Well, this won't really be an ode - not in the truest sense of the word. But it sounds cool, anyway.
What a crazy, beautiful, tough, wonderful year. 2016.
In a few words...I married my fantastic husband and had an incredibly beautiful honeymoon. I moved three times and he moved two. We served for a month in the Philippines, stayed a night in Hong Kong, and made memories to last a lifetime. We traveled through/to around 15+ states for ministry and a special chance to see Moses in Branson with my amazing family. My precious niece Rachael was born. I commenced two books (that I hope will be completed in 2017!) We went through some incredible heartaches and trials that left deep scars, but God led us through and blessed us mightily each step of the way. He turned ashes into beauty by moving us to TN and giving us the opportunity to serve at the Chattanooga Rescue Mission alongside some of the best and godliest people I have ever met. We joined a fantastic, discipleship centered church and have made some amazing friends/mentors. Best of all, God has shown me so much through tough and beautiful experiences about what it means to be a warrior of the cross. I cannot wait to see what 2017 holds!
Here is my attempt at capturing some of the highlights.
In February, 2016, I married my hot, sweet, amazing, fantastic, godly hunkules. I wanted to post sooooo many photos, but more can wait until our anniversary. I am so blessed by my incredible man.
Again, there were so many pics of our honeymoon that will just have to wait. I LOVED our time at on our honeymoon, especially at the Creation Museum. We made so many beautiful memories.
Our adventure in the Philippines gave us so many memories. There were some tough times and some beautiful times. A month in the rural parts of a 3rd world country can and does teach some hard lessons, but they are good ones.
Ah, Fuego. My husband stars as the cover model for Fuego in my next book. He is so dreamy.
My beautiful niece Rachael was born in 2016. I have not held her since she was 2 months old and that has been tough. But God is good. I am so blessed to have such a sweet little niece!
We traveled to and through 15+ states for ministry (as well as a special chance to see Moses in Branson with my amazing family.) The St. Louis Arch was one of the places I had always wanted to see and my hubby graciously took me to.
I had the chance to meet friends in person, met new authors, and shared time with my sister, who had surgery to correct her hearing this year. God brought us through so many blessings and trials.
2016 was not just the year I married my husband. It was the year I fell in love over and over again with him - stronger and stronger each time.
I was blessed to share time with my wonderful family before our move.
I held my niece for the last time in 2016 and said goodbye to her and all my loved ones to follow my husband and God's call to TN.
We fell in love with Chattanooga and joined an amazing church full of people who truly believe - and live - the principles of God's Word.
We moved into our darling apartment. I love it so much!
We've explored so much here...and have so much more to discover!
I have been reminded on a daily basis how much this man makes me laugh.
My special, wonderful friend flew out from NM to see me! We had an amazing time. And we are all rejoicing with her now. She just got engaged!!!!
Our first Thanksgiving at the mission was a success. Around 400-450 meals served on Thanksgiving day alone and wonderful friendships made along the way!
Christmas here was beautiful. Hard because we were away from loved ones, but beautiful in that it was our first. Samuel made it so incredible special for me - as did everyone who sent cards, presents, warm wishes, and had us in their homes.
Jesus has been my stay, my support, my everything during the days I thought I couldn't make it. Don't let the fun photos deceive you. I suffered horrible things this year and there were days I literally didn't want to live. I'm not going to let them define my 2016, however. When you choose to look at the good and not the horrible things man can do to you, life really is beautiful. And God is good.
Christmas at our church was so much fun!
Our gingerbread house made-from-scratch tradition lived on!
I have made some beautiful new friendships and enjoyed some preexisting ones at my new church. These ladies pictures are fantastic reminders of God's grace and goodness to me.
From the Christmas photo our sister, brother in law, and Rachael sent us. Ah. In love.
I commenced two books, which, Lord willing, will be completed and published in 2017!
I have a new sweet friend here...and she happens to be a photographer too! We're so thankful for her ability to capture moments! (Building her website was among the other things I managed to get done this year, too!)
God has been so good. 2016 was not easy. It was tough, raw, and hard. It was beautiful, amazing, and life-changing. Here's to 2017 and all that our Lord has in store!
Share Your 2016 Memories In The Comments!