Best of 2016

Wow, y’all, can you believe we’re only a few hours away from 2017? This year has just flown by, and I wanted to capture a few of the highlights here before it’s over.

If I had to pick one word to describe this year, I would say change. This was undoubtedly the biggest year of change in my life, as I graduated from high school and started college six hours away from home. I turned nineteen this year, and I lived away from my parents for the first time. I learned how to do all my own laundry and get stains out and fill out an absentee ballot and get my car repaired. I’m sort of a grown-up now, or at least a pretend one 😉

Here are some of my favorite memories from this year:

  1. My very last Lads to Leaders convention

Oh wow, this was most wonderful weekend of the year. It was so beautifully filled with all of the things I love about L2L and also so emotional, knowing I will never experience Lads in the same way again.

This was the weekend that inspired my biggest post of the year, Blessed: An L2L Tribute. I was so humbled and honored to have so many people read and share that post, and to have it published in The Christian Chronicle (which I still can’t believe happened!). You can see it here: Lads to Leaders: Ten Years of Speaking About God

2. The Princess Project

My senior project, which still feels like a dream that happened to another person, finished up in March with the most fun Princess Party ever. Read all about it here: Happily Ever After: The Princess Project Final Update

3. Graduation

I know graduating from high school isn’t that big of a deal for some people, but it was a really big deal for me! I worked really hard to graduate from the Liberal Arts Academy and it was just such a joy to celebrate that work with my family and my friends and classmates. Graduation itself was just so much fun! I couldn’t stop smiling through the whole ceremony and looking up into the stands in awe of the moment! I’ll never forget how amazing that night felt.

We also got to celebrate more at our really fun graduation party. It was so fun to pull out all of these old memories from throughout my life, and put them together for the party. My old kindergarten teacher was able to be there, so it was like everything came full circle!

4. Summer trips to Philly and Chicago

Cool places with fave people. Check it out: What’s going on

5. My last week of summer Bible camp ever

So much fun, such a special place, such special people. I’ll always cherish summers at Rolling Hills.

6. COLLEGE

Wowowow what a HUGE life change. It’s hard to imagine all of the people I didn’t know that are so important to me now or all of the experiences that I didn’t know were coming just five months ago! It’s such a blessing to honestly say that I LOVE it!

On the very first night of Freshman orientation, we had a devotional and our speaker told us to take a selfie of that moment. Here’s mine:

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Not the most glamorous picture I’ve ever taken, but it brings back so many emotions for me. In that moment, my parents had just driven away, leaving me holding back a major breakdown and wondering what on earth I had done to myself. I didn’t know anyone (technically not true, but that’s how it felt) and I had no idea how I was going to survive the next few minutes, much less the semester. The next morning (at which point I was not feeling much better), I started a mantra: ups and downs, ups and downs. I knew that if I could make it through the rough spots, there would be lots of great things that God had in store for me.

And wow, did He ever. Over the semester, I met so many amazing new people, joined an awesome social club that I love, and had so many opportunities to do things I never even dreamed of doing!

I was also incredibly blessed to step into the role of Editor-in-Chief for our Odyssey community on campus. Here are some of my favorite articles from this semester:

The Meaning of Home

Stop Beating Yourself Up Over the Election

What American History Has to Say About the 2016 Election

A White Girl’s Response to Black Shootings in America

7. Turning NINETEEN!

It’s one year closer to 20, which kinda makes me wanna go hide in a blanket fort, but I’m so grateful for the friends (old and new) and the family I had to celebrate with.

8. Thanksgiving and Christmas Break

Yes I love college, but I sure love being home too. We had the best holiday season together.

It’s almost time for 2017! I’m so excited for a new year and the things it will bring. I can’t wait to see what God will do with my life, and I’m praying for big things to happen, including some that will take this blog to the next level. More to come very soon!

Happy New Year!

-Amelia

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