Time for my annual “year’s end” tag! FYI, I’ve deleted some of the original questions; they just dug up too many painful things, so I decided to forego them altogether and focus on the good things that happened this year.

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? I was a bridesmaid! I volunteered for Vacation Bible School and even co-taught my kindergarten class the last couple of days. I also started playing with our handbell choir! And last but not least, I bought my first handgun. Really excited about that 🙂 

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and do you have any for next year? What were my New Year’s resolutions last year?

  1. Just enjoy my writing. It took me most of the year to reach this point, but I can say as 2016 ends that I’m head-over-heels in love with the story I’m writing right now. 
  2. Keep another record of all the books I read! Check!!! Full list coming soon!
  3. Learn German and continue saving money for a possible return to Europe. Actually no. I didn’t have time to learn German and I used the savings to buy that gun.  

New Year’s Resolutions for 2017? To blog more, and to simply to be happy, healthy, and enjoy my life to the fullest!

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Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant? Victoria had a baby!!! Remember how I met up with her and two other friends in Westminster Abbey three years ago? Well, she and Galen got married last year and had their first little one a couple of weeks ago. Congratulations, guys!

Did anyone close to you get married? My brother and sister-in-law got married in March!

Did anyone close to you die? Nope. 

Travel? Nah.   

Did you move anywhere? Nopeity-nope-nope-nope.

What was the best month? November, the month I realized I’d made an idol of marriage and motherhood, and that it was time to give it up. Surrendering an idol is a long, hard process, especially when that idol involves something that isn’t bad in and of itself. But since I made that initial (painful) surrender, my heart’s been much happier and my head much quieter. That doesn’t mean I no longer want to get married at all, but my obsession with it is gone–and if it never happens, I’ll be more than fine. 

What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 5, TJ and Jenni’s wedding day, and August 12, the day the Louisiana Flood began.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? What was your biggest failure? I used to make a big deal of these questions, but focusing on achievements and failures isn’t healthy for someone who’ll probably battle perfectionism for the rest of her life. I’m just thankful for the ways God has grown me and will continue to grow me.

Did you suffer illness or injury? Meh, nothing worse than the common colds and stomach bugs.

Whose behavior merited celebration? The citizens of the great state of Louisiana. We’re still sticking together and helping each other in the aftermath of August’s devastating flood, in spite of FEMA’s deplorable feet-dragging. 

Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed? I could name some names, but why let them ruin my post? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Where did most of your money go? Clothes (’cause sometimes your favorite clothes are so old, they just need to GO), music, makeup, movie tickets, and FunkoPOPs. 

Who or what did you get really, really, really excited about? STAR TREK BEYOOOOOOOND!!! And the Wonder Woman trailer!!! Also The Lunar Chronicles because those books are A+ and my kinda thing. Also MY NEW NOVEL, which is filled with action, intrigue, and sass levels the likes of which I didn’t know I was capable of writing. 

What song(s) will always remind you of 2016? The beautiful, tear-jerking “Forever Country,” sung by an impressive CMA Award-winner squad.

What do you wish you’d done more of? What do you wish you’d done less of? I think I did everything the Lord wanted me to do. 

What was an unexpected surprise? First of all: my new novel, Lionhearted! I haven’t been this passionate about a story idea in a long, long time. I wasn’t even looking for it; it just popped into my head the same day that relationship I mentioned in my last post blew up in my face. I truly believe the Lord gave it to me as part of my healing process. 

Second: last week I made this meme and put it on Twitter…

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…and Nichelle Nichols AKA Uhura herself “liked” it. NICHELLE NICHOLS, Y’ALL. UHURA. THE QUEEN OF STAR TREK. No, of course I haven’t gotten over it!!!

Did you fall in love develop any new & amusing affections for certain fictional males in 2016? NOPE. And I read some good books and watched some great movies this year. But you’ve gotta be a pretty awesome fictional dude to surpass the original, the one and only James T. Kirk in my affections. 

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year? A one-woman production of Hamilton starring Me

What was your favorite TV program? Call the Midwife. Blue Bloods comes in at a close second, followed by the 80’s comedy show Newhart

What was the best book you read? In the fiction realm, My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane. In the non-fiction category, The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. It’s comforted me so much in the past three months!

What was your greatest musical discovery? The Moana soundtrack. “How Far I’ll Go” and its tear-jerking variation in “I Am Moana” are the best bits of musical goodness I’ve heard in a while. (I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I hear it’s fantastic.) 

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What were your favorite films you watched? Captain America: Civil War was great; Star Trek Beyond was a gift; The Finest Hours was fantastic. The biggest surprises, though, were Snow White and the Huntsman and…drum roll please…Jurassic World

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 24, and I spent the day at my grandparents’ preparing for the wedding, which was two days away. My birthday could’ve easily gotten lost in the shuffle, but my grandmother brought in a cake, two family friends gave me a single white rose in a lovely vase, and my parents gave me a new bookshelf for all my Star Trek books. I felt very loved 🙂  

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Eh, it hasn’t changed. I’m still just me: long skirts, fandom t-shirts, button-down blouses, and blue jeans. 

What political issue stirred exhausted you the most? The election…although I’m very relieved with the way it turned out. Okay, so our next president can be a jerk. I get that. But at least he won’t take away our homeschooling rights, stack the Supreme Court with radical liberals, or abolish the Second Amendment…and he doesn’t support Planned Parenthood, he doesn’t have a track record of jeopardizing national security, and he doesn’t have the blood of our Libyan ambassador on his hands. And he’s surrounded himself with a lot of smart people with cooler, wiser heads than his own. So no, I don’t think he’s God’s gift to mankind, but I hardly think he’s a second Hitler, either.

What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2016? I learned that I don’t need anybody but Jesus to complete me. My value isn’t determined by whether or not I ever marry or have a baby. It’s determined by what God says about me. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made and He knows the plans he has for me. And because of that, I’m on nobody’s schedule. I have nothing to prove. I only need to be still and listen to His voice. 

There’s so much freedom and joy in embracing that!

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Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

And it may feel like 40 long days in a hard driving rain
Or 40 years in a dry desert sand
But when He’s finished we will see
A beautiful tapestry
And know that nothing has been wasted in the end

Oh, and God will, He will finish what He started
No thread will be unwoven
Nothing will be left undone
Every plan and every purpose
That He has will be accomplished
And God will finish what He’s begun

–Steven Curtis Chapman, “Finish What He’s Started”

In conclusion, I hope all of you had a very, very Merry Christmas! I’ll be back later this week with my 2016 book list. Toodles!

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