2017. What a great year it’s been.  It was a *hard* year, but man… it was good.  I can’t for the life of me remember the “word” God gave me for it.  Serves me right, since I always refuse to write it down… that being said, I can’t remember the word God gave me, but I can tell you the word I’ve lived.

Faith.  I have been walking with Jesus for years, but this year was the year that I learned and really activated what it means to live by faith.  There was measure of faith in my life, sure.  But it was wrapped up and mixed up with worry, concern and a lot of doing to get things done to earn it type of work.  But this year? This year, I learned what it means to rest in His goodness and believe that everything in His hands, and at the beginning, middle, and end of the day… He is Good. 

Because I’m feeling slightly nostalgic, here are seventeen things about 2017 that I learned, I experienced, or lived.

  1. 2017 was the year we completed our biological family. Mia Rose arrived late March and filled my heart with wonder and joy a new.  She was and continues to be my redemption baby.
  2. 2017 was the year I saw the miraculous at 11:59:59.  It started out rough, but I purposed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, to seek His face even in the mess of the poo-poo-caca circumstances I was living.  And man, I wasn’t disappointed.
  3. Speaking of poo-poo-caca, in 2017, I gained a brother.  That particular phrase is his saying and I would not be fair to write about this year without mentioning him.  If you’re reading this Bubba… You have been a highlight this year and have truly been a God-send to our family.  I appreciate the way you are with my kids and the way you challenge and support my husband.
  4. 2017 was the year God parted the Red Sea for me.  The Old Testament story of Moses leading Israel out of Egypt resounded with my heart and was thematic all year long for me. I completely, wholeheartedly, understand Israel in this story, and have myself cried out “You have brought us here to DIE” (I tend to lean towards the dramatic) many many times this year.  But each time, the Lord reminds me where I am in this story, what He did, what I can have confidence in that He will do, and who to follow.
  5. 2017 was the year I went back home and realized, it wasn’t home anymore… Florida is a beautiful state that I will forever treasure in my heart, and it is no longer home.  It holds some of my favorite people that I will forever miss, never forget and always pray into Texas. This year, I let go of what was and embraced of what is.
  6. Speaking of what is… 2017 was the year we found our Church home, our Church family and an outstanding community of human beings we intend to do life with for a very, very long time (sorry Freedom. You’re stuck with the Arrazolo’s!).  Freedom Fellowship Church (soon to be juuuust Freedom Church, hoorah!) has been an answer to my prayers, water to my soul. She is a praying Church, an action Church, a Word Church, a friendly church.  Freedom is an answer to prayer from my heart and Husband’s. She isn’t perfect but she hosts some of the most incredible, vulnerable, God loving people I have ever met.
  7. 2017 was the year I met a great host of people that have forever changed my world.  I have been challenged to be increasingly gracious, I have been presented with a new perspective on community and friendship, I have been supported by practically strangers.  I have had to build relationships and navigate the funk and the joys of what it means to start a fresh and building new bridges.
  8. 2017 was a year of new beginnings and fresh gardening.  Starting over in new soil after spending 10+ years digging down roots is tough. But man, oh man, is it cool and so worth it.
  9. 2017 was a year of answered prayers.  After spending a little under 10 years in a House of Prayer, this year… I learned what it means to pray.  This year I understood the two-way street God sets up as prayer.  I didn’t do it on a mic, or in a room full of people, with fancy language… it was in my car, between pick up and drop off at the kids school, while doing dishes, while seeking the Lord and asking His will at 1:42am, mainly in mumbles and fumbled words of “I DON’T KNOW GOD”.  This year I prayed. And God answered. 100% of the time.
  10. 2017 was also the year, I got a job. I’ve had jobs.  Many jobs.  But this year, I got the job. A job I feel fulfilled in and genuinely enjoy.  A job I both intimately understand and feel completely lost in. It simultaneously comforts me and challenges me. It’s epic.  I’m not a hireling there. I’m a steward.  And I love it… in case you didn’t catch that.
  11. 2017 was a year of catastrophic failure.  I made a LOT of mistakes this year.  When I reflect on it, I see my ineptitude as a Mama, my less than joyful submission to my hubs. I see a potty mouth, and quick to judge heart posture.  Man oh man. There are so many places that could use a whole ‘nother bucket of His grace.
  12. 2017 was a year at home.  I’d planned on adventuring a whole more outside this year.  But it 100% did not work out that way.  We wore out our home this year and spent a lot of time in it.  We watched movies and attempted to make meals together.  We played a lot of board games and snuggled.  It was a year of “breaking in” our here-in-Texas home, and yano… I don’t mind it.
  13. 2017 was a year of  relational restoration.  After years of praying and feeling the gentle tug of the Holy Spirit, 2017 ends with the first few bricks of an old bridge being rebuilt.
  14. 2017 was the beginning of what I know is the beginning of an international adventure that will play out over the course of our life.  We finally got passports, we traveled outside the United States, and we dreamed that we will do it again, very, very soon.
  15. 2017 was the year I got to know my extended family… the mafia most commonly known as the Arrazolo’s (mostly kidding about the mafia statement guys… mostly). After 8 years of marriage and having spent a couple of hours with half the Arrazolo gang, this year I got to spend almost every major holiday with them… birthdays, loteria nights and everything in between.  And I am so thankful for them.  My husband’s extended family is the warmest, kindest, latest brood in all of Texas.  They have made a very large state feel a whole lot smaller.
  16. 2017 was the very first time I saw my husband experience loss.  And man, was it hard.  We have grieved together over catastrophes in our nation, over broken marriages and lost babes of both friends and acquaintances, and a dozen other scenarios that life has thrown our way.  But this year, loss made it’s way from out there, to directly in front, and man… it sucked.
  17. 2017 was the year I became a Texan.  As Harvey assaulted this city and this state that I have grown to love, there was a weaving of heart to it that I could never fully explain. My heart demanded justice for it and I knew… it’d become home.

2018, I’m excited that you’re almost here.  I have a clear word from Jesus for it.  I have confident expectation that His goodness will continue to lead and prove itself faithful on my behalf.  I’m filled with faith and expectation at all that 2018 will bring.

Here’s to new beginnings 🙂