. It was a tedious summer, but also a good summer of being thankful for those who do labour for others through cleaning. 

8. Licensed. It was a long time coming, but it happened! I finally got my license. I was ecstatic when I was told I had passed my driver's test and could not have been more thankful. Without a wonderful sister (Damarise) and two amazing friends (Davey and Micah), who risked their lives every time they took me out on the real road to practice driving, I would never have gotten my license. I am immensely blessed to have friends who encouraged me, challenged me (I was freaked out about driving around other cars...) and helped me get it and I definitely thank God for them and for His protection while I've been driving. 

9. Home. Damarise and I settled down in our first home this year. God graciously blessed us with the perfect sized house. It is a one bedroom, one bathroom house with the perfect sized living room and kitchen. It was everything we could have hoped for in a house. We also have wonderful landlords. And  living on our own... it's spectacular. We love having people over, getting to cook and bake, and having a place to call our own. 

10. Practicum. This was a major part of my Fall semester. Two days a week I was in a classroom getting hands-on experience for teaching. It was a growing experience. I experienced more nervousness throughout those practicums than I ever thought possible. I taught two lessons. And I fell in love with being in a school environment and getting to know my cooperating teachers and students. It took me so far outside of my comfort zone, but in a very good and needed way. I am thankful for the way God orchestrated my placements and the classes I was put in. It was an experience I will never forget. 

11. Friendships. I have already mentioned friends in several of these highlights already, but I think it's necessary to mention them in a category of their own. I am blessed. And that has been made overwhelmingly clear to me throughout the year. The friendships God has given me have been so good. Over the summer I went out to dinner with my friend who I have known the longest, Victoria. Talking with her was one of the most encouraging parts of my summer. We have known each other basically our whole lives. We haven't seen each other for a lot of those years, but our friendship has stayed strong. Whenever we get together we start right back from where we left off. Getting to share with each other what God had and was doing in our lives was so exciting. It made me so thankful for her friendship.
I am also thankful for the friends that God has given me at Covenant. I truly am blessed. My friends have encouraged me, prayed for me, laughed with me, cried with me, talked about Christ with me, taught me, and blessed me in more ways than they could ever know. Sometimes I wonder how we even ended up being friends, and I don't know. But what I do know, is that I am thankful to God that He placed them all in my life because I am thankful for each and every one of them. 

12. Travel. This year involved some big trips to Zambia, California, Atlanta, London, and Missouri. I traveled to all of the places with Damarise, who I think is one of the most fun travel partners. We got to go out to California for Thanksgiving (thanks to Grandma). It was fun to see a bit of L.A. and see extended family who I haven't seen in three years. It has also been great to be back in Zambia again and hang out with the family. I have missed them and it is nice to relax and spend time with them. 

All in all, 2012 has been a good year. Looking back I can see how God's hand has been involved in every aspect of it. It has been a year of struggles and joys, but through it all God has sustained me and shown me that He is my strength and ultimate joy. This year has been a year of learning more of Christ, seeing more of His hand at work, and trusting in His will. I can't wait to see what He will do in 2013!

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