2017: A Year in Review
To catch up on my 2016 in review + 2017 goals from last year, read this post!
Grand Total: ~24+ (I didn’t do the best job of tracking them this year!)
You are Free
Anthem // Favorite Worship Song(s)
King of My Heart (Live), by Bethel Music & Steffany Gretzinger
Reckless Love, Cory Asbury
Grand Total: 9+
Throughout parts of Virginia (Charlottesville, Williamsburg), Ohio, Dominican Republic (Punta Cana), North Carolina (OBX, Beaufort, Wrightsville, Charlotte)
Major Life Events Completed
- Celebrated our Engagement season (engagement parties, photo sessions, wedding planning, bridal showers, Bachelorette/Bachelor weekends, etc.)
- Traded in & each got new cars for various reasons
- Signed a lease for our first apartment together – just 2 blocks from the beach!
- GOT MARRIED & became Mr. & Mrs. Parker
- Honeymoon’d in the beautiful Dominican Republic; staying in an incredible ocean-side villa
- Moved in & fully furnished said apartment
- Got a mini goldendoodle puppy, affectionately named Dodger – #dodgermydood
- Gained two new nieces from sisters on each side of our families – Isla and Waverly
- Joined a new church community
- Rebranded my business & upgraded to a new website I love
- Rebranded this here little blog and kept it going like the little engine that could
- Completed the Arbonne 28-Day Detox with positive results
- Joined Arbonne as an Independent Consultant and love using their products (although I haven’t been sharing them as much as I could)
- Taught my first-ever semester as a college Communications professor at Wave Leadership College
- Attended my little sister’s graduation from The Ohio State University & her 4-year field hockey career there
- Gained an entire new family of in-laws
- Planned & hosted a baby shower for my older sister
- Took our annual family vacation to Beaufort, NC with our growing family & friends all under one roof!
- Made major strides in my kvh. creative business in the latter half of the year, (just as I said I wanted to!)
- Got an iMac computer (This was on my wishlist for YEARS!)
- Achieved our highest incomes thus far with more growth on the horizon (#abundancemindset)
- Started a “Give Back” initiative through my business where I give a portion of profits to various charities each month
- Cultivated a spirit of contentment – loving what we have, right where we are
- Watched more TV + movies than I have…maybe ever. – (If you know my personality type, then yes, this is worth celebrating)
- Had a blissful, spoiled first Christmas together
Our 2017 Christmas card photo by my talented sister-in-law, Hannah Parker
Lessons Learned :: What I’m Willing to Let Go Of
I’m convinced this is one of the heaviest burdens you can try and carry – and one I tried to carry for more than half of 2017. But in the moments I stepped back, leaned into surrender, said a little prayer for a discerning heart, I felt peace. Peace regardless of whether everyone around me was happy or not – myself included. We all have to take responsibility for our own happiness, choices, and situations – without the victim mentality or misplaced blame on others.
I want to be strong for myself and for others but without being so easily affected. Instead, I want to live an effective life that balances strength and softness with clear boundaries.
I don’t want to be the girl that’s known for always justifying or having to be right. I want to be known for always giving grace & showing love, whether deserving or not. Because everyone has an opinion. What we need are more examples. Someone who listens more than they declare or make claims, and someone who’s willing to honor another’s position. To powerfully debate not so much with what I say, but with how I live my life.
Reacting (vs. Responding)
That brings me to the last one…if the cause of my behavior is people pleasing and being right, then the effect is a constant reaction to whatever I’m hit with. Part of surrendering these two things is learning how to respond, and not react. Whether it’s with my husband, family, friends, things that come my way at work, I want to remain calm in chaos and not allow myself to loose my cool over something that really won’t matter even a few hours from now. #LordHelpMe
2018: Looking Ahead
PHRASE TO FOCUS ON: CULTIVATED FREEDOM
I started my 2018 Powersheets by Lara Casey and the Cultivate What Matters team, and they encourage you to “pick a word” that inspires you for the year ahead. After some thought, journaling & prayer, there were so many things about the word “cultivate” that attracted me. Mostly because it’s a verb – an action – that suggests you have to dig and chip away at your goals a little bit each day, rather than hoping they spontaneously come into existence.
The other word that was speaking to my heart was “freedom.” It really helped to look up the definition to words that I already knew the meaning of, because it brought a new application to my life and circumstances.
Unable to choose between the two, I made up a little word-phrase – “cultivated freedom” to lead me into 2018 with the right mix of doing and stillness in all facets of my life.
In my quiet time, I’ll be compiling a list of scriptures that lead me in this throughout the year.
Major Goals for 2018
- Read 3 books/month
- Complete monthly blog challenges & invite you to do them with me (More info. on this coming soon!)
- Have a regular food & fitness lifestyle I’m proud of (hello clean eating & running again!) – “THE YEAR OF THE BODY” – ha, but seriously.
- Have my biggest month to date with kvh. creative
- Create, market & sell my first kvh. creative digital products
- Grow in our marriage & complete the Marriage Creed journals by Val Marie Paper
- Take a Parker family vacation celebrating my father-in-law’s 50th birthday
- BUY OUR FIRST HOME
- Cultivate my own “miracle morning” routine (#morningpages)
…and whatever else God has in mind for me & our family!
So, there you have it!
Being a highlight reel, these posts are so rewarding for me to do each year because honestly, every day doesn’t always feel like something blog-worthy. Not even in the slightest. And as you can imagine, the bad days or sour moments don’t always have their place in an Instagram caption.
But when you allow yourself to pause, and think of the good there’s been in a short 365 days, you see it’s impossible to think that God isn’t in the thick of the day-to-day details with you. I’m reminded that he’s always working, never failing, always faithful, and never absent.
These posts allow me to lean into prayer over planning and listening [to God] over [making] lists. Because He’s in control. He always has been, and He always will be. There is no greater security than this.
So here’s to a year that’s challenged me, and changed me – and to the next one that will do the same – right from the starting line.
I’d love to hear your 2017 reflections &/or 2018 goals. Share or link to your own post in the comments below!
With love, grace, & big hope for whatever’s on the horizon,