Each year, as December comes to a close, I set aside one day to reflect on the year that is ending and set goals and rough plans for the upcoming year. I also love to scroll through the pictures from the year to remind my heart of all that I encountered, learned, persevered, received...
So, here is a brief run through 2015, in photos.
I said goodbye to the Mariners Ocean Hills campus. They prayed over me while I, of course, cried.
The team of campus worship leaders honored my departure with style.
The Communications Department arranged for me to meet my favorite celebrity!
I took two friends to Montage Beverly Hills for their birthdays.
I traveled to London and saw so many dear old friends! Including Chloe and her kids.
And then, on to Ireland. Two very handsome men had me over for a dinner party.
A highlight of the weekend in Northern Ireland was co-leading worship in Church.
After one more night in London--where we watched the Super Bowl halftime show at 2am--I flew to Nairobi!
On a trip up to Northern Kenya, I was surprised at lunch by TEN kids from Oasis of Hope!
I met (and absolutely fell in love with) Suzie
The six week trip was filled with reunions: Jennifer, Esther, and Celinah
I was even asked to sing at the Grand Opening of a restaurant in town...I chose Britney Spears "Sometimes" to mark the occasion.
Derrick ran in to the dorms and came back with a photo of us taken in 2008.
There were several afternoons when I was covered in kids for hours
I came home (with two spots of ringworm and bruised muscles from sternum to spine on my right side) and still went straight to the beach.
Instead of dyeing Easter eggs this year, I chose an alternative way to celebrate
I took a road trip to San Francisco with my Papa.
Later in the month, I flew out to Colorado to see the Witts, Tim, and then, surprise guest: Katie!
Grown-up night on the town!
A late-night tattoo session
Announced I was moving to Kenya...and bought a one-way ticket.
My mom and I took a quick (and cheap!) trip to New Orleans.
One last small group sleepover
Complete with donuts, bets, and photo shoots the next morning.
Threw a big "see ya soon!" party at Beach Pit BBQ
I was living in Kitale, Kenya. Playing games and making a ton of slo-mo videos for the kids.
And, obviously spending hours of time with Suzie.
I spoke with Hellen and her sister about beginning a women's Bible study in Kipsongo slum.
And learned to drive a car on the left-side of the road.
So much Suzie time...
AUGUSTLed a church filled with women in song (and dance!)
And a team of visitors on home visits in Shimo la Tewa
Here we are with Brian and his mom
I stitched buttons on, holes closed, and initials in to uniforms for the school kids. This is only about 80% of the items.
I had the opportunity to sit and watch as Sammy gave a BAG of clothing to Quinta, who has been the outcast of her family (locked outside alone all day, fed scraps of food, etc.)
We delivered the first of what would be 27 small business start-up items: a shop for Mama Rispah!
OCTOBERVisited dozens of homes to talk to women about their entrepreneurial dreams and then deliver the pieces necessary to make those dreams come true! Here's Eve, who now runs her own salon!
I turned 33. We had Chinese food, watched Jurassic World, and ate more birthday cake than any kid needed.
Bre came to visit and helped us find and set up a home for four teenage boys.
In partnership with our local church, we delivered five additional new businesses to women in the neighborhoods surrounding the church. (And, of course, visited adorable Marion!)
I moved home from Kenya. Just in time to see my girls run the weekend in Mariners HSM.
I accepted a job with my dear friends, Josh and Doug at their company: Download Youth Ministry.
I was asked to fill-in for a sick friend at Mariners Huntington Beach Christmas services before two days of family Christmas celebrations.
Today, as I worked through this year-end workbook, I was reminded of just how much has changed in the last twelve months. If I've quoted it once, I've quoted it a thousand times, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
With the helpful and therapeutic process of journaling and prayer, I am looking back on 2015 with gratitude and looking ahead to 2016 with hope.