It’s that time of year again where the world celebrates. Everyone is thinking of New Year Resolutions. Some New Year Resolves. Others laughing in merriment as they look back at what they were able to do. And there are some, like me, who sit and with humbleness thanking God for what the year has taught me.

I probably say every year is a hard year. But, while the year has given me some interesting obstacles it has been a year of growth and healing. This year could have been a pillage of broken dreams and lost love. Instead, God has brought hope and joy.

My 2016 Year looked like this:

Learned how to let go of Jackson. This year I opted to honor all of my angel babies instead of just Jackson because they all mean so much to me. A tattoo floats on my shoulder in honor of my angels. But, more so, when I see it I don’t ache. I can hold a baby and be in awe of the little human instead of wincing as they smile. I struggled for two plus years to forgive myself for losing my son. I struggled with my relationship with my husband and with God because of my loss. I was afraid that if I let go I would forget the short but special time I had with him. It took me awhile but this year brought me the realization that letting go doesn’t mean forgetting.

Realized there is nothing like being in love with your best friend. Is the seven-year itch a real thing? I don’t think so. I’m not saying marriage isn’t hard. It’s very hard. Especially when you don’t want to work together. The frustration can build up during any year of the marriage. I am blessed that while my marriage isn’t perfect Jeremy and I are truly partners and in it together. There have been some rocky roads but looking back it has been worth the fight to get here.

I laughed with a friend that I was going to pray she would be the interim worship leader for a bit. I know it isn’t what she wants, but as I look back this year the one thing that helped turn my corner was listening to her open her heart out in song during our Women’s Retreat. It helped me realize that going back to basics and letting God take control will turn my life around. Her humbleness to go to God helped me fall on my knees and go to Him myself.

After losing Jackson I refused to entertain the idea of adoption. I told myself, told my husband that I couldn’t love another child like I could love my Jackson, or my flesh and blood. Then MPact happened. Now, y’all know how much I talk about MPact, but it is in this program that I realized there is more love in my heart and I am excited for the possibility of fostering and/or adopting. It wasn’t until I allowed those little Rainbows to jump my well constructed wall that I realized I can love a child I did  not birth with all of my being and be his or her mama.

My writing has been a gift. I didn’t end the year as I had hoped. Kitchen Nightmares sorta fell to a non-priority with the holidays. But, as I reread some of my posts I can see the change. I can see how it was dark and slowly the sun began to shine. I can see hope in my posts. And on those days when things began to darken I can see hope for something better. I grew up writing because it was the only thing that kept me alive. Now, now I write because I want to share the life it has given me.

We took big financial hits over and over in 2016. I’m thankful for it because it helped bring character, it brought my husband and I closer, and it taught me that no matter how good I am with money there is still more to learn in regards to saving and investing. It is with those lessons I walk into 2017 ready to run.

You can in fact teach a dog old tricks. This year I have learned to stay teachable, both professionally and personally. And because of it I am looking back at the year and realizing for the first time in a long time I accept where I came from and excited for where I’ll go.

As the 2016 year comes to an end I wish you all of the joy and laughter you experienced this year be a hundredfold next year. I pray for growth and prosperity and love. I pray that you remain teachable as there is always something more to learn. I am excited to celebrate with you all of the successes you will reach next year and ecstatic to share with you the goals I reach as well. May you have an amazing year. Happy New Years, lovelies. xoxo