As 2018 winds down, I figured this was a good time to reflect on the past year. Time and time again, I believe God sends me messages, through people that come into my life, intended to remind me to appreciate every moment and also, perhaps, take me in a different direction. The following is just a taste of my look back on 2018.
This year has brought me the random stranger I met who shared with me that his wife just received news that her cancer was back for the third time 3 days before Christmas. When I touched his arm to express my care and promised to say a prayer for them, for a brief moment, he was no longer a stranger. 2018 brought me a connection and friendship with a new parent to our school whom I am so blessed to know. She has made me a better person, friend and frankly made me put more depth into my job.
2018 started off where I was enjoying a Happy Hour with friends celebrating my belated birthday only to have our world turned upside down the next day. We learned that one of our students was fighting for his life in the hospital with a brain tumor. In the short time that followed, our community grew even closer which, looking back now, was probably the student’s doing. Just a few days after he lost his fight, his parents came by school “to check on the kids” meaning his classmates. Spend just a few minutes with his parents and you can’t help but have a sense of peace come over you. They are two of the most grounded, faith-filled individuals I’ve ever met and are simply amazing examples to others. This tragedy taught me a lesson and brought me a renewed sense of faith and reminded us all how important it is to “just get along.”
April 2018, I explored the Pacific Northwest with my sister for a quick getaway to Port Orchard, WA (shout out to you Debbie Macomber). We stayed in a beautiful B & B that overlooked the quaint, coastal town and enjoyed shopping and local wineries. Both my older sisters and I try to take full advantage of what was instilled in us by our parents….the joy of travel!
In August, I attended a 40th birthday party of one of my dearest and closest friends. Guests were not allowed to know who was invited which was pretty cool and unique. I got to witness how all of the people invited knew the guest of honor and I was (and still am) no doubt blessed to be counted among her friends. She reminds me every day to see the best in life, to laugh and shows me how important it is to stay connected and build community. Just a mere few days ago brought me my own 40th birthday bash, where I celebrated with friends and family and couldn’t have had a better night (even if my actual birthday came two days later…I’ve already decided I’m celebrating all year long).
While most of us go into a new year with “resolutions” to get organized, be more fiscally responsible, etc…. I’m going to try a different approach. Granted, I’m probably going to still try to be more fiscally responsible and organized, but I also want to never lose sight of the relationships in my life and enjoy all the little moments. As cliche as that sounds, it still bears repeating. We can’t get those moments back so make the most of them and when you have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, do it. I’ve also been reminded about the power of prayer…..how much writing a note to someone matters….sending a text to say you’ll get through this…..and to trust in God’s plan and his path for all of us.
Cheers to 2019!