Monday, January 1, 2018

To Everything there is a Season

Um, okay, so, I'm siting here in the chair shaking my head and wondering how in the world another year has already passed. It seems like now all I have to do is blink and 365 days are . . .gone. Never again to be lived by any human on this earth.

This year was . . . full and insane and beautiful. Looking back now, it's probably been the busiest year I can remember. A lot of change happened. A lot of new experiences. A lot of new adventures. To sum it up, a lot of 'new' happened, and all the changes this year scared me nearly to death.(But not all the way because I'm obviously still alive. At least, I think I am. Maybe?) And just to warn y'all, this post is long. Proceed with caution.

This year, I couldn't decide which 'word' I wanted to be my word of the year. And so I ended up with two. I can't explain why I chose them, but I had a feeling that 2017 would challenge everything that was familiar and safe. And it did. The two words were Adventure, and Horizon. And goodness, did I ever have some adventures. Some I loved, others . . . not so much. And I definitely widened my horizons quite a bit, in many different ways. I went on a missions trip. I visited five new states. Had my eyes opened to life in another country. Friends of mine fell in love. Others made their way to college. And everyone I know was challenged in some way or another in their walk with Christ. God decided I needed to learn how to wait on Him, and trust that, in the end, He would work everything out for His glory.

2017 taught me a lot  And it changed me. For that I'm forever grateful.

Okay, um, yeah, so after that long introduction . . . let's get on with it, shall we?

Writing Update 

From Pinterest

In 2017, I managed to write roughly 155K words across several various projects. I also somehow published four different titles?! My two full length novels, A Question of Honor and A Question of Courage were published in March and December, and two shorter stories, A Place Called Lonesome and  As in Olden Days released in May and October. And I'm honestly not quite sure how that happened. I participated in all three NaNoWriMo events, and met my goal each time. In fact, in April and November, I went over my goal by around 15K words, ending with 65K length drafts. 
So . . . yeah. God was definitely working in this are in 2017, because, looking back, I have no idea where I found the time to work on all of these projects. Which brings me to the next point . . . 

Life: Circa 2017

From Pinterest
This year was crazy. And I'm not just saying that. I graduated, went on a missions trip to Mexico, Visited a friend in North Carolina, and had a friend from Washington come and visit me here. I started working as a teacher in our church's preschool class, published 4 books, started a job at a Homeschool Co-op . . . and decided what educational options I want to pursue in 2018. 
In the midst of that my family sold our home in July of this year, and since then we've been living in our RV on a farm alongside a river. Sooo ... yes. I think Adventure summed up the year quite nicely.

One of my good friends started a serious realtionship with a guy. Another, while not in a relationship yet, seems to be heading that direction. Those were two huge changes that rocked the last half of this year and made me reevaluate pretty much everything. Also, it made me forever thankful for one dear friend who doesn't live too far away. Her family opened up their home to be and I was over there with her several times this year and we'd just talk about everything. It was a special blessing that I know I'll never take forgranted. <3

2017 brought another huge change I wasn't quite expecting. Pretty much all my "younger" siblings aren't really young anymore. 
Okay, so, this didn't happen in a year . . . obviously. xD But this year I realized it. Like, wow, okay, everyone is doing their own activities and things now and . . . everyone's gotten older. Life in general has just changed a lot from the slow, easy days where we stayed and home and did school all day. (I mean, that was what it seemed like. xD) 

Also, help. My 'little' bro is almost taller then me. 
Anyway. A lot happened in 2017. A lot of new challenges, a lot of new opportunities and a lot of ways to grow. And guys, I struggled with that a lot. I'm . . . not a person who likes change. And If I had the choice, I probably never would have grown up. I want to still be the little girl who can crawl up onto Daddy's lap when something's wrong and he'll take care of it for me. 

But this year I learned that it's okay to grow up. Childhood will always hold the fondest memories, but there are some precious memories still to be made in the future. And even though it hurts to let go and realize, wow, I am an adult, It's good. Because this is life as God designed it. Seasons come and seasons go. And each one brings its own bursts of color. And with each new season, memories are made that will never be forgotten. So let go. Enjoy each and every moment. And while it's okay to look back . .. don't wish you were still there. Because God's plan isn't for your past. It's for your future. 

What God Taught me this year: 

From Pinterest

I could probably write a book on this. Or at least try. I feel like this year was a roller coaster of ups and downs in my walk with God. I learned a lot this year. Some of the lessons were ones I wish I wouldn't have had to learn, but I know they were put in my life for a reason. Accepting change, letting go of things I can't control, and learning to trust in God's plan. And y'all, those are some really, really hard lessons to learn.
But the hardest? Learning to wait. And for the past two months, that seems to be a theme in my life. Waiting. I am not a patient person, y'all. To say the least. And there's been one, or rather, two areas of my life where I've been begging God for a yes or no answer. But all He's told me is to wait. And hat's been hard.
But I've learned that even in a season of waiting, God bring unexpected blessings along the way to let you know that He's got it all under control. And I think that is the most important thing I've learned this year.

Word of 2018 

From Pinterest

You may have noticed that last year I used two words . . . and I plan to do the same this year. Trust and Treasure. I want to treasure each and every moment that comes along, no matter how small or large it may be. And throughout the year that if full of the unknown, I need to be reminded to trust that in it all, God has a plan. And He's there with me, holding my hand, through every step of life. And all I need to do is trust Him. 

2018 Goals

From Pinterest

I'm not going to have a crazy long list here, because I've learned that it's not always a good idea to make a lot of goals at the beginning of the year, when you have no idea what the year will hold. These are just a few things I hope to have completed by the time this year ends. 

-Read through the Old Testament I read through the New several times this year, but only read certain books from the Old Testament. 
-Grow Closer to God
-Make the friendships I have with the girls I know even stronger, no matter what the year may throw our way.  
-Publish A Question of Loyalty
-Enroll and complete the certification course at our local community college to be become an EMT (So excited about this one, y'all!)
-Spend time with my siblings more. This seems to be getting harder as we all get older
-Embrace the new experience life brings, and trust that in each of them, God is making me more into the person He wants me to be. 
-Live. Laugh. Love. It may sound slightly cliche, but I want to live life to the full and treasure every moment. To learn to laugh at myself, even when others may be watching. And to love. Because I've been commanded to show the love of Christ to a hurting world. And because love, in and of itself, is beautiful. 

The year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen is over, y'all. We stand on the threshold of a brand new year that has never before, in the history of the world, been lived. Will you join me in jumping headlong into the unknown world that we call 2018? 

From Pinterest


  1. Amazing post, Jessica! 2007 was my year of big changes and this past year was as well, mostly in good ways! Keep up the good work! My younger sister read your WWII books and loved them! Can't wait to read them for myself!
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Ryana! I hope you enjoy them. :)

  2. Fun to read! Thanks for posting this Jesseca. You sound like you had a good year!
    Love your new Profile Photo. You're gorgeous!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. ;) And yes, I did have a good year!
      Aw, thank you! <3 You're so sweet.

  3. Yay for 2017! *wants to go and read aQoH again now that I have it in paperback* *restrains self because there are ARCs* *glares at ARCs*

    ANYWHO, good luck with 2018! AND YAY FOR aQoL. :D :P

    1. *laughs* ARC are good, though. *nods* Even though I've never read any . . . *clears throat awkwardly*

      Thank you!!

  4. *hugs and keeps you forever* You're amazing, girlie, and so was this post. <3 It's been such a joy to see how God has worked in your life in the past year. Thank you so much for being there for me, especially this summer, and helping me learn the beauty of waiting. ;) Love ya! <33

    "It's good. Because this is life as God designed it. Seasons come and seasons go. And each one brings its own bursts of color. And with each new season, memories are made that will never be forgotten. So let go. Enjoy each and every moment. And while it's okay to look back . .. don't wish you were still there. Because God's plan isn't for your past. It's for your future. " << That was like...just what I needed to hear this morning. <3

    1. *hugs* Thank you, dearie. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. *smiles* Of course. I hope I'm always there when ya need me. <3
      *laughs* I need to hear that like . . . every day. *nods* xD