Thursday, January 3, 2013

Swollen Heart



I'm so thrilled about this year! It's going to be an incredible year and I'm anticipating and expecting great things!

2012 was by far one of the most growing years of my life. I've experienced some really awesome opportunities and encountered some interesting experiences.

High moments included the birth of my first nephew, Silas Gray! He is such a joy. I'm pretty sure a lot of my highs revolve around my nieces and nephew. I love hearing the "Tasha! I LUB YOU!" being screamed at me as I walk in the house. Or when their eyes sparkle when they hear that we are going to go on a one-on-one date. Ahhh...my heart explodes with so much joy with these treasures!

Being able to travel is also one of those lasting memories. Haiti is seared into my heart and mind. I will never be the same...and for that I'm thankful! This world lost one handsome, loving treasure when Jay went to be with His Father. Such a young boy with a old soul. He had the privilege of knowing what true family looks like because of myLIFEspeaks. Can you imagine how great that was for him? He experienced in part of what he is experiencing in fullness now on earth because he was adopted into a family.

I also had the great opportunity to visit family in Canada. I was going up to the Ontario for work and was able to tack on a couple days to spend with my cousins and Aunt and Uncle. This was wonderful. I used to see my dad's side of the family every year growing up, but life got busy and I hadn't been up there in quite some time. Such a beautiful time to connect. I've got awesome people in my family.

There were several work trips in addition to the Canada trip this year including Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA and Keller, TX. It's always fun traveling and meeting new people...and seeing some of the people I work with. I think Charlotte was one of my fav's because my mom got to come and visit her friend while I worked. They have been friends for longer than I've been alive...so beautiful!

Family...new and old...made 2012! I am beyond blessed to have my immediate family here in Nashville. I love it! We're all within 10 miles of each other and that means lots of visits. And of course, I already mentioned how much being an Aunt makes my heart swell, so having them close by and seeing them grow makes me rich. I love that our families are ever expanding...both immediate and extended family.

Friendship has been something this year that has been tested, tried and proven (one way or the other). This time last year I walked through one of the toughest times in regards to friendships. I really had to look at what friendship means to me. And losing friends hurt. It hurt to know and feel that some friendships I had were conditional. There is no blame being assigned and there is much grace for others and for me. I cherish the lessons I learned even if it was gut wrenching and at times seemed like it would be better to never have any friends. Yes, I really had moments where I would have rather had no friends. This is absurd and I know that, but there were moments. Friends are a gift from God. And I have some of the most amazing friends. I am thankful for the people who I will always call friend...even if we don't talk much now. Each person has made an impact in my life and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have had that friendship.

I've met some stellar people this past year and developed some friendships that make me a better person. I am surrounded by people that are far smarter than me (in so many different areas and ways). I'm thankful that these people let me hang around...I'm gleaning as much as I can.

This blog entry is already so long, so I won't go into all the lessons I've learned this year. There were many. I'm so glad that each experience is a learning opportunity. I'm so glad that I never, not even for one moment, was alone or left to figure it out on my own. I am so loved by God and words fail when trying to describe it or my thankfulness for it! He is so faithful and so very good! Oh how I adore Him!

So, I end with...Cheers to the New Year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thankful for 2012

Over the past few days I've heard more people say that they can't wait for 2012 to be over than I can count. And while, yes, 2012 held many downs it really grieved me every time I heard this. I guess I was so frustrated with hearing that statement over and over again was because of the sincere lack of thankfulness for God's provision and faithfulness in 2012. I am really looking forward to seeing what 2013 holds, but I am so very thankful for 2012. 

I get it...I do. There was circumstances that no one should ever have to walk through that happened over the past 365 days. There were moments when you didn't think you would live to see another day or maybe didn't want to see another day. There were days that were a blur and all ran together. There were days you can't even allow yourself to replay in your head because your heart can't stand it. There were days. And for some there weeks. And yet for some there were months.  I get it. 

And yet I sit here wanting to remind those people of the moments when you laughed so hard you were doubled over. There were days where you lifted your head towards heaven with the sun shining on your face and you breathed a sigh...a sigh of contentment. There were weeks where all you could do was thank Jesus for His blessings. There was a day you couldn't stop smiling. There were days you were stuffed because of the amount of food you ate you couldn't get yourself off the couch. There were more days than not that you didn't go to sleep hungry. There were many days you had shelter over your head while it rained or snowed out. Many times you didn't sleep in the trash dumps. There were countless times you drove yourself to a job, to a coffee shop, to the mall, to see a friend, to a restaurant. You had many, many days were you had money in your bank account. There were times you didn't know where help would come from and at the exact moment you needed it most, it was there. There were moments that you felt so alive. There were moments where you felt like the luckiest person in the world. There were days that you so felt wrapped in the arms of God that you knew you were taken care of. There were times when you looked in the eyes of a friend and felt deep friendship. There were more times than you can count that you felt loved. There were days you swore you would never forget. Moments of encounters. Moments of love. Moments of laughter. Moments of joy. So many, many glorious moments.

You can be happy to be done with a calendar year and excited for the next. But I encourage you to take some time to rejoice in the moments that you were privileged to have over the past year...because after all...you were alive for all those moments. Write those glorious moments out. Make a list of people in your life that you are so graciously blessed with to walk this journey with. Take a day to be so grateful for the lessons and experiences you were afforded. Use what you've walked through this year to help others. Be a good steward of all those glorious moments, so that you may be entrusted with more. 

I'm thankful for 2012 and all the moments (the good, the bad and the ugly) because I encountered Him through it all. And I look forward to 2013 for many more encounters of my Redeemer.

I pray this blessing over YOU for your 2013:
The Lord bless you and keep you; 
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Singing Praises Day 11

Before you start reading this blog, if you haven't already done so, take a moment to read the opening blog of this series here.  

So, this may seem cliche to do and that was reason enough not to do it....but I changed my mind. Cliche or not, my boss deserves to receive some praise. I'm obviously not kissing up since I just told you I wasn't going to do it...out loud. :)

Gresham Hill

I met Gresham 2 years ago. What I thought was a quick meeting to hear more about a job position at Gresham Hill Management somehow turned into an hour long interview. I really wasn't looking for a full time position at this time and so that made the opportunity sound great. It was part time and my hours would be flexible. I took the job and it took only a few months to turn into a full time position...at which point I was ready for it. It wasn't an easy transition into full time for unforeseen circumstances and poor Gresham had to deal with seeing me tear up at any given moment for a at least a month. There were many times I wondered if he thought he made the wrong decision. Ha
  
Gresham is a great guy...which is probably because he has an awesome wife. He truly cares about people. He is compassionate and fair. Gresham puts others first (employees, clients and friends alike). He will go out of his way to make things right. There have been countless times I've seen people take advantage of his goodness without ever apologizing and he always just leaves it at the feet of God. There's many times he could have taken things personal, but he chooses not to hold offense. He simply does what is right to the best of his ability even when it's hard to do or even has a negative impact on him. He and Josie have a beautiful daughter and his face just lights up when he sees her. He would do anything for her. I think he's even become a better person after becoming a dad.

Because of who Gresham is as a person, it makes him a good boss...it makes him a good businessman. I love what I do and am thankful that I get to be part of something that makes a difference. I'm even more thankful that I get to do it with people like Gresham. I'm thankful for Gresham, not only as a boss, but as a man that's making a difference in the world by being a godly businessman and always putting people first. 

Gresham is the president of Reach Your City and Gresham Hill Management.
Website: www.reachyourcity.com
Twitter: @reachyourcity 
Facebook: /reachyourcity
Gresham's Twitter: @gresham