PROSTWhen I gaze upon 2013, the unexpected and profound blessings knock me off my feet and take my breath away. I look back to where I was at in life two years ago – one year ago, and my response is a release of an overwhelming surge of tears.

My tears are tears of thankfulness for everything I’ve fought through to overcome, and the victory I’ve been granted. I wouldn’t be nearly where I’m at now if not for my Redeemer’s awe-inspiring grace, love, healing and redemption. I literally cannot grasp onto the words to illustrate the intense emotion of thankfulness and reverence overflowing from my heart.

If I had to describe this year in one word, it would be

REDEEMING.

Redeeming in every way. Redeeming because of the fierce love and healing that have flooded my spirit and heart in ways I never imagined possible for myself. Redeeming because of the life and passion that have been restored to dreams and visions. Redeeming because of the refinement and flourishing of giftings. Redeeming because of relationships, and the hope, confidence and joy I have in them. At the beginning of this year I was still in a place of solitude, with an absence of deep relationships and connections with others. The Lord was re-wiring me to know what true love is and how to walk forth in it. To observe the incredible change and growth that has unfolded over the course of this year is… humbling.

Relationships are definitely the brightest twinkling star of my 2013.

My Lord has joyously and unexpectedly resuscitated some dear relationships I had let go of, He has gifted me with the birth of new ones, and He has grown and strengthened existing ones in ways I did not anticipate. He has breathed His life-sustaining breath into these relationships at the most perfect and timeless moments. I am left speechless with immense love and adoration for those I am honored to share in life with. Thank you, Lord.

There are stark moments of pure goodness and bliss that are forever embedded in my mind and heart… To recap highlights of my 2013:

  • Going on a journey with me, myself and I in March to my happy place in Kona, Hawaii. And my time with Old Man Ocean.
  • The incredible team I am blessed and privileged to work with at St. Charles.
  • Visiting family at the farm in Kentucky over July 4th.
  • Celebrating Chandler Day with Mary & Megan; what a truly fun day.
  • Summer road trip to Canyon City to visit Beth, Mama & Papa Fischer and George, and the incredible healing that surrounded us.
  • Thailand and Cambodia with Steps of Justice in August, and doing photography for them. Also the new friendships that emerged from that time… Melina, meine Deutsche Freundinn, and Phil & Amy Bloomer, my new nearby neighbors! Oh and I ate a cricket, held a tarantula and drank beer with ice!
  • Celebrating Chandler’s 21st birthday with Mark and Dianne at Crater Lake and McMennamin’s with friends!
  • Josh Garrel’s concert with Beth.
  • The National + The Lumineers weekend with my Gabbert family… and just spending increased time with them in general over the course of this year.
  • The Pink Room Documentary Screening at McMennamins. It was a huge success!
  • Provision of justice at the corrupt orphanage Taryn and I were at last November in the DR Congo!
  • Thanksgiving with my family in Texas!
  • Adventure with Hattie to stay a night with a really cool host family in Portland!
  • Kona, Hawaii AGAIN in December to visit Mel, and lots of swimming!
  • Schoolhouse Christmas with Papa & Mama Fischer, Beth, Amanda, Tiffany and Katie!
  • And other random things would be tattoos, crossfit, rock climbing, line-dancing with Kara, Taryn & Hattie, coffee dates with Kara, Amanda moving back to Bend!!!, being featured in the newspaper, new lifestyle of eating, learning German AND SO MUCH MORE!

I am SO deeply blessed. At a contrast from last year, I blow a sweet kiss to and wave g’bye with a smile stretching from ear-to-ear to 2013, and open my arms wide to embrace 2014 with much hope, eagerness and anticipation.

All praise, honor and glory to the Most High God.

PROST und ein gesegnetes neues Jahr!!!