Purposeful: Reflecting on 2017

No kidding, it feels like I just wrote my Best of 2016 post two seconds ago. This year has flown by! I wanted to take some time to reflect on this year and share some of my favorite memories.

  1. NEW YORK!

In January, I had the chance to travel to New York City with a group from my university and it was AMAZING! Honestly, I can’t believe we survived, but it was SO much fun. (Thankfully I had someone else to navigate the subway for me.) NYC was completely different than the picture I had in my mind, but just as wonderful in its own way. A couple times I tried to act like a local on the subway, all chill and disconnected, but then somebody in our group would yell, “This is our stop!” and there went that lol. We did so many things I can hardly begin to describe them all, so I’ll just leave my one NYC travel tip here: Go to Serendipity3 and order the frozen hot chocolate. You will be so very happy (and then you will daydream about said hot chocolate for the rest of your life.) NEW YORK, y’all! Cool stuff.

2. Bestest Friends

The friends I have made in college are the most wonderful friends in the world! I cannot believe I have only known them for a little over a year now. Going into my freshman year, I remember how worried I was about making friends. I prayed so hard that God would give me friends that would last into eternity, sisters in Christ that I could truly share my life with. He has blessed me beyond measure with these precious girls!! We’ve done so many fun things together this year, from Makin’ Music to celebrating Valentines Day to just hanging in the dorm way too late. I can’t wait for two and a half more years together.

3. Social Club!!

Getting to be part of my social club at Freed has been such a big part of my year. I LOVE my club and all of the fun we have together! Freshman Recruiting was a huge part of my fall semester and it was amazing! It’s a lot more fun when you know what’s going on 😉 The picture below is one of my favorites because it shows how much college has allowed me to be myself. It was around 11:00 on the night freshman were officially in the club and I was wearing sweatpants, socks with chacos, and my glasses— something that I never would have done in high school (at least not out in public!). I was so excited and happy that night and to me, that’s really a testament to how much I have grown and gotten comfortable around these wonderful friends of mine.

4. Fall Semester Women’s Chaplain

As part of my social club, this past semester I got to serve as our Women’s Chaplain and WOW what a blessing it was. It challenged me to step up and to grow more than ever. It was an honor to lead my girls and to learn from them and see them thrive as we studied together. Looking back, I know that there is so much more I could have done but I just pray that everything I tried to do was enough. It was so special to see God answering prayers and working throughout the semester. I truly believe I have never been closer to Him, and I’m so thankful that being chaplain gave me that opportunity for growth. These girls were a blessing and encouragement to me every step of the way (and so was my amazing mom!!)

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5. Running a 10k!

Believe it or not, this summer I actually got back into running, which has been a personal conflict of mine for years. I hate running, but it’s the only thing I know how to do to stay somewhat in shape. My dad has gotten into a really good running habit lately, and we’ve always wanted to run the huge 10k that our town hosts every 4th of July. This year, we made it happen!! It was horrible but also SO rewarding to cross that finish line, especially with my dad!

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6. Coaster Freaks

We rode a lot of roller coasters this year, which is saying something (especially for our family.) Lots of rides, lots of park days, lots of rain. It was a blast.

7. Solar Eclipse

To be honest, my eclipse experience was kind of a let down. I decided to stay on campus, which was right outside the path of totality. It was still super neat to see, but I wish I’d gone to see the full thing! We were sweating buckets and I had to hold my glasses onto my face the entire time because they fell off otherwise (small head problems). But still, a memorable time and a neat part of the year.

8. Fall!!

My favorite season and lots of my favorite things—club retreat, football games, pumpkins, homecoming, and my birthday! I cannot believe I’m twenty years old. TWENTY! Two decades! Crazy.

9. CHRISTMAS

I love Christmas, and it’s so nice to be at home and take a break. We had a great time together.

10. Losing Papaw

I debated putting this in here, but it really was a huge part of my year, so I think it deserves a spot. This June, I lost my grandfather. He had been sick for some time but it was still hard for all of us. It was a really difficult part of my summer and the biggest loss I’ve ever experienced. I want to share more about it here but I’ve been giving myself time to process everything first. Papaw was an incredible man and a rock for our family. Mostly it just feels weird that he isn’t here anymore. But I take a lot of comfort in knowing that he’s truly at home, where he always wanted to be.

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11. Word of the Year

At the beginning of this year, I choose the word “Purposeful” to be my word of the year, along with Philippians 2:5 as my verse of the year, which says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” I wanted to be more intentional and to be more mindful of other people with the same perspective that Jesus had while on earth. This was the first time I’ve ever done something like this, but it was really special. It helped me start the year off with a good direction. Honestly, I didn’t put that much thought into it at first, but it was amazing to see where God took a simple word. My verse starting coming up all the time, and then as I started thinking about a theme for my chaplain semester, I was drawn to “Purpose” after reading 1 Kings 19. When I realized that was right along with my word of the year, I knew it was meant to be. Getting to study my word of the year in depth with my sisters in Christ was special. I’m excited to choose a new word for 2018, and I’ll be sharing it here soon!

I’m so excited for all of the opportunities ahead in 2018! I’m praying that God will do even bigger things in the next year, and I can’t wait to see what happens. Thank YOU for taking a few minutes to read my little blog! I hope that over the next year Searching for Lovely will grow more than ever.

Happy New Year!

Amelia

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