2 0 1 9 | prepare

Hello friends, Happy 2019!

Does that number freak anyone else out? I’m already processing that the next year, if the Lord decides to lead us there, will be 2020; the year that in elementary school days seemed like an eternity away and now it’s just around the corner.  Yep, here we are at the start of another year and if you’re reading this let me start by saying THANK YOU for being here.  I’m sure you could be spending your time doing something way cooler like watching Friends or Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix (I wouldn’t blame you if you left right now for that), or reading a much more reputable author’s latest novel, but instead you’re here showing interest in what my heart has to say, so from the very beginning, thank you.

I firmly believe that to move forward it’s beneficial to reflect on where you’ve come from and 2018 was a beautiful year.  Last NYE I prayed that the Lord would take control of the year and man did He ever.  I took a complete leap of faith and stepped out of the classroom after five years and into full time youth ministry this July with the BYG; it’s hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  J returned to high school teaching and coaching, won his first cross country state title, and we became parents of a four year old McKinlee.  We made millions of memories with a summer full of trips, the best one spent at Seaside FL, and some of the best concerts I have ever been to in my lifetime of 27 years; Pentatonix, Needtobreathe, Lauren Daigle and our all time favorite Ben Rector.  J and I celebrated five years of marriage, and he also jumped into business with his brother Brandon by starting Ozark Mountain Lacrosse in the NWA area! I most definitely followed the Spirit’s nudge earlier in 2018 to step farther outside of my comfort zone by sharing more of my heart in hopes to encourage others through officially happilyhastagblessed blogging and the little app of instagram, which has built a new unique community for me! This past year has been a culmination of growth, adventure and investment.

Now 2019 is underway and after spontaneously deciding to go see Rachel Hollis’ #madeformoremovie with my friend Cassandra, I left feeling nothing but motivated and inspired for the year ahead.   Thank goodness we decided to go on a whim, because it was crystal clear that I was supposed to be there.  We have been created to do beautiful things for the Kingdom and I was beyond encouraged in being reminded that we are capable of more. One of my sweet new friend’s in NWA shared on her feed something called a ‘Year End Review’ (check the highlights on her insta!) which entails a specified time where you can self-reflect or reflect with a spouse about the year in its entirety.  You ask various questions that delve deep into what the previous year looked like along with questions that challenge and help you goal set for the upcoming year. After all that was discussed J and I chose the word ‘prepare‘ for 2019, because we know we are capable of more fulfillment that can be found in less stress-stricken scenarios.  We want to prepare for each thing the Lord has in store for us.  We want to prepare in ways of life that can help our load feel lighter, because preparation minimizes the likelihood of stressful situations and places you in a position of readiness.  Preparation can look different for many people, but preparation for us will look like better time management and prioritizing what’s truly important.  I never underestimate the perfect timing of the Lord as there were so many additional takeaways from the #madeformore documentary as I also prepare for leading our @bentonvilleyg first ‘You Say’ Young Ladies Conference at the end of this month. I am elated to lead a new event that the Spirit placed on my heart early on for young ladies when I took the youth ministry position mid summer! We plan to dive into the topic of IDENTITY in Christ and hearing what the Lord has to say of us vs. the lies the enemy so often tries to tell us. Through worship, prayer, the Word, creating and listening to 3 different speakers, including myself, it is my prayer to help young ladies leave more confident in hearing who our Heavenly Father says we are in Him. God has already made so many things happen and I’m excited to share this ministry moment with three of my dear friends, Scotti Beth Lawson and Tori Finley who will be speaking as well as Lindsey Sloan who will be leading worship! Y’all I cannot wait to see the way hearts move on this day and even more-so the way our hearts will grow in all the days ahead of us.

I know New Year’s Resolutions are easily made and sometimes just as easily broken, but I know there are great benefits to goal setting and committing to the action it takes to achieve them.  I am feeling an unbelievable amount of gratitude as I do my best to continue following what my Heavenly Father has already prepared for me to do in advance and just as He has prepared, I pray we are prepared to embrace whatever the Lord has for all of us this new year!

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