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December 31, 2019

Best of 2019 | Melanie Foster Photography

This is one of my favorite posts all year. There is always so much that happens each year – in photography and personally – that it’s a joy to track it and have it intentionally journaled to look back on at the end of the year. I remember ending the 2017 year thinking, “gosh, what a terrible year”. A year later, as I prepped my 2018 recap blog post, I went back to see how I had formatted the last one. I was amazed at how much growth I had experienced, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that were put in front of me, and the joy that I experienced in the midst of the trials I walked through. It was clouded by how I ended that year, and I wasn’t able to fully appreciate what the Lord had blessed me with until much later on. I still now look back on 2017 as a pivotal year in my life, and unfortunately in the moment I had zero appreciation for any of it. Lesson learned!!

The latter half of 2018 brought a lot of heartbreak, and I stepped foot into 2019 wanting to put it behind me. It took a while, and of course brought a lot of frustration, tears, and confusion with it, but that’s exactly what happened and I couldn’t be more thankful that I closed a significant chapter in my life. I’m ending the year in a totally different spot, and with very different life circumstances than how I started it, and that is pretty unusual for me. Little changes happen over long periods of time, but this fall has brought a lot of change all at once. I’ve been keeping track of “mile markers” each year in a note in my phone, and I’m excited to share 2019’s here!

  • I kicked off 2019 on the dance floor at Emily and Tanner’s wedding in Tulsa – seriously the most fun I’ve ever had on a NYE!
  • Also attended the weddings of several dear people in my life! Matthew (my cousin) and Melissa, Claire and Sam, Kylie and Dylan.
  • I spent all of 2019 studying Exodus via Kevin DeYoung’s series when he was at University Reformed Church. Literally the whole year…after a while, anytime I would read from the new testament it felt like I had new life in me! That’s not to take away from the glory and goodness of the old testament, just had a totally different response to the gospel after being in the OT for so long haha. Philippians is next with one of my favorites – John MacArthur.
  • A couple of big “lessons learned”, or takeaways from this year:
    • Realizing that no one can know you and love you more than our creator. We’re given the gift of experiencing glimpses of that love in our relationships here on earth, but no one can ever match God’s love for us.
    • My Nashville self was unsustainable, but it is definitely a version of me that I want to “let out” more.
    • I spent a good part of this year wondering if I even wanted to be married. That was an entirely new feeling for me. In a similar vein…
    • Adaptability in dating. I took 5 months from January – May to shift my eyes away from the pursuit of a relationship, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The Lord did some really good work on my heart in that time, and I jumped back into the dating scene that summer to learn very quickly that everyone dates differently. Also adapting/adjusting in each situation is taxing. I had half decided to take another break at the end of this year, only to meet Jonathan soon after!!! God’s timing… 🙂
    • I knew it was important to date fellow believers, but I didn’t realize how special it would be to share the same theological beliefs with your significant other. That has been one of the biggest blessings of my relationship with J and I am so thankful.
    • How to buy/negotiate a car. That was a fun one.
    • Being bold for the Lord. I share my faith pretty openly on my blog and Instagram, but I have recently moved closer towards views and opinions that I myself would have probably seen as a little crazy just a year or two ago. I’m (slowly) learning how to share why I believe what I believe, and how it aligns with God’s truth. Here is a great and important example of that.
  • This was a light travel year. The only major trip I took was to Nashville in January and then again in August. I also made quick trips to Tulsa, Lake Eufala/Carlton Landing, Lake Cypress Springs with my family (four times this summer! Bless! Links to Fourth of July & Labor day trips), and Bartlesville.
  • Concerts – Ariana Grande, Jonas Brothers, Chris Young, and Steve Moakler!
  • I shifted my editing presets a bit for the first time in two years. Can you tell in the pictures below where it starts to change? It’s fairly subtle to the untrained eye, but I’m pretty happy with the direction!
  • I ended the 2019 year with perhaps one of the biggest changes I’ve experienced in a while, other than my big house move in 2018…I started a NEW JOB! More to come, but I’m excited to be challenged in a new way in 2020.

 

I don’t really like to go into a new year with expectations. Whatever the Lord has for me, I will rejoice in his plan and faithfulness through it. Up next are hopefully the March for Life in Dallas, my 27th birthday (praise God for another year!), and prepping for another marathon senior season again!

Have a blessed holiday season, and I’ll see y’all in 2020!

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