It’s a new year, and time for action – New Year is such a great opportunity to reassess life, look towards adventures and reflect upon some great memories. This week, I’ve been preparing for New Year, discovering the things in my life that I want to change, and dreaming about where I want to direct my strengths…
In some ways, I want to hold onto 2015 – it’s been such a great year. I’ve found it near enough, 100% positive, and accomplished so many things: I’ve attended Spring Harvest (travelling alone for the first time), had the blog featured on YFC’s website, completed my GCSE’s, had the longest summer ever (with so many great travel opportunities), transitioned into a-level studies, shared some brilliant moments with friends, been asked to be Bridesmaid…. There are so many things to talk about – not to mention the fact that God has placed a missions gap year on my heart for 2017! Its fair to say, that when I sat here, writing this last year, saying that “2015 was going to be my year,” I most definitely was right!
However, although my heart yearns for a little bit longer, it’s time to move on and await the many adventures that God will lead me on – even if I don’t really know what they are yet! Last year, I set out to “Give, Save, and Love,” which involved a monthly project, to use my creativity and strengths to give to my community, and to others. As well as this, I aimed to start saving money, and spread love in a world of hate and judgement. I feel that the Give and Love aspect was one of the greatest things this year, and I began to see some of you viewers getting involved also! How great is this? That as a community we can share love, especially amongst the sad times of 2015, including the Paris attacks.
What about 2016? This year my three aims focus upon Grace, Cherish and Go.
Grace. As I began to reflect upon 2015, I realised that over the past 3 months, I’ve been struggling with stress – that’s the thing, you never really notice until you take a break. I guess this next year will be one of the hardest yet – everyone I know has admitted to me that A-levels are extremely difficult, but you just have to keep positive, dedicate yourself to the studies, and give everything you have to the future. One day, these efforts will benefit not just your life, but the lives of others. However, it’s still so important to rest in grace – I experienced my first burn out this month, and it’s time for a reality check. God calls us to take one day at a time, rest in His grace and not worry about the “what if’s.” And so this 2016, I’m determined to do something everyday as stress relief – to find a 5 minute pocket (or longer) to just break, whether it’s seeking God in prayer, journalling, napping, or buying a colouring book and creating art without the pressure of design work! It will be hard, on days when I just want to secure myself with an extra workload, or perhaps just want to climb into bed instead… But I know that it will be worth it. I’m not afraid to accept that I’m living in a stressful period. After all, we’re only human.
Cherish. This aspect of 2016 is something that I’ve dreamt of doing for the past 3 months. As a photography lover, I find myself taking hundreds of photographs, and because of this, they always seem to disappear from my mind! I never get the chance to look back on the memories behind them! Also, finding time to carry out a shoot is proving to be more difficult and so I’m running out of good, precious captured moments. This year, I’m going to take one photo everyday, to mark a memory or moment – I’m going to build up a great photo album, that I can look back on. So that I can cherish memories away from screens and social media, and be more creative! If you follow me on Instagram, I’ll be posting the highlights, but many, I plan to hold onto myself – to not become overly consumed by publishing.
Go. Recently, God has been placing missions on my heart – the kind of home town missions, that involved going into the lives of those around me; by inviting people to church, practically sharing love in order to start conversations, and being a living encouragement. These things could be caring for those who serve – taking missionaries/church leaders for coffee. Or perhaps praying for people in their situations; asking God to send me out. I have no idea where this will lead at all but I plan to share the journey with you – I want to encourage you readers, whether Christians or not, to do something regularly, throughout the year, to show love. To go, and act. Just do something!
And so I look towards 2016, and all the memories it will bring – may you have a blessed new year and continue to come along with me, as we strive towards “Grace, Cherish and Go.”
Have grace on yourself, cherish memories, and go out sharing love.