Looking for Lovely in 2016

Another year is in full swing, with challenges and adventures on the horizon. Yet part of what makes the new so great is it comes after and builds upon the experiences of the old.

Scrolling through any online source, even friends storylines, it took no time to pick up a theme regarding 2016. The majority of the world appears to think it was the worst.

While I’ll be first to raise my hand and admit there was a bittersweet undertone, I think we’re missing out. I was challenged and grown far more than I could’ve imagined. Things I experienced were up in the wildest dreams category. Yes, every victory didn’t come without setbacks. But ultimately, there was a lot of beauty in the mess.

So, in no particular order, here are 16 lovely things about the year 2016.

1) THE ROOSEVELT  COFFEEHOUSE

I love coffee, coffeeshops, and causes. This place became an instant favorite for all of these reasons. The perfect creative space + getaway and the best coffee I’ve had. Finding this gem has been so great, and I love their mission of fighting injustice by fighting against human trafficking and hunger, and for clean water. | https://www.rooseveltcoffee.org/

2) RUN FOR IT 5K

Running the To Write Love On Her Arms 5k was on my “bucket list” to complete. It was super cool to not only be able to physically achieve running this far and be healthier from it, but also to support the work they do raising awareness for mental health and reminding others that they are not alone in their stories. | Courage Runs. {5k Part II}

TWLOHA Run For It 5k Shirt Detail

3) MOUNTAIN VIEWS

Fulfilled my long time dream of seeing the mountains in the fall again. The leaves turned late this year, but it was still a glimpse of sheer beauty. The climb was one of the most challenging things ever, but this made it worth every second. Also, I got to take in this scenic view with camp friends, and with camp friendships it is such a special bond. These people have seen me at my most unfiltered, unlovely state, yet they continued to walk beside and pour into me. This roadtrip adventure was the best, a college days type of story and memory, and a reminder to go explore new places.

4) CAMP COUNSELING

Had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong desire and camp counsel this summer. From feeding giraffes to being covered in powder paint to worshipping under the stars this summer I watched God work in my own story and countless others in incredible ways. Plus, I counseled worship camp, something I love with all my heart. | Campfires & Crazy Costumes : Reflections from Camp Counselor Life

5) MEETING SWITCHFOOT

Still don’t believe that this one was real life. The melodies and lyrics came alive in a whole new way. And I got to thank them for the impact their music and hopeful perspective has had on my story. And Jon hugged me. So there’s that. Honestly, this was probably my favorite moment of 2016. | Post Concert Daze : The Day I Met Switchfoot

Switchfoot Concert Meet

6) POLDARK

Hands down one of my top favorite shows this year. It was so intense, the storylines so intriguing, the characters relatable and polarizing. The emotions ran strong with this one.

poldark-laugh

7) GYMNASTICS DREAMS COME TRUE

12 year old me died when I met some of my favorite gymnasts, Bridget Sloan and Alicia Sacramone | Glitter Hair. Wide Eyes.

Bridget Sloan 2008 OlympianAlicia Sacramone 2008 Olympian

8) THIS INSPIRING MOMENT

The Rio 2016 Interview from USA Divers Steele Johnson and David Boudia was so refreshing and encouraging. Love how they used their position to share their faith. | Steele Johnson and David Boudia Interview

…the fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not what the result of this competition is just gave me peace … and it let me enjoy the contest…

boudia-and-johnson

9) THE GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL

I laughed. I cried. I experienced every emotion in the span of six short hours. And the importance of relationships was clear in all the moments of the storylines. | The Parade, Pumpkin Pie, and Partying with the Gilmores.

gilmore-girls-motto

10) SNAPSHOTS OF BEAUTY

It was a year where the ordinary, simple moments revealed a wonder that took my breath away. So grateful for the traces of beauty in the mess of the everyday.

11) CREATIVE GROWTH

This year, I let the words flow out and used them purposefully, writing for both a school blog and in this space. That stretched and deepened my skills and also helped me discover how to write for other’s stories while capturing my own. I also wrote more, dreamed more, developed more of a vision and plan for all my creative projects, and learned to love the process.

12) WATCHING DREAMS UNFOLD

God brought so many dreams to life, and also some crazy new opportunities. While I don’t yet know where they all will lead, I am hopeful about all that He is writing in my story.

 

13) BRUNCH DATES

Some of the best moments were spent over tables digging deep into life with friends during brunch.

14) FAMILY + HOME

Sweet young laughter, a place where you are always loved, the people who are there for you no matter what you are going through.

img_9894

15) COMMUNITY

People need other people. This year more than any other has been a reminder of that. And so I have been so grateful to be surrounded by community, by others who go through the broken and good parts of my story with me, who remind me that our stories are important.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

16) ALL GLORY BE TO CHRIST

A theme song to this year. A perspective shift. This is all that matters. | King’s Kaleidoscope || All Glory Be To Christ

allglorybethechrist

Will you join me in making that list? What are the things you found in this year? What will you carry forward? Will you continue to look for the lovely in 2017?

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