2016 to 2017

Time for me to look back on 2016, to remember the highs and lows, to intentionally rejoice over all the beauty that has come about. And then to look forward into 2017!

My 2015/2016 dorm - 3WX (minus a few)! I'm so grateful for each of these girls. It's amazing what happens when you throw a bunch of people together with nothing in common except that you're all away from home and need each other. These people are my TWU family! 

My mentor for the year, Michelle, who has become one of my most trusted friends at TWU. I'm so grateful for your generosity of your heart, time, prayer, home, and so much more.
I am way more patriotic in Canada than in America, though I will say that 2016 was a big year for my own perspective on my country. I do love America, but I'm learning that I have placed patriotism and nationalism perhaps far higher in my value system than necessary or proper. Still learning!

Worked at Singer Hill Cafe and Chick-fil-A over the summer! Grateful for the provision to get back into school in the fall, but most of all grateful for the people I got to work with! 
The hardest part of 2016 was saying goodbye to my best friend.

Wedding season! Rachel and Blake Adams. The day and the bride were absolutely stunning, and I was so honored to be part of it. I love you, Rachel. 

Lauren and Ben Edmonds- the couple I've been praying to happen for literally years. So many tears of joy over this beautiful marriage. Thank you, and I love you, Lauren!

And back to school! I'm on the Inter-Cultural Programs team with these cool kids (plus Matt and Mandy!). Half-way through the year now (and adding another member, Deborah), I'm so blessed by them! 

My apartment is the best. I live in the Globe, a double-apartment suite that is open all day for people to come hang out and form community, especially to connect international students with North American students. These three (Jonas, me, Caleb, and Sharon) live with me there, and I have to say I think they're pretty fantastic.
Not the greatest photo, but definitely one of the greatest friends. Crazy to think that a year ago I barely knew Claire, and now I struggle to go 24 hours at school without seeing her one way or another. She blesses me with her sincerity, passion for her friends, totally crazy spontaneity, incredible dance skills, beautiful voice, depth of conversation, urgency in prayer, and far more.

This little guy has been quite possibly the highlight of my year. In a stress-filled environment where everything is about grades, intellectual interaction, leadership, and responsibility, it has been such a blessing to spend time with a 1-year-old who doesn't really care about any of that. Watching his parents and their depth of love for him has taught me more about God's unconditional love for us that has absolutely nothing to do with our performance or abilities. And I mean just look at that smile! 

And there is nothing like family. There is not time enough for me to write what each of them means to me. Of all my prayers, most are for these people who I love oh so much. Thank you for how you all have shaped me and continue to love me so so much. 

And so 2016 comes to a close, and 2017 begins. I didn't really make any New Year's Resolutions this year. But I'm taking to heart the words Pastor Tim (of CTK Canby) said to us on Friday, challenging us to not tell God what we want Him to do in us this year, but rather ask Him what He wants to do in or through us. I spent some time asking God that question this morning, and came up with a few things that I think God may want to do in me. If you haven't yet, I'd encourage you to do the same.

But most of all, just as every year, my deepest desire is simply to know Him and to make Him known, to be with Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus did. I know God has the same vision and plan for me, and so we press onward with confidence. I have no idea what 2017 will bring, but I know this: Jesus said, "Behold, I am with you always."

He is with me, and that is all I need.

Happy New Year!


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