Life lessons of 2014 and my great expectations for 2015!!

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something." 
--Neil Gaiman

Here are some of the things that 2014 taught me:
1.  Life is fleeting. And good health is not guaranteed. Some ailments are worse than death.
2.  Starting your own business is super scary...and tremendously rewarding.
3.  True friendship is rare and dear. If you find it, hold on tight, thank the LORD and laugh a lot. 
4.  Obamacare is just as big a nightmare as many of us thought it would be. I won't say I told you so...
5.  Mexico is beautiful and I am hoping to go back.
6.  Big blue dumpsters jump off of curbs and hit your car. Hard.
7.  Shouldering someone else's offense makes you look foolish. Especially when the two primary individuals involved in a dispute resolve their differences and you have pitted yourself against the supposed aggressor. Ouch!! That'll leave a mark!! For further explanation, check scripture. 
8.  Soldiers never stop being soldiers. No matter how long they have been out of uniform, they always yearn to serve.
9.  A swimming pool, even a salt water one, is a beast of a responsibility. And they don't stay leaf free long. Just sayin'...
10.  Our children are smarter than we think and their intelligence often times manifests itself differently. A quiet, thoughtful child is just as smart and inquisitive as a verbally exhausting, outspoken one.
11. Boys who don't posses a natural athletic ability can improve tremendously and fall in love with the game.
12. If you expect things from people, especially those close to you, you will most definitely be disappointed.
13. Speaking to an audience of veterans is pretty darn amazing...and pretty dead-gum intimidating!! 
14. Church doesn't have to be a theatrical production with bands and lights and casually dressed ministers to be spirit-filled and moving. Sometimes the LORD works in small, quiet places where hymns are still sung, preachers wear suits and iPhone bible apps aren't used.
15. Texas isn't ready for a blond-headed, pro-abortion nightmare in the Governor's mansion. Thank you, sweet Jesus.
16. True evil exists in this world and some of it is sweeping across the Middle East killing men, women and children.
17. I am a spoiled-rotten American and should be ashamed of myself most days.
18. Racism is a serious problem and the solution, unfortunately, is terribly far away.
19. Gas prices CAN drop right before an election and remain low during the holiday travel season. Who knew?!
And last but certainly not least,
20. People will hear what they want to hear. People will see what they want to see. People will think what they want to think. You can't fix stupid.
Yep. Read # 20 again. And if necessary, read it again. Read it, learn it, meditate on it. It is one of those lessons I learn every single year of my life. In fact, I have had repeated tutorials on many of the above mentioned lessons. In some ways, I suppose, I am a masochist. 
But in all seriousness, as I reflect on the past year, I am so thankful for the long days, busy weeks and crazy-fast months of our amazing 2014 journey. I am so thankful for the health my children enjoyed, for the success my husband obtained, for the friendships I have developed, for the freedoms I enjoyed, for the salvation I possessed, and for the overall simplicity (when compared to the sufferings and stresses of others) that is my beautifully blessed life. 
2014 was a great, life-lesson-filled year. It ended in textbook chaos, with sickness and holidays and family drama and bad weather. But some of the most perfect things come from chaotic origins. Some of the most amazing realities begin in uncertainty and confusion. Some of the greatest adventures begin with a single, scary, unplanned step.
So, yeah, I am hopeful and excited and like a dear friend of mine said yesterday, expectant, of what is to come in 2015. I am looking forward to the days, weeks and months ahead and deciding right now to shed the disappointments and distractions of 2014 and embrace what the LORD has for me right now and tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. I am going to be open, available and willing to learn. Because I want to be better, braver and more wise when this year concludes.  
Abraham Lincoln once said, "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." Yep, people, that's how I am going to "do" day at a time. And I am hopeful and expectant for a very good year. A very good year indeed. 

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