Ok. I seriously did not chase all year in boots, but who could resist this cute picture of me and my boyfriend doing one of the things we love… just taking a walk through the pasture. And let’s face it. Boots are required. Especially if you’re wearing shorts like I was that day.
Some of you might remember that I choose a word for the year, but if you don’t, you can read that story here. Just one word. Sometimes I choose the word, and sometimes it chooses me. Last year the word was CHASE, and let me tell you this. I feel like I was at a full-on sprint THE. WHOLE. YEAR. I told God in January that I was going to chase after Him with everything I had, and He took me at my word. He set me off on a pace that required an out-of-breath, no-time-to-rest, but-loving-every-minute pace. I’d call it the ride of a lifetime, but sweet mercy! I was RUNNING, not riding. And, blessing of all blessings, I am so much stronger for it.
I sat down yesterday and wrote in my journal what the Chase looked like in 2014… not every day life… but the chasing after God part. Here’s a glimpse:
- Made 2nd trip to Romania in February
- Opened Sanctuary Oaks in May
- Celebrated one year anniversary of serving at Hilltop Women’s Unit in June
- Ordained to the gospel ministry on August 17
- Served on the Central Texas Hospitality House board and helped open our new facility in September
- Celebrated one year anniversary of GloryDays in October
- Led women’s events at for 5 other churches
- Taught four Bible studies for the Wildly Blessed Women at FBC Crawford
- Taught five MORE Bible studies for the Women at Hilltop
- Wrote and taught four MORE Bible studies for the Friendly Workers Sunday school class at FBC Crawford
- Started seminary at George W. Truett Theological Seminary
And after writing all this, I wept. And not because I am tired. I wept out of sheet joy and absolute thanksgiving for a mighty God WHO DID ALL THIS! I cannot take one ounce of credit, because it is not in me to do even ONE of these things, much less all of them. I’ll be honest. So many times I told God that it was too much… too hard… not fun… overwhelming… exhausting. I also begged for mercy and told Him how inadequate I felt… how powerless… how incapable… how desperate. I told Him I’d changed my mind. I wanted to quit. He’d picked the wrong girl.
But He never let me go! As the girls in prison say, “He just kept showing up and showing out.” Just when I’d be about to quit, I’d see Him at work in the most amazing way. He’d give me a glimpse of the miracles He was working through my meager effort, and I’d keep running. I’m so grateful He didn’t let me off the hook. So grateful He didn’t give up on me… especially when I was whining and crying and being all pitiful.
This I know… and not just because Jeremiah 29:13 tells me… when you seek after God with all your heart… You. Will. Find. Him.
And you will be changed forever.
And here’s the absolutely crazy thing. Absolutely. Crazy.
After bawling my eyes out, I dried my tears, and wrote this:
January 1, 2015. STORY.
“My Lord and my God, I surrender the pen to you. Write YOUR story for my life and give me the courage to live it. Living YOUR story will be the bravest thing I will ever do.”
And for all that was the Chase in 2014, in 2015 there is yet a new beginning each and every day IN HIM… a new chapter waiting to be written.
I. Cannot. Wait.
P.S. For those who are curious…
The two books pictured are from Erin Condren. The first is a Life Planner, which is a planner/calendar/must-have-tool for people with absolutely crazy schedules like mine. It’s not cheap, but it’s sturdy and super cute, and best of all you can customize it. The second book is an On-The-Go notebook, and… Whoa, Nellie! Stop the train! I am NOT using Moleskine notebooks for my journal this year. What?! I know. I’ve used them for years. I was committed. But, it’s a new STORY, and I’m stepping out and trying something new and praying I don’t regret it. Even if I do, I’m committed for a year. I can survive anything for a year, right?!
Finally, the beautiful bracelet is a gift from my boyfriend! Last year was the first year I had a bracelet made with my word for the year on it. I wore CHASE around my wrist every single day, and I loved it. I wanted to get the exact same bracelet again with STORY on it, but no luck! Caleb Voskamp, Ann Voskamp‘s son, was no longer making them. So, the search was on, and it ended at Design House in Waco with my all-time favorite jeweler, Linda McEathron. It’s a From the Heart bracelet that can be customized with any handwriting or simple drawing. In handwriting that is distinctively my running buddy, my bracelet says, “Living His story will be the bravest thing you will ever do. Love, Brad.” A treasure on so many levels!