Day 1

My NYE dates: I've seen these girls just about everyday for the 365 days in 2012.
My NYE dates: I’ve seen these girls just about everyday for the 365 days in 2012.

New Year’s Eve.

No fireworks.(Heard them across the river – does that count?)

No sequins covered outfit.(pouting)

No kiss (unless kisses goodnight to the babies counts??!!).

However, another year down and another exciting one ahead – cheers to living the unknown! It’s hard for a type A person such as myself to even choke down a phrase like that – progress people… this is a picture of progress.

It’s just after 12 AM and my thoughts are so consumed with what has been and what is to be.

I started this year in Haiti, at Danita’s Children. 12:00AM – located on the couch of the girl’s orphanage to be exact. So tired from a full-on dance party that it was a feat to even stay up until midnight. When I finally got a moment to stop, a baby in my lap, we were both down for the count pretty quickly.

I remember waking up the next morning, January 1, 2012, feeling like this was a pretty cool place to begin a new year. And that I should cook some black eyed peas. Because you know you’re supposed to eat black eyed peas on the first day of a new year.

Doesn’t everyone do that? Or is that just MY Grandma?

2012 was so full of nothing that I thought, yet so full of everything that God knew that I needed.

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This time last year I was adjusting to a new home. A new country. A new culture. A new lifestyle. I was far away from everything that is secure, and so excited for every day’s new adventure. I’m so grateful for the heartache, the hardships, and the headaches that came along with it.

On a long list of a full year, I can definitely say that this year:

I learned what the true meaning of value is.

The true picture of grace.

The true testament of faithfulness.

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As I look through 2012 photos of tragic stories and beautiful miracles, of lessons that I still don’t understand – that will travel a lifetime with me – and of heroic people who will never be known, I am honored that God trusted me enough to be a part of the story, and overwhelmed at what He has shown me about the character of my God, His faithfulness, and His never ending pursuit of me.

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 Although continually watching suffering and injustice is never easy, seeing God’s beauty in it’s mists is something that I can still never fully describe.

Even in the moments, as right now, where I am just at a blank – on my life, my future, my next 5 minutes – I feel like I continue to remain in such an intense place of gratitude. Gratitude that I continue to walk in God’s presence and mercy every day. That for the past 365 days I have learned more about who God is and how, as much as I want to make my own plans for my life, it’s really not about me at all.

Thank you to those who helped me get here, help me continue here, and help me to remain sane in the middle of my momentary lapses in identity.

WORD to a FRESH 2013! Isaiah 54: I am preparing to stretch! My house… my heart… my spirit… because I want it all! It makes NO rational sense. But who asked for life to make sense?

Happy 2013!

My First Thoughts of 2012

I am laying in bed, skipped church to try and rest to kick the last of this cold (not like I get much out of a bunch of a language that I am still in the beginning phases of learning… my Creole is about as advanced as a three year-old) but am not getting much done.

Resting didn’t quite work out for me. So of course I resort to writing. I can’t even concentrate. Literally right now I’m typing all that comes to mind and all there is, is that my eyes feel like their gonna explode out of my head and the motorcycles outside are really loud. There are kids on the sidewalk outside the window yelling and joking and screaming “o my gosh” in Creole a bunch of times, and one singing the beginning of “O, Holy Night” in English. Clearly the only line she knows, prolly has no clue what she is saying but she is definitely enjoying herself. A different rendition each go-around.

Last night I rang in the New Year with a… bang? I was slightly bummed that I wasn’t at the big time party, didn’t have a cute outfit, didn’t need a cute outfit and had nothing to do. However, little did I know there was a staff Christmas party that Brenda went to so I stayed at the girls house while she was away. And well, that’s a party in itself.

Basically threw on some fabulous lip gloss (courtesy of Kathleen, thanks for the year supply) and spent the night watching the Justin Bieber movie (how these Haitian girls are so in love, I will never know), practicing our midnight 2012 celebration screams and recording music videos with Francia to Spice Girls songs.

I took some cough meds around 11:45 pm and rang the new year in drifting away on the couch. I would say it kind of sucked but it was the first night that I haven’t spent struggling and coughing to death in about a week so I’ll take it.

 

There is somewhere that I would have loved to have been, but I am certain that God has me here for a reason, whether it is to overcome my obsession with finding a great New Year’s Eve outfit or to teach me some great principles of my life and it’s true meaning, I have yet to find out.

2012 is gonna be a good year.

I can feel it.

Happy New Year everyone. What are your resolutions?

Mine – to find and record a great moment each day.

XOXO,

Hope