After the ghastly train wreck that was 2016, 2017 was far more enjoyable! When I look back on the struggling, heart-sore person I was at the end of last year, I can definitely see how far the Lord has brought me. “‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home!”
On that note, here’s the traditional years’-end tag!
What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? I was a classroom teacher (as opposed to a helper) for Vacation Bible School, I played Lady Jane Grey in a Living History Museum for our church’s Reformation Day celebration, and I participated in NaNoWriMo!
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and do you have any for next year? My resolutions for 2017 were “to blog more, and to simply to be happy, healthy, and enjoy my life to the fullest.” With about twenty blogposts under my belt and the deepest contentment I’ve enjoyed in my almost-twenty-six years, I’d say those resolutions were successful.
My resolutions for 2018: Whip up an edited second draft of my sci-fi novel Lionhearted, send it to my beta readers, and move towards publishing. Also: exercise in preparation for my mom’s birthday trip to Mount Currahee. (*Captain Sobel voice*) “THREE MILES UP, THREE MILES DOWN!”
Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant? Nope…all quiet on the baby front.
Did anyone close to you get married? I attended two weddings this year, and although I wouldn’t say I’m super-close with either bride, their weddings were lovely!
Did anyone close to you die? Our beloved Cairn Terrier, Titan, died at the age of 13 this May.
Did you move anywhere? Nopeity-nope-nope-nope.
What was the best month? I can’t really name a specific month, but this summer was a spiritual mountaintop for me. The Lord made His love so real to me and my own heart opened up to Him in ways it never had before.
What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? June 13, the day we adopted our new puppy Cinnamon–and October 11, the day I wrote “THE END” on my first draft of Lionhearted.
What was your biggest achievement of the year? What was your biggest failure? Like I said last year, I’m trying not to measure my value by my achievements and failures. That said, finishing Lionhearted was a pretty big deal! But I still don’t pin my worth on it.
Did you suffer illness or injury? Nah, nothing horrendous.
Whose behavior merited celebration? My sister Anna! She’s grown in many beautiful ways this year and it’s been a joy to watch. She and I have gotten a lot closer this year, too. I’m so proud to call her one of my dearest friends.
Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed? (*side-eyes Washington D.C. and Hollywood into next week*)
Where did most of your money go? Clothes…books…music. And my Lady Jane Grey costume.
Who or what did you get really, really, really excited about? I’m VERY excited about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding! And I’ve been anticipating The Greatest Showman ever since I first watched the trailer seven times in one sitting.
I also nearly choked on my tea when one of my AO3 readers asked if they could translate my first Victoria fanfiction into Russian. I mean, WOW–somebody liked my story so much that they’d translate it into their native tongue and then publish it online with full credit to…to me?!?! WHEEEEEEE!!!!
What song(s) will always remind you of 2017? Pretty near anything from The Greatest Showman and La La Land soundtracks. Such good music–but especially La La Land‘s “Another Day of Sun” and The Greatest Showman‘s “This Is Me.”
What was an unexpected surprise? Becoming a Whovian. Did not see that one coming.
fall in love develop any affections for certain fictional males semi-fictional males based on actual historical figures in 2017? Mm-hmm. Yes. Yes, I did…
Exhibit A: Major Dick Winters from Band of Brothers.
Exhibit B: Lord Melbourne from Victoria.
I clearly have a type: the Kind & Steady Gentleman-Leader Type. And I fall for it every. Stinkin’. Time.
What was the best concert you’ve been to this year? Some musician/singer friends of mine had a concert at our church and it was lovely.
What were your favorite TV programs? Band of Brothers, Victoria, and Doctor Who.
What were your favorite films? La La Land, Wonder Woman, and Justice League.
What was the best book you read? I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but…Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose was fantastic, Devil At My Heels by Louis Zamperini was a real page-turner (I actually found it better than his more well-known biography by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken), and I “got lost in the language” of Lord David Cecil’s Melbourne.
But Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited had the biggest spiritual impact on me this year, so I may just go with that one.
Who was the best new person you met? Probably my beautiful jumping bean Wendy Greene, who has fangirled, fellowshipped, and laughed with me all year long!
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 25 this year, and Dad and Mom took me and two of my sisters out to eat for our birthdays. We went to Cheesecake Bistro and I had crawfish ravioli and Oreo cheesecake.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017? Very vintage, with a bent towards the 1940’s. I’ve learned that’s the fashion style I’m most comfortable with.
What political issue stirred or exhausted you the most? I’m a permanently exhausted pigeon when it comes to politics and can no longer be stirred.
What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2017? That Jesus really is all I need. He’s my Bridegroom and He loves me in ways no human ever will or could. And the amazing thing is, I did absolutely nothing to deserve such love. I’m not just saying this as some nice-sounding spiritual answer, either. This truth became very real for me this year and it makes such a difference in the way I live my life.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Don’t be afraid
The dawn of hope is breaking
God’s planned your tomorrows
He’ll see you through today!
He knows your name
And speaks it to His Father
His thoughts are with you
Each moment of the day
He is no stranger to your hurt, your heartache
You’re in His care
The Shepherd knows your name
–“The Shepherd Knows Your Name” by Phillip Keveren