So here we are in a new year. I can’t believe how fast the past year flew by, or the past few years, for that matter. When I was a kid and people told me that the years would go faster, I thought they were crazy. I remember waiting for Christmas and feeling like it took decades to get here. Now I don’t even realize it’s Christmas time until a week before the 25th. Anyway, obviously this was quite a year for Alex and I, so I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about it the past few days (and really, what else is there to do for 18 hours in a car anyway? lol).

I have gone through a lot and learned so much from it this past year. I think that the biggest thing I realized was just the peace and contentment that comes from being in God’s will. I never in a million years thought I would be living up north again, let alone in a state that I’ve never even visited, but here am I in PA, and I love it. And the greatest thing is, is that it’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. But I know that I’m supposed to be here, and that makes all the difference. I have so much peace about it and I am just in wonder almost every day about how God has orchestrated this time in our lives. I can just really see how He brought things together, and is still planning and weaving things together for us. It’s just amazing and I feel honored and privileged to be a part of His plan for this time and this place. We have made so many wonderful friends here already, which I am so thankful for. I don’t think I’ve ever made friends as quickly and easily as I did here, which was definitely a God thing. And they are all wonderful. It’s so great to have solid, strong Christians to share our lives with. I also am so thankful for the education I’m receiving here. Messiah is definitely harder than I expected, and this semester pretty much kicked my butt, but I’m so happy that I finished it, and finished well. I know the next few semesters won’t be easy, but I know it will be more than worth it.

I think the next biggest thing I realized was the value of family. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as close to my family as I do now, and I’ve definitely never appreciated them as much. It’s a little bit scary as you grow up, because you realize that your parents were right about almost everything. But I truly can see the hard work and sacrifice that they poured into us and I know I’ll be forever thankful for it. Even though we’re a little crazy (but what family isn’t?), I love every single member, both immediate and in-laws. I was so blessed to be placed in these families, and I plan on making sure I cherish it for the rest of my life. Family is the only thing that will always be there for you, no matter what, so make sure you are trying to have a close relationship with them. I don’t know what I’d do without my family. My siblings and I all but hated each other while we were growing up, but now I count them as some of my best friends. I honestly feel blessed to have them in my life.

I also have a new appreciation for my old friends, as well. Those friends who have known you since forever and love you no matter what. I could not live without them and I’m so thankful they’re still a huge part of my life. It’s crazy when I think of all that we’ve been through together. I hope that never changes.

Alex and I went through so much together this past year, and it’s brought us closer together. It really shows that when you trust God to bring you the right spouse, He really knows what He’s doing. I’m not sure that I could’ve made it through all the changes we’ve gone through with anyone else besides Alex there with me. Even though it’s not always easy, he is always there for me and helps me stay sane.

Last year was a great year (at least the second half of it), but that makes me even more excited for this year. I know there’s big things brewing, and I can’t wait to be a part of them. I have so many things I want to change and accomplish this year. I have no idea how they’ll all work out, but I’m trusting that God will show me what I need to do.

So, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all, and I pray that 2012 is a huge year for you! I’m believing it’ll be a year bigger and better than anything we could’ve hoped for!


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