What a year. This morning I find myself amazed by all that has transpired, time moving at a pace that sometimes takes my breath away. As 2014 winds down, I cannot help but reflect on all its happenings. From international plights of Ebola, Israeli-Gaza conflict, Malaysia plane downing, Ukraine conflict, Hong Kong protestors to our own challenges of Ferguson, border issues, ISIS, Government overreach, ongoing health care debates, to name only a few, I feel rather small. Retrospective thinking is good and valuable, helps put life in perspective. But the danger in doing this is to think that our lives are inconsequential, at least on the world stage. Completely untrue. As I reflect today on my new life here in Nashville, sans kiddos, I am so thankful that I am a part of the bigger world puzzle-picture, as are you.

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So the question for me today is “What are the take aways of 2014? What lessons have I learned to help shape who I will be in 2015? Failures? Successes? What will I do with what I have been given? My choices and goals and such may not have a direct impact on Hong Kong, but they certainly will in the sphere of influence I find myself in currently. This matters. A whole lot. As you never know who in that sphere of influence MAY have a direct impact on Hong Kong. Right?

Here are some of my reflections, shared in humility and gratitude, in which I prayerfully intend to use for good. To impact the world around me in a way that is positive, encouraging, meaningful.

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 Married to this stud for twenty some years. The ups and downs have made for a relationship with great depth, but at great cost. A good marriage is work. Lots and lots of work. If anyone tells you differently, they are WRONG. Empty nesting reveals it all. Nowhere to run or hide, and thankfully we have no need to do either. 2014 was a year of tremendous challenge and adjustment and I would choose over and over again to do life with Kevin. Hoping that 2015 will give us many adventures together  as we settle into our new lifestyle. My secret prayer (!) is for opportunities to pour into younger couples as they seek to make their relationship strong, central and a priority among all other relationships. Series on this topic upcoming.

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One of the highlights of our year was spending several weeks on Lake Norman in North Carolina. As the kids get older and are chasing their dreams, we find ourselves in a different kind of “chase”! We have always been close, and time all together has become a rarity. We had an absolute blast, which got us thinking about buying a lake house someday. A place to gather and relax, to invest in relationships with family and friends. We have always had a home where folks feel they can come and hang and relax. Hoping 2015 gives rise to a new space and project in which to begin a new chapter of family fun and fellowship.

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Fuzzy picture, but so vivid and clear  in my mind’s eye.

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I remember making this “album cover” for Kevin for Father’s day a few years back. Seems like yesterday…

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I had the privilege of staying home and raising these three crazies, they are a complete joy. As I watch them grow and mature into adults, I realize a parent’s job is never “done”.  Oh how I love them. Traveling to North Carolina this past year to visit my boys was a highlight, brutal travel, but worth every mile. This journey will continue in 2015. Pray for traveling mercies! Thankfully KC is down the street at Lipscomb after transferring from far away Florida…YIPPEE! Side note: All three of my kids have communicated that the best gift we have given them is a good marriage. I say this in humility, and in an effort to encourage anyone reading: Preserve and tend to this relationship..it will bless your kids and those around you. Trust me.

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Service. I dabbled this past year working with a few wonderful organizations, and my desire is to lock and load in 2015. Life is best lived when we give it away.

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If you have followed me this past year, admittedly, you know I have milked this for ALL it is worth:) Our home was featured in this issue (The cover is the sweet Sally King Benedict, not me!) and what a highlight it was. We have had features in other magazines, but this came at a time when I was still in the fetal position, new town, no friends, no kids and seemingly little purpose. Dramatic, kinda, but not too far from the truth. When Michelle Adams approached me to have the house featured I was completely blown away. You see, I firmly believe God desires to use the skills and passions He has deposited in us for His purposes and often our pleasure. Clueless as to what He might be doing, when Michelle and the team walked into our home boldly stating  “WHY are you NOT designing? This is what you ought to be doing!”  I was thrown off a bit…but her words began to resonate with me, and slowly I prayerfully considered beginning a new “career” in a field I have no formal training in and at a time when most people are ramping DOWN in their areas of work. Not one to follow many rules, trends, etc, I am looking forward to exploring a niche of vintage design here in Nashville. Fingers crossed!

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Fitness. Health. Top of my list. I have run most of my life, but here is the truth: I am a woman of extremes. I am either training for marathons or…not. I am working on finding the balance of a healthy fit lifestyle. This past year I disciplined myself to find a rhythm of exercise that will be habitual. Almost there. Training for a 10k trail run in Austin this Spring. Cannot WAIT! Anyone in Nashville heading to the trails at Percy Warner, you will see me slugging it out…happily.

Of course there will be closets to clean and pantries to purge, rooms to re-arrange and design, as that is what we do at the end/beginning of years. Today is really just a time of processing out loud with you on a more personal level. Look for more specificity in the days to come as 2015 makes its first appearance.

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7 responses to “Looking back.”

  1. Thank you for sharing your reflections. I am so proud of what you have done this year! Always a joy to cheer you on and I’m so excited to see what’s next!

  2. Thanks for your sharing. Love you and hearing your words. Look forward to your journeys, onward and upward. love you sister.

  3. Hey Sister. My homemade meatballs are resting in the fridge for a hour so I took this moment to visit your site. Looks awesome and love all of your posts and journal entries. Please know that I am praying for you and for the Lord to be glorified in all the work of your hands. I really liked your journal entries on contentment. I wasn’t able to leave a comment or I couldn’t figure it out. But, I have learned that at the roughest times in life, you literally sometimes just have to “stand” firm in your faith and trust in God. It can be too easy to get blown over and while you are “standing,” He always shows up in remarkable ways. Contentment for me is often as simple as remembering who He is AND isn’t He glorious!!!!! Love and so proud of you!

  4. Thank you my friend! Love and value your insight and appreciate your encouragement. Agreed and trusting that HE goes before and my job is to stay in His shadow. Thanks for taking the time to read and share. xoxoxo

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