Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Goodbye 2016 // Farewell to an Amazing Year

2016 has been quite the year. Sure, it hasn't been perfect, but none are. Overall it's been a good year, with some trials and tragedies sprinkled throughout. But still a good year. Let's look at some comparison. 

2014 was a rough year of tears and conflict. My family was experiencing some hard times with unrest in our church. And then July came. Bomb. Dad resigned...we left that church. Leaving many friends and people we cared about. Most of the second half of that year was spent trying to find our way, discover where God's will would take us next. But that was also the year I discovered the blogging world. 

Then 2015 came along. We were still moving about some, trying out different churches, unsure where we were really going. Then we came to the church where we are now. I think we all struggled to some degree with trust – should we come to love these people when we'll be leaving this church soon too? But we came to care for them without even really knowing it, I believe. Through a series of events, which I'm not going to delve into to save time, this church became without a pastor. And then in October – while my family was road-tripping across the country – the church voted on Dad as interim pastor. 

And January of 2016, he officially became pastor. Wait, that was already nearly a year ago? Doesn't seem like that long. 2016 was a year of transition. We no longer were drifting. Instead, we were settling in. We re-learned how some things work. We adapted. 

I know a lot of people are moaning over what an awful year 2016 was because "oh my goodness, the eleecctiooonnn." (To be perfectly honest, I'm getting a little tired of hearing about that on such negative notes. But ANYWAY.) But there was also much good that came from the year. I'll delve into what the year personally was to me down below, but let me just say this. Any year – any day, any hour, any moment – if we do something for Christ in it, it's not wasted. It's not awful. It has purpose. 

Am I right?

// Goals. // 

Alrighty, I'm gonna run over my list of goals for 2016 and tell y'all whether or not I made them and all that. ;) 

- Read 101 books >>> Bomb. Nailed it. Along with an extra 29. I think I read anywhere from 17 to 5 books a month. 
- Finish all my short stories and... >>> *sarcastic laughter* Ha. Haha. Eh. No. I finished a couple (like three), and started some more. But no. Not all. -_- 
- Finish at least one of my book length writing projects >>> ugh! Why did I make such insane goals?! Nope. This one didn't happen either. 
- Read 30 books of the Bible (including Revelations, Hebrews, Jeremiah, Romans, Ecclesiastes and Isaiah) and keep a journal of what I read. :) >>> Okay, so this is kind of a halfway. The majority of what I read, I journaled about. But I didn't read 30 books. I think I read 9-10 plus a couple Bible studies that had me jumping all over. So no, I didn't complete this goal. But I feel like I did soak up more of what I read, so that's what matters. 
- Grow closer to God <3 >>> *beams* yup. 
- Be a better friend *smiles* >>> Hehe, I hope so. Y'all tell me? 
- Learn to drive a stick-shift (hehe.) >>> uh, no. Didn't happen. XD Maybe in '17? 
- Get my drivers license >>> Yeeesssss!!! Passed that driving test, hooray for me!! 
- Make a difference >>> Again, I hope so. 
- Write fanfic for some of my favorite books/movies. >>> I didn't write a fanfic for any of the books/movies I had on the list, but I did write one of the movie Beautiful Dreamer and another Circle C fanfic. 

// God. // 
(Cuz He should always be first.) Ahh, where do I begin? 

God has been so good to me this year. Through prayer and Bible reading, I've grown closer to Him than ever before. He's shown me things in my life that needed to be changed, and helped me to work towards changing them. 

I'm far from perfect, and I never will be perfect, but I'm finding hope and joy along the journey. May I always live for Him in all things... <3 

// Life. // 
A lot of things happened in my life in 2016. Parts of our house were remodeled this spring and I spent a couple weeks (months?) living in a homeless shelter (I'm kidding). 
got an internship at the local art center for the summer months which was AWESOME. 
This was the year I officially fell in love with contemporary Christian music. That is all. (Like, legit.) 
There were some health-related things going on with my Mom's side of the family, which resulted in a lot of stress and days away from home for her. 
But it's been a good year. I'm pleased with the way it turned out. 

// Friends. // 

I've made many new friends this year, as well a strengthened friendships I already had. Some lovely girls that I met and got to know this year are... 

Kaitlyn K. >> This girl is such a dear. But then...the conversations we have (typically with another gal or two as well) are absolutely insane. Like, there's no point to them whatsoever. XD 
Micaiah K. >> This girl with the pretty name, now, she's an absolute sweetheart. Love our chats about books and writing! <33 

And then...the gals I refer to as "the writing group girls" (sorry, y'all have been branded...) 


Looking forward to a year of getting to know all these peeps better! :D 

// School. // 
Goodness, I don't even know what to put here. I finished 10th grade and started 11th. I'm still doing pottery, and I've found a new interest in American Sign Language. Who knows, maybe I'll pursue one or both of those. :) 

// Reading. //
Wow. Don't know where to start here either. 
I read 130 books this year, with an average of 4.5 star rating. *nods* Oodles of good books. :D (More on that coming in a tag later this week...) 

Some of my favs... 

I also discovered my enjoyment of beta-reading this year. So far I've beta-read about seven books. :D So fun!!

// Writing. // 
Best I can figure I wrote between 126,000 and 128,000 words in 2016. O.O I didn't start keeping track of my daily word count until March, but there's a thing of two that I know I wrote in January/February...so I added that in. XD But yeah. Lots of words. 

I entered a contest in January and found out that I won first place about two weeks later. :D (You can find links to that story, Love Needs No Words, under the Stories tab.) 

I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in July for the first time AND WON. So that was epic. 

I added about 50,000 words to my largest WIP, War Tears (30,010 of those were during Camp). And it now sits about about 70,000. And hasn't been touched in weeks... 

And on the 26th of December started a new novella. I'm calling it Dandelion Dust, and you can now find the blurb under the Writings tab. 

All the way around, it's been a great year for writing. 

// Blogging. //
Well, I've got some pretty epic blogging stats going right now. I don't know what the exacts were when we closed out 2015, but I know they weren't very good. Not looking so bad now though... ;) 

Total posts: 171 
Total comments: 1,970
Total pageviews: 36,688 
Followers: 34 GFC, and 21 email subscribers 
Most population post: The Get to Know Me Tag, with 182 pageviews and 26 comments

My darling 2017, I love you already. May this be a year we all serve God fully in grace and in truth. <3 

Hello 2017 post with my goals for this year, coming soon!


  1. My Dandelion picture!!! xD
    Sounds like it's been an amazing year, Faith. You're writing has grown so much, and yes, you have gotten to be an even better friend. <3
    Hehe, insane? No point? I think all of our conversations have a point . . . even if the point is to die daily, It's a worthy goal.
    *sighs* That is a beautiful verse to start the new year off with. And the picture is gorgeous as well.
    I'm just beyond excited for all the new adventures and challenges that lay ahead. You know how people are doing their "word for the year" thing? I think mins is gonna be "Horizon". Because right now I feel like that's the only boundaries on where I can go this year. *squeals* SO excited!
    Happy New Year, Faith. And congrats on all that you were able to grow in and get done in 2016. You're awesome girl! <3
    To 2017! *nods* My you never suffer writers block, may your iPad never die, and may you acquire many new readers for your wonderful stories!

    1. Of course!!! XD
      Ahh, it really has been. I'm feeling rather pleased with how writing went this year, as opposed to the wreck it all was at the end of '15. Aww... <3 :)
      Aalllwaaayyyysss!! :P We shall continue to die daily. *nod nod* Sobering calling, ya know.
      *sighs with you* Yes, it most certainly is. Hehe, the picture was from...Yellowstone, I believe? ;) I'm excited for the new year too! And all the new adventures in life it's sure to bring. No, I actually haven't heard of the "word for the year" thing, but that's a lovely one. It fits. <3 Hmm...I believe mine shall be "cherish". I take too much for granted and I need to learn to admire and appreciate all the people and opportunities God has place in my life. :)
      Happy New Years, Jess! :D Awww, thanks! *hugs*
      *laughing* That my iPad never explode from all my furious pounding might be better. XD Aww, thank you, girl!! <3 *hugs* To 2017!

  2. I’m glad that you had a great year, Faith!! :D
    Great job on completing a lot of your goals! Oh, and yes, you are definitely a wonderful friend!
    I’ve really been enjoying contemporary Christian music a lot this year too! What would you say is one of your favorite songs that you discovered this year?
    Lots of wonderful books! I’ve read all but three of those books in that picture. (I’m looking forward to seeing your answers to the tag;))
    Congratulations on all the writing you did!!! :D

    1. By the way Faith, I LOVE your new blog look! It's so pretty and I love the blue! :D

    2. Thank you, Rebekah! :D
      Hehe, thanks. Aww, you too, girl!! <3
      Isn't it great?! :D I've found so many contemporary Christian songs that year that I loooveeee. Favorite song?! O.o Oh my...that's a tough one... Just Be Held by Casting Crowns, You Are I Am by MercyMe, and Call it Grace by Unspoken to mention a few. :D What about you?!
      *looks at pictures* Ah ha! I betcha I can guess the three books pictured that you haven't read... B-) (I'll be doing that post soon!! :D)
      Thanks, girl!! <3 A wonderful 2017 to you!! :)

    3. Ohh, thank you!! :D I was playing around with it yesterday and I'm quite pleased with how it came out. :)

    4. I’ve heard Just be Held, but I’ll have to look up those other two songs. :) Some of my favorites are: What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road, Beloved by Tenth Avenue North, and Priceless by King and Country. :)

    5. Just Be Held is sooo pretty! :) And the music video of Call it Grace? *nod nod* It's lovely. :) Oh, all those are AMAZING TOO!!! :D I LOVE Priceless (can't wait to see the movie :)) and those other two too! I was listening to What Do I Know of Holy a lot earlier in the year, but I'd sort of forgotten about it. ;) And Beloved is still on my writing playlist. ;)

  3. Happy new year, Faith! :) Awesome post.
    For school, we were reading a list of words.... One of them was 'offing', which is the sea between the sky and the rest of the sea.... That sliver you can barely see and is out of reach... I think that's what every season of our life is. 2017 is another offing.... but with Yeshua, we can walk on water, and keep living for HIS glory.... Life is a gift, and I am excited for another year with Yahweh and all the blessings He has given me and my family. ♥
    Yayy! You did a lot of writing!! Sounds so awesome- and I can't wait to read about Dandelion Dust *scurries off*. *thumbs up* You go, Faith!
    Yahweh bless you.

    1. Happy New Years, Angela!!
      Oh, I just read the definition of 'offing' after seeing your comment here. Such a beautiful word. <3 I'll have to remember that one. :) Beautifully worded, girl. I'm excited for the new year too. :D
      Hehehe, yes I did!! So very excited for another year of writing ahead. :) Aww, thanks!!

      Blessings, Angela! <3

  4. Lovely post. It's so great to be able to see how God has grown us over the past year. Most precious thing.
    How splendid that 2016 was a great writing - and reading - year for you. That certainly makes it a good year for sure. ;)
    "Dandelion Dust" sounds great! And I love "Love Needs No Words". That contest is how I met you, after all. ^.^
    I pray 2017 is a fantastic year all around. <3

    1. So glad you enjoyed. :) Oh, yes. Absolutely the most precious. <3
      Awww, thank you dearie! :D Hehe, always the words – whether reading or writing them. ;)
      I'm glad you think so! Ooohh, yes! That was!! :D I remember reading some of your posts before that, and then being like "hey, that's THAT Raechel!!" Haha. ;)
      For you too, girl!! <3

    2. :)
      True, true! ^.^
      Aw, that makes me smile :) <3

    3. Aww, I'm glad! *smiles* *hugs*