I started this post over a week ago and have slowly worked on it-- I guess I missed the "Let's remember 2013" boat and yet I am going to blog about it anyways. This week was just really busy and I also just didn't feel like blogging. Back on track from here on out, I hope! I can spend the next few days finishing up the obligatory 2013 and 2014 posts then move on to more interesting topics!
2013 was such a happy year. It had its challenges and changes, but this year has been overwhelmingly blessed and full of JOY.
Both good and bad, here are the lessons I learned in 2013:
1. Change can be scary and good at the same time.
2. Marriage is double the sickness. Seriously, we have been sick more than usual and I blame marriage. Sharing is usually wonderful, except when its germs! (I also blame public transportation -- if I am going to share germs, I'd rather share with my husband or friends, not strangers!)
3. You can live on a lot less money than you think you can. And, you can live in less space than you think you need.
4. You should marry someone you like to hang out with. Besides making for a happier marriage where romance mixes in with friendship, it also is quite practical for those times when you are travelling or new somewhere and he may be one of the only friend you've got.
5. Waiting for a great guy is 100% worth it. It's not easy and it shouldn't be downplayed, but it's worth the wait!
6. Truthfully, life doesn't always seem fair. Doing the right thing isn't always beneficial. Following the rules doesn't always lead to happiness. Obedience, hard work, prayers don't always seem to pay off. I guess this is a lesson I learn yearly. And, more importantly, I guess life not being fair also benefits all of us -- I don't deserve anything but rejection from God and that's the opposite of what I've been given. Also, we should remember that the Bible warned us that following Christ would actually cause hardships so obediance doesn't necessarilly bring prosperity. That being said, it doesn't make the "unfairness" of life any easier to live through!
7. Brunch is the best meal of the day.
8. God answers prayers.
9. Answered prayers don't erase the past, but it can be a way that God redeems and restores the past.
10. Not every homemade meal can be gourmet.
11. One of the many perks of singleness is the friends! Seriously, I love my husband and I love the friends we are making, but I do miss the stage where I was with friends almost nightly. Singleness is a stage of life when friends can be your family. In exchange for the many many hard parts of singleness, this is one of the biggest benefits!
12. The older I get, the more I crave normal routine. (also, here) Adventure is good for life and its good for marriage, but humans need to feel settled -- and lazy evenings by the TV with dave or laughing with girlfriends over happy hour makes me feel at home.
13. Marriage (and life, really) takes a little humor, some flexibility and a willingness to always show appreciation and gratefulness to one another.
14. Don't waste your stage of life. I tried (most of the time) to make the best of singleness, Mississippi, etc Now I am trying to make the most of marriage, DC, temporary job situation, less income. From day trips to new recipes, Dave and I are trying to enjoy the best this stage of life has to offer.
15. Sometimes, all you really want is for someone to validate and understand how you feel. Luckilly Dave is learning this -- that sometimes I need someone to be sympathetic and understanding before jumping into solution or critique mode. And, I think, although he is a guy, he needs this sometimes too-- and I am also learning how to support and validate him without always offering critique or solutions! I pray I can be the type of person that makes others feel heard, valued and like their feelings and opinions matter.
16. There are kind wonderful people almost everywhere!
17. There is some truth to the phrase "fat and happy" as Dave and I both have little bellies now after our first 6 months of marriage. Blame it on homecooked meals, a husband who dislikes veggies, exploring the dining scene in our new city, lack of gym access (for Dave, I have a small gym at work) and a desire to cuddle up and watch TV every night! Luckilly, they are just "little" bellies and we are striving to remedy this in 2014 with healthier eating and a gym membership (before they become "BIG" bellies!)
18. -10 Wind Chill is COLD. Good thing I got a heavy puffer coat for Christmas. And by the way, a husband is a great way to get through the really cold nights. I know that you think I just typed a romantic statement, but its quite practical actually. On the coldest nights last week (including the previously mentioned -10 wind chill evening), Dave and I turned our little plug in heaters on, cooked soup, shared a thick blanket and curled up on the couch together. This wasn't about cuddling, it was about warmth. In fact, he went to bed before me and I got so cold that I soon followed. The only other time I remember doing this was on an RUF campout my freshman year when all of us ladies snuggled up in several layers, lying closely together in one small tent. On the plus side, I made it through my first REALLY REALLY COLD week in DC and I survived. Although I hope that there aren't many weeks as misurably cold in my future, I feel prepared to deal with it-- heaters, puffer coat, blankets, socks and a warm husband (a large dog would also probably work well too!)
19. People are going to dissapoint and hurt you and fail to be supportive. Sometimes all you can do is accept people as they are, but place protective barriers up around your heart and remember that you serve a Lord that doesn't dissapoint.
20. I highly suggest moving away from your family when you first get married. I wasn't thrilled about it at first. I loved my friends and church and life in Jackson-- and a new place was challenging at first (and still has its challenges!) But, I feel like Dave and I are a team now - we have to be, we're eachother's only nearby family. Also, we have been able to leave and cleave a lot more easilly with 16 hours between us and our families. I actually felt ready to get back to DC after Christmas - because this is our life here. I love the new people we are meeting, the new traditions we are creating and the new places we are visiting. Also, I was meant for a more urban lifestyle. I love walking and taking public transportation! I love the variety of restaurant choices. I love happy hour and I love brunch. I love the diversity and variety!