Hello, and happy New Year to all!
2014 for me has been like a bed of roses – absolutely beautiful, and smelling good, but not without a few thorns! Here is a summary of some of the most prominent aspects of my 2014.
– I’m so thankful for the Redcliffe community in which I’ve been living this past year. Such amazing people! I’ve felt so supported and loved through the difficult times, and had great, fun people to rejoice with in the happy times!!
– My health was worse in 2014 than possibly ever before, and I had a really rubbish time with doctors who weren’t communicating etc, but (a sort of happy ending) they finally gave a clear diagnosis at the end of 2014 🙂 At least now I know what to expect and can make sense of it all!
– Two sort-of conflicts that happened back in 2012 were sort-of resolved in 2014 (or at least, that unresolved feeling in the back of my mind has been replaced with the peace of closure and friendliness) – yay!
– Similarly, the pain of leaving Bolivia in 2013 and the desperation to return, along with the resentfulness of being in the UK (even though I knew it was the right place to be) reached happy and peaceful closure through an amazing return visit full of longed-for reunions and emotional memories as well as many new experiences too, just for 6 weeks, in 2014.
– My Dad turned 50 this year and I took him to Turkey as a birthday present – it was great!! We enjoyed some interesting cultural experiences, and had fun being tourists for a few days 😀
– Travel! In 2014 I visited almost as many countries as 2012! I started 2014 with a road-trip back from Germany (where I was working with friends at a missions conference) through France, Belgium and Luxembourg; in February half term I stayed in a monastery in Poland for a week (cheaper to fly there than to get trains to North Yorkshire!); the six-week Bolivia trip just after Easter; a Summer holiday in Finland with Ben’s family (must be the most relaxing holiday I’ve ever been on – with incredible scenery, private beach, great food, hanging out with Ben’s immediate family and meeting all the Finnish relatives!) followed by a cultural-experience holiday with Ben in Estonia (third time there; first time in Summer and first time as a tourist – was amazing! And everything was SO much cheaper than England); working at a conference in Wales in the Summer as well as two trips to Cardiff to see friends during 2014 (yes, to me it counts as abroad 😉 hehee!); Turkey with Dad in September; a much-needed retreat at Taize in France just before Christmas! Wow. Privileged, blessed and thankful beyond words for the opportunity to travel and for how great it’s been.
– Tango classes – one of the highlights of each Wednesday! So much fun, and Ben’s becoming a very good dancer 😀
– Card sales – raising some money for Operation Restoration in Bolivia, and gives me an excuse to paint 😉 there are 61 designs now, and people seem to love them!
– 2014 has been a lovely time of getting to know better the people in my church in Gloucester. I really appreciate them, and it’s been good fun spending time with them this past year 🙂
– Volunteering in the hospital bookshop has been wonderful too – certainly the most relaxed part of my week, working with great people and meeting great people all the time. Love it!
– Also got a job – I’m a part-time care worker in Gloucester and I absolutely love it. Thankful for the opportunity!
– And by far the most wonderful thing of all from 2014: Ben and I got engaged!! EEEK 😀 I’m so excited – this coming year I’ll be getting married to the most amazing person I know. (Pardon the cheese.)
…..Bring on 2015!