Another year has come to a close, and I thought I would take a moment to look back at the year that was.
The Year at a Glance
In January, the week after my college classes resumed for the spring term, I caught some kind of virus. It wasn’t influenza but it sure resembled it. I was sick for nearly four weeks, into the ER once and to the doctor multiple times. I still managed to turn in my book that was due in February, but I had to drop my ethics class as it was obvious I would never catch up. I wasn’t too sure I would catch up with my math class either but I persevered.
In March, I began revising my book and also received the exciting news that Keeper of the Stars was a RITA® Award finalist.
In April, my 77th release, You’ll Think of Me, hit bookshelves. Sadly, just as I was writing the final scene for my revisions, our beloved Poppet had to be rushed to the vet’s and she died that night. Our hearts were broken.
In May, I took my math finals and, despite the very rocky start due to illness, I aced the class, ending with a grade of 95.44%. Yes, I have to brag about that one. Math is not my first love.
In June, our new papillon puppy, Boo, came to live with us. She helped heal the pain of losing Poppet, but she also stole our hearts in her own right.
In July, I attended our 15th annual writers retreat in northern Idaho. I was tickled to get to share the Bible art journaling I did of the words for 2017 that the Lord gave each one of us. It was such a meaningful endeavor and a joy to ponder (my word) each of their words.
That month I also went to Florida to attend the RWA conference. Keeper of the Stars didn’t win the RITA®, but I had a great time, especially with one of the editors from my publishing house. We went to Disney World and ran our legs off.
In August, I had corneal surgery. Because of it, I took off the fall term of college classes, not knowing for sure how the recovery would go.
September, October, November, and December were mostly about writing a new book and raising a puppy. Boo seems to control my life 24/7.
December saw my 78th release, You’re Gonna Love Me, arrive in bookstores. I absolutely love the cover.
* I got serious about exercise for my health, beginning in October. I am walking 30 minutes or longer a day on the treadmill. I’ve fallen short on only a few days over these months. My Apple Watch Activity app has become my best motivator. I love meeting all three of my daily goals. The exercise paid off too. It lowered my total cholesterol and my LDL (bad cholesterol). Yea!!
* Over the past two years, I managed to drop 25 pounds. I reached my ideal weight goal in October and have been maintaining ever since within a couple of pounds.
* I found great relaxation and pleasure in my hobbies of Bible art journaling and decorative planning.
* Considering my time for pleasure reading is limited, I had a great reading year. I read 55 books (a total of over 14,400 pages, according to Goodreads). I gave twenty-three of those 55 books a Five Star rating, and another fifteen earned a Four Star rating.
My word for 2017 was Ponder, as in “Mary pondered all of these things in her heart.” I tried to treasure all that I learned about God throughout the year. I also pondered each of the words the Lord gave to my retreat writing friends, which made the experience all the more rich.
My word for 2018 is Grace. I believe the Lord wants to take me deeper into the meaning of His grace. I believe He wants to teach me what His grace means for me personally and also to teach me how to extend more grace to those around me. I have a number of “grace” books in my library and on my wish list, waiting for me to delve into them throughout the year.
May you experience His abundant grace throughout the year to come.