I started 2014 with a word:  FLOURISH.  I looked it up by definition in several places and decided that’s what my theme was for the year…I never mentioned it, didn’t write about it, just kept it on my mind through the year….
 
– Thrive: in growth like a plant
– Psalm 92:13
“Planted in the house of the Lord, they will FLOURISH in the courts of our God”
– decorate with fanciful curves or lines
(saw that after I had drawn out “FLOURISH” with fanciful lines, ha!)
 
Looking back on this year, it’s like any other, there were ups and downs, seasons that were hard and seasons that were fun, lessons learned about myself, opportunities that came my way and countless other things. I’ve read so many updates of bidding  farewell to 2014, couldn’t wait for it to end, bring on 2015. I think one thing I have learned this year, even with the turn to a new year, there’s no guarantee that the next year will be 12 months of joy.  I just hope that I can thrive through the days, weeks and months, despite what comes. 
 
All plants endure seasons, and if I am firmly planted in the Lord,
I know no matter what the season, I will FLOURISH. 
 

A few things to note from this year….

I was asked to be a Godmother for one of my dear friends I grew up with. Easter Sunday I attended their baptism.  They will endure seasons and I have watched their family endure seasons but I pray that they will FLOURISH. 

I was pretty nervous about the summer coming, but it turned out to be such a great season of rest, reading (11 books!) and relaxation (mostly by the pool!).  I learned so much this summer, I spent a lot of time by myself, but also lots of great nights with friends, road trips and getaways, time with my family and the littles. Despite a hard Spring, I was reminded: Jesus has enough power. When I feel like I’m floundering, because of Him, I will instead FLOURISH.

 
2014 brought some great losses.  2 of my college besties lost their Dads this year.  I have watched them show remarkable courage and grace in dealing with greatest loss in their lives to date.  I am proud to stand beside them. Our family lost a dear friend on Dec 31st, a lady who helped my Mom so much as a newlywed and new Mom. I have so many memories with their family, their daughter was one of my favorite babysitters, (she let me wear her cheerleader uniform), we vacationed with them, spent countless meals with them, spent time in their home and they in ours, and the end of this year finds them ringing in 2015 without their wife/Mom/Grandmother/friend. Despite these losses, they are all firmly planted in the house of the Lord, and they will FLOURISH. 

 
I love littles. This year I have babysat the sweetest little girl and her big brother. So many fun days and evenings spent with them.  It’s been a long time since a newborn was around our family, so this family has been a blessing to me.  I love their kids and love their family. I am so blessed to have so many families and their littles that are a significant part of my life. They share their homes and lives with me, teach me so much, all a part of thriving, growth and enabling me to FLOUISH.
 

My second year of teaching, I’ve tripled the number of students in my classes and my club has also grown significantly.  I work with such amazing people, several who have become very dear friends and I truly enjoy my job! After years of turmoil and inconsistency in work I am thankful and feel I am planted in a place that uses my experience and skills so well, and I FLOURISH there. 

 
My family is certainly one of the firmest foundations, they planted me initially in the house of the Lord and encouraged me to seek Jesus, they modeled character of Christ in our home and I am so thankful for them. No matter how bad I think I’m floundering my Mom and Dad always encourage me and believe I will FLOURISH!  This year I had some really sweet times with my Mom and Dad
 

These three littles, they are my favorites and the greatest joy.  I love their tender hearts, their never ending questions, their desire to learn, their giggles and their tears, their imaginations, their story telling, their individuality, their bond with each other, their excitement over all things and their sheer zest for life.  Being an Aunt is one of life’s gifts I think over and over how blessed I am to have received.  This is a portion of my life that is always FLOURISHing!!

 

I did a lot of writing this year, and for 31 straight days in October. A lot of my life stories, a little fashion and some other fun topics. It was sort of therapeutic for me, but also hard some times…but at the end of the day, your story matters.  It connects with and encourages others. For that reason, it’s worth telling, no matter how hard.  And, sometimes you get a fun retweet from a lady who’s family has certainly flourished this year, though the media doesn’t show us the hard times I’m sure they’ve endured. But, this little tweet of encouragement and every other comment from my readers, give me hope to FLOURISH as a writer.

 
And that fanciful writing, embellished with curves of lines…hand lettering has become one of my favorite things! I love following others on social media who letter and creating my own designs. This summer on a particularly hard weekend my church hosted an Arts class, and I created this during the class. It is now framed in my home.  Those fancy letters remind me on a daily basis, despite great disappointments and in great joy, His love knows no end.  And, for that I will FLOURISH in all seasons. 
 
 
I’m still mulling over a word for 2015, but I might just keep it to myself again this year. So far my only resolution is fresh flowers in my house…and I’ve started January 1st with a few hydrangeas!
 
 
Thank you for reading and may you FLOURISH in all seasons this upcoming year!

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