This year I saw the world, earned my master’s degree, and completely paid off all of my debt…student loans included.
Just kidding. I did none of those things. But as I was feeling down about not having the most social media friendly 2018 I realized I kind of DID accomplish all of those things. Hear me out.
1. Saw the world
We didn’t travel much at all. Going to one income after Charlie was born kind of halted a lot of things that require money – and having a baby made everything 100 times harder anyway. But in some ways I did see the best things there are to see. I saw my son take his very first steps. I saw him turn 1 while surrounded by family and friends who love him. I heard him say Mom for the first time. And I saw another year of marriage where we tried each other’s patience, sacrificed, forgave, and ultimately grew so much closer.
2. Earned a Master’s Degree
I didn’t formally get any education (or go further in debt!), but I read SO many books and listened to even more podcasts. I learned so much from other people’s stories and perspectives. From their trials and their triumphs. I learned A LOT about sacrifice while raising a 1 yr old. I learned about patience. I learned lessons about friendship and marriage and motherhood. I genuinely feel like my son has forced me to slow down a bit, be present more often, and be more patient. And those are kind of the best lessons to learn.
3. Paid off all my debt
This would have been really nice…unfortunately we went backwards slightly on this one. After I quit working we literally lost just over half of our income, making every month a challenge and a stretch. At the beginning (even while pregnant) I worried so much about how we would make it. After Charlie was born I stressed about every dollar being spent and was anxious about our dwindling savings account. I still have those moments…but through a lot of prayer and trust I’ve let go of a lot of financial stress. I genuinely trust that God will provide and take care of us. Somehow we’ve survived this long (with help from others, for sure!)…and He will continue to provide for us. I’ve learned to go without some of the simple pleasures we use to not even think about, but I’ve come to terms with it – I feel good about it – and genuinely see what an abundant life we have.
So 2018 was a good year. I’m in the season of motherhood where it’s physically all consuming. I don’t have a lot of time for myself during the day, and we don’t have a lot of money to ease the demand. But I’ve learned more this year than any other of my adult life, and I feel a happiness and pride in that. I’ve grown closer to God and feel that reward deep in my bones. A peace that transcends all understanding.
I can only hope that 2019 is as successful, rewarding, and full of love. Happy New Year’s Eve!