2013…a year in review

This time last year, I was ready for a new year, I was ready for 2012, and all of it’s heartache, to be done.

2013 was different. Yes, there were struggles and challenges, and lots of new and scary adventures, but it was good. It was peaceful.

And so I look forward to 2014, but not as an escape from 2013, but because I am excited to see what it holds in store.

So, here is my year in review:

January: I rang in the new year by staying up later than I had in years, and remembered what it was to have fun and enjoyed celebrating with these fine folks:

Photo

February: Our family celebrated Valentine’s Day with our traditional spaghetti dinner. I also co- led a group of seventh grade girls during SPIN weekend. It was exhausting.

March: I vacationed at the beach, celebrated my 29th birthday, and celebrated the birth of a dear friend’s baby. I also interviewed for two teaching jobs.

April: Holy April batman! This month was nuts! I started my new job in GPISD and spent the whole month being exhausted. I also was thrilled to have another good friend have a baby.

May: I ended the school year well, and was excited to have a fresh start the next August. May was busy, although I remember none of it.

June: June brought the beginning of summer. I spent a few days at Young Lives camp with my mom, and loved it. What a joy it was to serve teen moms, with my mom. It was really great, and I was excited to see the love these girls experienced.

July: July was full of school stuff. I took a class for my alternative teaching certificate and spent three whole weeks inside. I also made my first, post-divorce, adult purchase. A new car! I was pumped to not be driving ol’ blue anymore, and it was a magical day when I drove that car home.

August: This month brought the most change to my life this year. This month brought the beginning of hipster watching in Denton with Heather ( a wonderful activity). I also celebrated my nephew Graham David’s 2nd birthday. I also found out my older sister was expecting her third baby.  School started back early with some trainings, and one of those trainings changed my life. I met Collin in August, and he was, by far, the best surprise of 2013. Second only to my new niece.

September: School started with a bang. Collin met my family at my step-dad’s birthday party, and they all loved him.

October: I moved to Arlington and out of the little yellow house. It was a difficult transition, but I am grateful to be closer to work. I realized that my heart was forever changed living in Denton, and this month proved difficult. I also met Collin’s family, which was wonderful. I truly enjoy them.

November: There was Thanksgiving. And Max turned 5. I cannot believe he is 5, as it seems like just last month he was born. Collin and I also took our first trip together. We didn’t even want to kill each other! Winning!

December: We celebrated Christmas this month. My dad came to my school to play Santa, the kids loved it. Collin and I celebrated Christmas by going ice skating. He got me a bike. I got him an ice cream maker. My family celebrated by attending church Christmas Eve, opening presents and having breakfast Christmas Day, and spending time with my Dad. I also spent Christmas evening with Collin and his family. December brought “IceMageddon” wherein my fourth marathon was cancelled. Boo. But it was nice to have a few extra days off of school.

2013 reminded me that God is faithful. He is near. He hears us in our fears and prayers, and wants good for us. This year reminded me that we are not abandoned. He is a good, loving, and faithful Father.

Here are a few more memories:

Jiu Jitsu at school.

San Marcos in NovemberSpring Break 2013

Happy New Year!

Finding Rest

I don’t know about you, but my life has been busy lately. Christmas parties, family get-togethers, shopping, working, cooking, Christmas cards, decorating…

Striving.

It’s what I do. I try. I work. I strive.

It’s hard for me to rest. My heart is often anxious and filled with thoughts of what others think about me, and am I doing what I need to be doing, and am I doing the best I can, and what do I need to do better…

My soul pines for relief. It longs to be known and loved. And I feel like it is, by friends, by family, and by God, but I long for more. I want to get up and live a life where I can say that no matter what happens, I am enough because Christ is in me.

I want to rest in that.

We sang “Come thou long expected Jesus ” in church today, and I mulled over the words for a while after.

 So much anguish, so much hurt, the world cries out for Jesus, for love, for rest, for healing. I long for those things.

Come thou long expected Jesus,

Born to set thy people free.

From our fears and sins release us

Let us find our rest in Thee

 

He came to rescue. He came for us. We were lost. We were stuck. We were trapped. We were dying. And He came for us. Because He treasures us, He is our Rescuer, our Healer, our Deliverer.

I love when the song says “From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee”. That is so often my prayer. Release me, Lord, from this anxiety. Release me from my fear that I am a failure. Release me from the list of “Shoulds and Shouldn’ts”. Release me from striving to be the best.

I don’t know about you, but the holidays are a restless time of striving. Are my Christmas cards cute enough, did I instagram enough Christmas lights, oh crap I forgot my advent calender, did I get the perfect gift, did I make the exact perfect dish for my holiday party and does it look like the picture on Pinterest…am I good enough, am I worthy, do you approve…

He approves. God approves and loves and brings peace.

We waited for a Savior, and He came in the form of a little baby. And He grew and taught us how to love with a ferocity the world had never seen before. And then He died, and rose again, and saved us in the process.

That is how I know He approves of me. That is how I know I can trust Him to release me from my fears and striving, because He already has.

And God did not save us so that we spend the rest of our lives earning what has already been given to us. So we rest in this. We don’t have to strive and work for man’s approval. It doesn’t matter. The creator of the universe says we are a priceless treasure. He says we are His beloved. I approve of those whom I call my beloved, and I know God does too.

You are free to rest when you feel fully approved of and loved, and when we can realize that God fully approves of us and loves us, our souls can rest, regardless of circumstance.

So, in the middle of the hustle and bustle and craziness of Christmas, I want my heart to remember what I am celebrating. I am celebrating freedom. I am celebrating grace. I am celebrating salvation.

I am celebrating rest.

I do not have to worry. I do not have to strive. Neither do you.

Come thou long expected Jesus, let us find our rest in thee…

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

My heart forgot…

I have been listening to this song on repeat today. I do that sometimes, when I am struggling or anxious, or when I just need a reminder of truth.

Anxiety is eating me alive today. It has been for a few days now. Things are so different now. I don’t see my small group as much, I work longer hours, I am not living with my sister anymore.

And then there’s the boy.

He’s wonderful. He’s kind, and fun, and smart, and we had our first dance party yesterday. It’s good.

So, naturally, I fret.

Because, heaven knows, I cannot get through a day without a lie or two (or 651) making it’s way in. Especially in times of change or transition. These days the lies revolve around  being left, being helpless, loving someone and being made a fool.

I tell myself “We have nothing in common”, I tell myself  “I’m unlovable”, I tell myself “He’ll figure out how insecure I am and run for the hills (or bike for the hills).”

I tell myself my heart is going to be crushed into a million little pieces all over again

I hear lies.

I believe them.

And I take them on as truth.

And that’s not okay.

Because when I wear these lies as truth, my anxious heart takes over.

Because, in my anxiety, I am forgetting.

I am forgetting how faithful God was to me. I am forgetting that I am never beyond His reach in my anxiety and sin. I am forgetting that He is good, He is my refuge, He is my hope, He is my healer.

And this song was on this morning, and I felt in my heart a peace. Not a peace because my heart will never be broken again ( it might be). Not a peace because my boyfriend is wonderful (even though he is).

A peace that said “My sweet Kacy, my love, remember how I have always held you. Do not forget what I have done. I know you are scared. I know this terrifies you. I know that you are trusting another human with your heart, and that is a frightening thing to do when it has been abused before. But, please, remember how faithful I was to you. I am not changing. I am constant. You are held in my arms. I will not drop you on your head”.

And when I hear those lies, and my stomach drops, and I collapse in a heap of tears on the floor,  and I act like a total jerk because I’m scared, my desire is to remember.

Remember who really holds my heart.

Remember who brought Collin into my life.

Remember how He held my hand when I was terrified.

Remember how He rejoiced with me when I felt love again.

Remember how He is sufficient in all my fears and struggles and sins.

Remember that He is not done yet.

“I am He who brings freedom
I will redeem with an outstretched arm
You’re never too far from my grasp
I am Deliverer I will come to your rescue”