Monday, January 2, 2017

two birds with one stone (recapping 2016 and looking ahead to 2017, how efficient of me)

Well, aside from me totally disappearing of the face of the planet (twice), 2016 was a pretty good year overall. 
Dang, was it ever hard sometimes, but it was pretty good. 

I laughed a lot. 
I cried a lot. 
And the cycle went pretty much just like that. 

Here are a few memories from Petra's 2016: 

Camp NaNoWriMo in April... totally empowered me as a writer and taught me quite a few lessons (you can read them hereherehere, and here).

#WHALINK2016 - My school's annual gathering, which was superb.

I helped out with VBS at my church. 

We interviewed each other and you can view those videos here and here :)

I was blessed with the lovely opportunity to travel to Virginia and meet up with some online friends for 5 days. We ate, slept, laughed, swam, kayaked, goofed off in the Chesapeake Bay, visited the birthplace of George Washington, and laughed some more. This included my first solo flight (with layovers and everything), which was scary and left a lot of bad memories of airports involved panic attacks. They kept delaying my flights argh. It really wasn't that bad, but it wasn't a top-notch experience for my first time flying by myself.... but the trip itself was worth all the terrible airport experiences in the world.

I flailed and failed my way through season 3 of Cross Country :P

School started in September, thrusting me face-first into 8 classes. 24 hours of class a week and double that in homework, plus tests and projects. That's actually why I disappeared xD

I turned 16 in October! My family and friends surprised me with a lovely sweet sixteen birthday party... It shocked the living daylights out of me and needless to say, I guess I'm not as observant as I once thought :P

I'm now a licensed driver, so y'all might want to stay off the roads for a little while... :P

NaNoWriMo happened in November and I didn't reach my goal, but I did make progress. And progress in writing with my insane school schedule is a victory in my eyesight. I still would have loved to have written 50K words, but it just didn't happen. And that's okay.

December. December was INSANE. It just was. I had 8 exams to complete in 6 days and one of those days was traveling. It was rough. My brain died at the end. But I got them finished and then moved from that to family stuff. The holiday season was cram packed with stuff. I'm actually more mentally exhausted now than what I was before break. It was well worth it though. We were able to plan a surprise party for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. It was pretty special :)

2016 was hard. It was really hard. But it was good. 
I learned so much this year and I'm looking forward to the lessons I'll learn this year. 

So... what exactly did I accomplish in 2016, in regards to my goals? 
Here's last year's post for New Years. 

"If all goes well, I will have... 

Learned how to drive with a permit and be a licensed driver - I turn 16 next fall, so YAY! Also, being able to drive myself places will make life more flexible for my family. 

 Read through the whole Bible once more Bible-Gateway has some AWESOME reading plans for the new year... You can make the choice between a deep study per month, studying one proverb per month, reading through the New Testament and/or Old Testament in an allotted period of time... It's quite amazing for accountability and people *hem* like me, who tend to get distracted. I'm excited! 

 Be immersed in the exact middle of my junior year - Next year at this time (considering that I don't completely fail my sophomore year, which is a liable option), I will be at the halfway mark in my junior year. That means a ton of homework (yay) and *shudder* college searching/visits. 

Have run another year of cross country - And hopefully, I'll avoid those time-killing injuries! I actually have been training... ;) 

Read through my local library again - Seriously, it's a task keeping fresh reading material in front of me. 

Finished some new writing projects and edited some - I would love to be given the precious time to be able to write more often, I really would. But if this one doesn't get done, I'll survive. Writing is a big part of my life, but there are other things, which demand my attention. So, fingers crossed for writing!

Working a job - College is rapidly approaching, and it ain't exactly paying for itself. I've begun filling out applications.... Fingers crossed again!"

Out of this list, I accomplished 4 of these 7. I'm a licensed driver, I'm in the middle of my Junior year, I have another year of cross country under my belt, and I've kept my library on their toes. I didn't make it through the entire Bible this year, because honestly that way of studying didn't really work for me. Hannah recently invited me to begin a Bible study with her on the subject of Praise. I'm really really looking forward to it! 

What are my goals for 2017? 

I'm glad you asked. 

I thought about different ways to approach this year, but the one I chose is by far my favorite. 

I decided to pick a word and focus on areas that pertain to that word, working on character. 

My word for 2017 is  f  a i t h f u l n e s s 

When this thought first struck me, I didn't like the idea, simply because it seemed too impossible. My thoughts followed with, all the more reason to try. So, friends, here I am, at the start of a new year. The resources for my goals are readily available, it'll just take me being faithful to see these goals through. I've picked some areas for improvement and specific outlets to help me pursue them. I've specifically examined things from the past and picked ways that I know will work for me. 

Areas for improvement (looooots of improvement): 

Studying God's Words in depth: beginning with Hannah and the Praise study.
                   Working on Prayer: I absolutely love to journal. It's something that comes easily and naturally and it's something that I do a lot. Instead of trying to focus on praying for 15 minutes (which has never worked for me... my attention span is about the same as a goldfish), I'm planning to begin a prayer journal. This will help with perspective and organization of thoughts, as well as communication with God. 
                "Working the Temple": My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and it's so vitally important to keep it healthy and working hard. I have a gym pass, which takes care of the resource part. I need to work on faithfulness in dragging myself out of bed at 5:30, even and especially when I'd rather get extra sleep. 
              "Working the Mind": Basically I'm going to work on study organization and planning time more efficiently. I'm also planning to read one classic novel (outside of school) per month. I'm going to begin blogging again... I'm aiming for every Saturday, because I have no time during the week xD. I'm going to begin studying for those college entrance tests (ACT, PSAT, SAT, etc.). I'm also hoping to begin studying with a friend on the side of everything. This won't be anything specific, just random topics that we're curious about and want to research together. 
         "Working on Organization": Keeping my personal world in order. Bedroom, school space, and schedule. It all has to work together for my sanity to remain slightly sane xD. 
           "Physical Self-Improvement": Back to the "working the temple", I'm planning to hit the gym more often. 
I'm getting back to my normal clean eating. The holidays have been pretty tough on my body food wise xD I know that I have several allergies and intolerances, so I need to get back to avoiding the foods that make my body hurt. My normal diet looks something like: no gluten, no dairy, no refined sugar, with avoiding certain nuts; lots of protein and complex carbs (veggies, fruits, starches, and sprouted bread). I'm also going back to my strict water/tea only rule. 
8 hours of sleep every night is something that my night owl, introverted personality needs to work on. 
       "Kill 'Em With Kindness": And, yes, I might have named a few weapons "kindness", but that's not what I mean. I'm going to be working on unconditional kindness this year. I'm thinking that this isn't going to be an easy one to work with, but that make it even more important. 

Faithfulness. Yikes. This isn't going to be easy... But I've learned that the best lessons in life are never easy. 

I'm beyond excited to see what's in store for this year... 


  1. Ahhh yes I am so glad I got to meet you! *hugs* But like ... you get up at 5:30? *stares* I ... *makes small sounds in back of throat* How? And YOU DON'T DRINK COFFEE? HOW DO YOU GET UP AT 5:30 AND NOT DRINK COFFEE? *feels like a slug*

    Dude, you're a boss.

    1. *return hug* It was such a lovely highlight!
      And, yes, *groans* 5:30 is when I try to get up... Keyword: try.


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