Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 - a year in review

Last night around the dinner table, my parents, younger sister, and I were discussing this last year - 2016. 

We were looking for the good memories in a sea of hurts. 2016 was a hard year for our family and for many around us. Several friends and family members went to be with Jesus. The grief was hard. Is hard. Also, I have seen the effects of divorce in our family. I have felt the loss of our family breaking apart. And have also grieved that. With those things happening, it has made life hard; hard to make decisions, hard to do the day-to-day little things that need to be done. Everything else seemed to just intensify. I started to realize that some things I normally wouldn't get upset about were just harder to accomplish. But to say all that about hardship and trials and end there, would not be right...

My word for 2016 was: LOVED

My name, Mandy, means "beloved or  well-loved". 

First, I know I am loved by God. He loved me so much He sent His one and only Son to die for me, to pay the price for my sins and to save me from death, to give me eternal life. 

Second, I am loved by others. One of the greatest blessings that God gave me in the last year or so, is our church family. I have felt so loved and apreciated by them. A couple weeks ago, I was thinking about how we take our church for granted. Sometimes, I think we don't realized how blessed we are to get to see our spiritual family every week, sometimes twice a week! They have been a true encouragement to me and have shown me that I am loved. 

Last, I will admit, I'm not sure how well I have done at showing the people around me how much they are loved by me and by God. There have been moments, but there is always room for more improvement. 

While, I wasn't sure why "loved" was my word for this year, looking back, it makes more sense. God is good! All the time!

Looking at this blog post, I realize this is not where my thoughts were when I started this post. I was only going to share the ups and downs of the year, but I guess I got a little carried away!!!

So in closing, I will share with you 10 things I LOVED about 2016 (pun intended):

1. Jesus. I am thankful that I am loved by Him and can strive to serve Him in all I do. 
2. My family. Even though we have had hard times this year, I still love each one of them. 
3. Our church family. 
4. My new job at church in children's ministry. 
5. Opportunities and potential. 
6. Our vacation this summer which included many wonderful stops and the RNC Convention. 
7. My political friends. I am thankful for the many people I meet while being involved in politics. 
8. Working on a senate campaign and seeing our senator win and then become the majority leader for our state! 
9. Being involved in our local homeschool co-op. I love getting to know the kids, but I also love getting to know the moms. They inspire me! 
10. Seeing God work in my life. Someday, I will tell of my story to become  an RNC Delegate. There is no possible way I could have went if it were not for God's hand in many different situations. 

Well, there are 10 things I loved about 2016. I am looking forward to 2017 with anticipation. I'm am praying for what is to come. I am still thinking about my word for next year, but I think I'm getting closer to figuring it out! Stay tuned! 

Blessings to you as you close out this last day of 2016. Stay safe and I'll see you in the new year! 

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