Saturday, May 19, 2012

Reflections of a Blessed Year

Almost one year ago to the day I was moving back home to Indiana from California. Deciding to move home was one the most difficult decisions I have ever made. I was a 24 year old who was very involved in her church's youth group, involved in her school (as a co-president in student government and a teaching assistant), and was one of the best in her class. I had just finished my thesis and was leaving not only my amazing friends, but my doctoral candidacy behind. While California was an amazing adventure for me, and I loved exploring every part of the state, there was something missing in my life. I prayed often about what I was lacking, but couldn't quite figure it out. California was full of great memories with the youth group

with exploring an exciting state

and beginning to date my now husband

Either way, I made the decision to move home. I came home with two random degrees, no prospective jobs, and a new chunk of debt. I had no idea why I was coming home, but I had never felt more at peace in my life. And I had no idea what great things God had in store for me. This is my chance to reflect on that wonderful year that started full of uncertainty and complete faith. Days after moving home, Josh and I got to celebrate the marriage of two of our dearest friends!

A few weeks later we left to visit New Orleans with a big group of our friends to celebrate yet another marriage between two of our dearest friends.

A few short weeks later, a few of my friends and I from college made a girls weekend at the Wisconsin Dells and following that Josh and I were able to drive out to his family's homes in Pennsylvania to meet some more of his family, including his brother and sister-in-law. Luckily, we survived a big family trip and I left just a couple weeks later to visit the upper peninsula of Michigan with my dad and step mother.
Yet another place I had never been, just encouraging my love of travel. Just one short week after I got home, I left again for a missions trip to Wisconsin to help a Bible Camp re-do stuff for the upcoming year. Not only did I get to enjoy being the female sponsor for the high school girls, but I got to bond with Josh's father who is the youth leader. While on that trip I was also blessed with three phone calls for job interviews.
We built that deck for the camp, it was hard, but rewarding. Once I got home, I interviewed for jobs and took two part time jobs which were a challenge at times, but also very enjoyable. Plus, I made some amazing friends. Not long after I started, Josh and I decided to find me a puppy so I wasn't living alone. The first day we went looking, we found the perfect little guy.

We named him Buchanan, and he has been a little joy for the past nine months. In fact, his birthday was just Wednesday :) He is one year old now! A week after that, the most memorable weekend of my life happened. On Saturday we went down to Purdue for a football game with friends and then on Monday Josh proposed after a perfect date day in Chicago at our favorite park on the way home.
Things didn't slow down after that either. Not only was I able to start paying down my loans, but we started planning a great wedding which I got to make most of myself (as you have seen in previous posts) because I had part time jobs.This was extremely rewarding, and it saved a lot of money. God's blessings just kept coming. On 11/11/11 our beautiful niece was born. We had a great Thanksgiving together and one of my very dear friends got engaged. Christmas was busy and great in Pennsylvania. Once we got back, things just got busier! I had my wedding showers
This is my beautiful wedding party minus two girls out in California. My birthday in February was great, and then I got married in March to the most amazing man I have ever met!!

We went on an amazing honeymoon and found out right when we got back that he was chosen as a candidate for the youth ministries position for a church in Iowa. It was exactly what we had hoped for, and God was blessing us greatly. Josh got the position and we went to visit grandparents in Arizona and then visited Iowa to find an apartment. Exactly one year from when I moved, I will be moving again to start my newlywedded adventure in Des Moines with my new husband, new dog, and new life :) I'd say that the past year has been more than a blessing and I am soo glad I trusted God to guide me in the right direction!

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