2017

I’ve always loved New Year’s Eve.  It’s been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember.  I remember staying up late as a child to watch the ball drop in Times Square and thinking that it was such a treat.  I’ve always enjoyed going out for New Year’s Eve as an adult.  How can you not love a holiday that involves cocktails, hugs and kisses and new party outfits?

I get a kick out of the year in review shows that come on TV and radio.  News outlets remind us of current events that happened throughout the year and radio shows count down the year’s biggest songs.  Sometimes those events or songs seem so long ago.  We can come such a long way in a year.  The new year is a great time to reflect on your personal experiences and accomplishes over the past year.

2017 was a pretty good year for me.  I feel very accomplished and blessed.  I grew as an artist and professional in 2017.  This meant a lot to me because for years I felt stagnant in my life and I didn’t see any opportunities to grow and prosper.  I year and a half ago I was forty years old with a masters degree, about $30,000 in student loan debt and working as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant.  I was beginning to think that I was going to work in that restaurant for the rest of my life.

I ran across a job opportunity on the internet and I filled out the application.  Just as I finished the application after thirty minutes or so something went haywire with the website and the application was lost.  I got really frustrated.  I had been filling out applications for years without any response and I almost didn’t fill it out again.  But I had a brief conversation with a man I went out on a couple dates with and he told me to give myself a break and try again later.  I followed his advice and found some success.  That relationship didn’t work out.  But I’m grateful to that man.  Without his encouraging I would probably be at the Mexican restaurant with my masters degree breaking my back serving burritos right now.

I’ve also made great strides in paying my student loan debt.  I now owe about $24,000.  That’s still a lot but for a long time I wasn’t even moving the needle on the amount that I owe.  I only ask for progress even if it’s slow.  I’ve even got a little money saved in a savings account.  It’s not a great deal of money but once again it’s all about progress.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

While I was a server I bought a one year old used car.  The car I was driving was around ten years old and I decided I would not pay for any more expensive repairs.  One night after leaving work my car got hit from behind.  I wasn’t hurt at all.  The repairs would have been about three thousand dollars so I took the insurance money and got myself a new vehicle.  At the time I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford a new car because the one that was hit was paid off.  But I was able to make ends meet while serving tacos and then I got my new opportunity.  I owe it all to God.

Things worked out for me in a way that I could not foresee.  I know that the blessing of my car and job opportunity are from God because it all worked out perfectly.  I believe God does things precisely and without a lot of drama or mess.  God was far ahead of me and I just had to be faithful and keep working hard even though I did not see how things were going to be resolved.

I’m looking forward to what 2018 has to offer.  We live in very exciting and interesting times.  It’s kind of like we live in a little soap opera and it’s fascinating to see what becomes of it all.  But as far as my humble life I know God is in control and as long as I keep Jesus and His word first in my life things will fall into place for me according to His plan.  When I was younger people told me this and I’ve read scripture such as Jeremiah 29:11 :

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

As I’ve gotten older and have had the chance to see God work the words of the Bible have become so much more clear to me.  I feel like I’ve seen them in action.  Anyway, here’s to a great 2018!

God’s Timing

I have been very blessed recently.  Over the last six months I’ve been blessed with a new car and a new job.  I had been a little concerned over the last year or so because of my transportation needs.  My last car was a 2005 with about 140,000 miles on it and it had received a few very expensive repairs recently.  I knew that I would need a new car in the near future but I didn’t know how I could manage the payments while working as a server in a Mexican restaurant.

I received my first college degree in 1997.  I received my second in 2003.  I received a masters degree in 2012.  Despite my academic accomplishments I have held a string of low wage dead end jobs.  I struggled for years to get my foot in the door of a design or marketing career and failed.  But last month I got a job in marketing which utilizes my graphic design and writing skills.

It would take me way too long to explain how these blessings came into my life.  But I believe that God was in both situations and God’s timing put my in the right places at the right time in order to receive God’s favor.  A string of circumstances came together in order to change my life for the better.  There were times that I was afraid to make the step forward but I trusted in God and He provided for me.

As I have gotten older I have gained a great appreciation for time.  It’s very hard to even grasp the concept of time while you are young because you haven’t seen enough of it pass.  But as I live and I have more time behind me I see how God has had His hand on my life.

I am forty one years old and I will celebrate another birthday in February.  I have never married or had children.  I have a great deal of student loan debt and despite my recent career advancement I still don’t make a great deal of money.  Statistically speaking my life is half over and my child bearing years may be over.  But I have never been more excited about my future.  I am very encouraged right now to read my Bible and be in prayer.  I can’t wait to see what God is going to do next.