Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cheers to 2013

I've said it over and over again. This year has been a season of growth, humility and character-building. 

This year turned out to be a fair combination of surprises and silver lining for me. I experienced a broken heart but learned how to let God rebuild my broken spirit.

Early 2013 image by Stephanie Dawn Photography
Last year, I wrote about grace and how I wanted to reflect God's mercies in my everyday life.
Last year, I learned the value of God's grace in my life — his unconditional love for me and everlasting promise to forgive and forget my mistakes. This year, I'm trying to convey that same grace in my everyday lifestyle, to give grace freely to myself and to others, showing a heart that's slow to anger and not easily offended. 
My hope is that I'll wake up each day in 2013, invite God to walk with me and be reminded that his mercies are renewed every morning. As I go through my day, I hope to reflect his love by being slow to speak, eager to forgive and free of any judgmental attitudes.
— My blog on FaithVillage.com 
While I don't feel like I'm exactly a pro at being a grace-giver, I am sure that I've improved, and I can definitely say I'm a heck of a lot more spiritually aware of people and how God may want to use me to bless someone else.

Late 2013 image with my man by my side
That being said, I can affirm that this past year has been a BIG year for me, but I can't help but trust that 2014 will be even better. Here are some of the most remarkable things in my life for 2013.

1. I lost nearly 20 pounds.
2. I traveled outside Texas alone for the first time in my life.
3. I competed in three different bodybuilding shows.
4. I walked the streets of Disney Land in Anaheim, California.
5. I took a photo on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.
6. I quit my first job.
7. I sold my first house.
8. I watched my husband be inducted into the Carrollton Fire Department.
9. I started my own business.
10. I learned what it means to "choose to love" and how much more special that is than to merely be "in love."

I would also like to thank you for 2013. Thank you to those who lended a listening ear, a warm hug, a helpful hand, an encouraging smile, a word of wisdom, a generous pocket, an open door, a free meal, a thoughtful compliment, or any other kinds of love shown to me this year. I hope 2014 is blessed and prosperous for you!

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