Year in Review

2013 blog 1

blog 2013 2

blog 2013 3

Happy New Year!

It’s been a busy year on the blog – here are our top 10 posts from 2013!

1. DIY Sweater

2. 3 Lessons from Tarzan

3. Accepting Transition

4. A Guide to Florence, Italy

5. Bologna Travel Diaries: New Beginnings

6. A Different Approach to Valentine’s Day

7. 5 Things: The Culture Shock Edition 

8. The Case for Mission Trips 

9. 10 Things to Do with a Barf Bag

10. When You’re a Third Culture Kid



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I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions. At least for me. Because I can’t really remember any of the resolutions I have made and I don’t think I’ve ever followed through with any of them. And I tried picking a word for my year and, while that’s such a cool concept, it didn’t work out well either because I forgot my word was “joy” two months in (even after I wrote this long blog post on it).

Tonight, though, I made out a list of things I want to see happen in 2013. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t know what I was going to write, but I just started to write.

Spend less time on the computer and more time doing things that fill me.

Exercise more, drink more water, and get more sleep.

Sharpen my weapons as a prayer warrior.

Listen more, talk less.

Start taking pictures again.

Invest in Not of this World.

Continue to strive for excellency even when those around me are not.

Invest in the relationships I have now, not the ones I hope for in the future.

These are all fairly abstract, not specific details of things I want to accomplish. They’re not on a post-it note on my bathroom mirror to guilt me into change. They’re in a book that is not on the top of a stack of books. If 2014 starts and I haven’t fulfilled all these things, it will be ok. They are simply things that have been bouncing around my head and my heart and I wanted to write them down so years down the road, I’ll remember what I was thinking about.

Do you have any resolutions or a word of the year? If you’re thinking of picking a word for your year, I highly recommend reading this blog post by Natalie Lloyd about her “year of the lion.”

A Date within a Marriage // January

Dates // January

Several months ago, a friend from school started hosting prayer meetings before school on Thursdays. It ended up happening only a few times, but one thing he said has remained in my mind. As he was closing our time with a few words of encouragement, he described our meeting as a “date within a marriage.” I loved that analogy.

Just as dates are an important part of a relationship, we also should set apart specific times to spend with God. However, just as dates do not sustain a marriage, neither does only going to church on Sundays or praying for a few seconds before you fall asleep sustain your relationship with God.

As you enter the new year, I pray you will keep that thought close as you seek to grow in your relationship with God. To help your pursue and nurture that relationship this year, there will be a new monthly feature on the blog. At the beginning of each month, there will be ideas for fun “dates with God.” These are simply easy ways for you to set apart special time to spend with God.

Also, one of my personal goals this year is to keep the blog more consistently updated. This year, there will still an inspirational quote or picture for the feature “A Thought to Start Your Week,” but there will also be at least one post per week on something related to travel and living overseas and at least one per week on a spiritual topic. Hopefully, this will be a good balance of encouragement and thoughts to help you benefit the most from living in a different country.

I hope your desire this year will be to spend more time with Jesus and let Him mold you into the person He wants you to be.

*click on the picture if you’re having trouble reading the text