Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! Reflection & Encouragement for the New Year

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on 2013. Its been a great year for our family, chock full of its share of ups & downs, crazy-as- always , lots of laughter, and adventures. 2013 was definitely an accurate reflection of who we all were at this time. In this post I want including some pictures and  video compilations I gathered of some of those fun times. We are looking forward to creating some even better moments and new adventures in 2014.

So….. what if  2013 hasn’t been your best year? In 2013, you may have lost loved ones and are facing a new year alone.  You may have experienced financial difficulties making it hard to place any new dreams in a new year. Maybe you are simply so discouraged because 2013 didn’t meet all the expectations you were hoping for this time last year. You may feel like the coming days of 2014 will be no different. I want to take this moment to offer you some encouragement for 2014.

First,  if 2013 wasn’t so great for you, I  want to tell you that I understand where you are coming from. There were some moments of 2013 (not pictured of course) that brought me to tears. There were some moments that brought me to the place of brokenness. I am by nature a “fixer”. If I see a problem, my natural instinct is to problem solve and repair the situation as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Well, 2013 brought me some things I couldn’t fix. Frustration to the MAX (- insert tears and brokenness here). What got me(us) through those tough moments of 2013 was my faith, firmly believing that because God holds all of my days, He already knew my situations( Psalm 139) and that He was working things out on my behalf( Isaiah 64:1-4).

While my  faith in God to work on my behalf held me together and released my mind and heart of the struggle while the situations transitioned, they were not immediately “fixed”. In fact some of these moments are still transitioning into 2014. What I learned from these moments (and expect to carry me through 2014 & the rest of my lifetime) is that I don’t have to fix it. There is someone who loves us enough, even as adults, to protect, provide, and “fix it”. What a relief, y’all. Your struggle of 2013 may be very real but our God is awesome. He CAN move mountains and  hide you from the rain. He heals you when you are broken and gives strength where you’ve been weakened.

There is hope for a wonderful 2014! The Savior of the whole world is working on your behalf. Your situations matter to Him. You don’t have to worry about fixing it anymore. I encourage you to let go of any anxiety or worry for 2014 and be comforted knowing that while it may be unseen, God is intervening. He’s working on your behalf.

I love this facebook post from Ann Voskamp today :

Hey Soul? Last day of the year… and the New Year all like a white sheet of clean paper. Don’t be afraid that you’ll mess it up. That’s why He came down. In Him, whatever goes bad, He’ll work it for good. It’s what God does. *You can’t be undone.* So it’s the year of No Fear. *The future is as bright as the faithfulness of God.* He turned water into wine; He will turn the broken into beautiful. God’s *line of work* is *transformations* — so hold on to Him as your *lifeline.*

“…don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new… There it is! I’m making a road through the desert.” (Isa. 43:18 MSG) In unlikely places, God is always making unbelieveable roads… believe it. So go face the New Year with joy — God’s got your back.

 

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes 2013

2013 has proven to look  A LOT different for the Chase’s than in years past. We have taken a great steps, literally with the #100milechallenge, to improve our health and set fitness goals ( and we’ve stuck with them!!). As the holidays roll in, I am determined that this season of indulging, festive eating, and lazy days by the fire not cause a setback in all that we have accomplished. I also don’t want to wait to New Years to set new goals.

The goals setting starts now with trying out a healthier Thanksgiving table for 2013.  Here are a few yummy things (with a lot fewer calories!) we’ll be serving this year.

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes 2013

Quinoa-Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Autumn Vegetables (ordered from Plated.com)

Quinoa-Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Garlic Green Beans w/ toasted almonds – recipe from Bravo for Paleo

garlic-green-beans

Streuseled Sweet Potatoes- recipe from Preppy Paleo

the preppy paleo: Paleo Streuseled Sweet Potatoes

Maple Pumpkin Custard- recipe from Against all Grain

Maple Pumpkin Custard - Against All Grain

We will  still be enjoying a few of our traditional holiday favorites that would we would be sad to miss out on- it is just once a year, right?  – Grandmamma’s sausage stuffing/dressing for Sydney, traditional mashed potatoes & gravy for Jonathan, pumpkin pie for the littles, and I just created an awesome recipe for homemade pumpkin-cinnamon croissants. Luckily we have planned to run our very first Turkey Trot that  morning  to combat the few “extras” we will still be enjoying.

What traditional recipes have you transformed or added to your holiday menu ?