Hello everyone! I cannot believe it’s already December 31st. I feel like I say this every year, but this year has definitely gone by much faster due to being in quarantine. Typically in my last post of the year, I talk about my word for the year and share pictures that highlighted my year. Since this year was unlike anything I’ve experienced, I am taking a different approach…I’ll be talking about 3 things that this year gave me.
Let me explain my weekday routine in 2019. I would wake up at 4:30a to get to my commute lot by 5:30a, so we would be in the city by 6:30a. I would get off at 4:30p, but wouldn’t get home until 6p (on a good day). The majority of my day was consumed by commuting to/from work or actually being at work. I remember praying to God last year that I wanted a new job where I would have a shorter commute…and in a sense, He answered my prayers. Since COVID-19, I have been fortunate to work from home. I have enjoyed this “extra” time (although I don’t always know what to do with it). I have been able to spend so much more time with my family, and that makes me really happy. We are not extremely tired from commuting, working, or participating in activities that we cannot watch a movie together or cook dinner together. Also with the surplus time, I have been able to read 27 books, which is a personal best for me. Three of my favorite reads this year were “Lead from the Outside” by Stacey Abrams, “In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle, and “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines.
2. Financial Blessing
God truly blessed me this year. In my first post of 2020, I shared how I wanted to pay off my student loans (around $20k) and start saving for a house. My plan was to pay off my student loans at the end of this month, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I cancelled all of my trips for this year and put the refunds towards my student loan. Then, I took the first stimulus check and put that towards my student loans. And I even sold my car (got a new one), took the money…and put it towards my student loan. By September, I had paid off the remainder of my student loan. Then as quickly as I paid off my student loan, an opportunity presented itself for me to buy a house. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I could afford to buy a house now. This year has allowed me to save so much money, partly due to my cancelled trips, but also because I am at home everyday. I was bummed when COVID-19 first happened because I was going to be jet-setting this year, but God helped me to see other things He was giving me.
Not only did I get time and financial blessings, but I also got stillness. My life last year was so busy and I was always so tired. This year allowed me to get rid of the distractions and focus on myself. I was able to focus on what I wanted in life, what God was telling me, and on being intentional with my relationships. One of the things that I want is freedom from rejection/insecurities/failure; and through quiet time with God, devotionals, and reading my Bible, I am getting closer to freedom in those areas. I have been listening to who God says I am, trying to encourage others, and trying to take advantage of every opportunity and relationship in my life. I hope that I have fully embraced this stillness, where I can continue to create times of stillness when we recover from this pandemic.
I do not take for granted my experience during this pandemic. I am fully aware that not everyone was able to keep their jobs or work from home or achieve their goals/dreams. However, if you are reading this post, I want to encourage you with something I heard last year. The speaker at my church said, “if it’s not good, then God’s not done.” God is ultimately in control of everything (Psalm 24:1), and He has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). When it seems as if life is not going well, know that God will use your situation for good (Genesis 50:20). And the things we cannot see will vastly outweigh what we see right now (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). We can have joy that next year will be even better, because God is good and He’s good to us. Keep the faith! Be safe! And I’ll see you next year!
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New Year 2021!