Reflecting On 2013

2013At the end of every year since I began blogging I like to reflect on all that happened from January to December. This gives me perspective as I remember the things I experienced, while providing you with some highlights just in case you missed anything on the blog throughout the year.

2011 and 2012 were really amazing years, but this last year has been just as great and if not way more challenging than I ever anticipated!  God has stretched me in many different directions, showing me how to rely on Him more and what can happen when I do!

In January I was still wrapped up in the clouds with my precious newborn. Learning how to be a mom did not come as naturally as I thought it would, trying to balance baby time with making time for my husband and finding time to work on Unveiled Wife.  I took things slow, one day at a time, doing my best with all the responsibilities God has gifted to me.

In February, my husband and I climbed a really big hill with our 3 month old son to get some epic family portraits taken by the talented Jagger Photography!

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family

We also invited our family and friends to join us as our Pastor and friend Bill Heydorn, dedicated Eliott.  Aaron and I committed to being awesome parents that would teach Eliott God’s ways and I took a moment to read a poem I wrote.  It was very nice to have so much support show up for Eliott’s dedication, we appreciate everyone willing to help us as we raise Eliott to know God intimately.

Shortly after the dedication, my faith was tested in extreme ways.  I came down with an infection that caused my anxiety to peak greater than I have ever experienced before. The infection cleared up, but my mind was falling apart each day as fear attacked.

After going to the doctors several times, I discovered my thyroid was on a rampage! As I raced in and out of hyper and hypothyroidism, I could barely keep my head on straight.  Some days I tried to lay my head down to halt the spinning and yet nothing worked. My anxiety was at an all time high, leaving me awake at two in the morning shaken with fear.  It was a battle I despised because I wanted desperately to enjoy my new baby and the overwhelming thoughts often times stole my joy.  I fought daily in faith, leaning on God more than I ever have before.

[Check out these few posts on motherhood from the year:  A Baby Dedication PoemHow Motherhood Has Changed My Body And My MarriageMotherhood And Marriage]

As a result of my thyroid being out of whack, I felt the strangest sensations throughout my body, effects that only spurred the anxiety into chaotic episodes. I also endured a physical change in my body during that time that has been a huge distraction for me this year. Literally I have gone through so many emotions and conversations with God and my husband trying to rationalize my way through this one.  It is still a distraction, but I am learning how to cope with it as I hand it over to God daily, asking Him for guidance in dealing with it.

What I have learned is that things are going to happen to my flesh that I don’t like.  I will experience blemish, infection, injury, and death. But it’s ok.  It is good that my flesh is weak and imperfect and temporal, a reminder that I do not have to live forever in my sinful body, but that I do get to continue life in eternity with God. Invaluable.

In March I had the opportunity to meet with Fawn Weaver from the Happy Wives Club at a cute little breakfast joint.  We shared our hearts for helping and encouraging marriages as well as our hopes for where God will take our ministries in the future!

In April, among my continued panic attacks and witnessing my baby reach his milestones I somehow found a few minutes a day to allow God to use me as a vessel for His glory as I was inspired to write Wife After God!

May was incredible because the new rebrand of Unveiled Wife was launched.  I am so appreciative to Gary and Courtney who helped with the rebrand, and Jane Johnson Designs for making it come to reality.  You guys rock!

rebrand

I also had the privilege of hosting some awesome contributors on the Unveiled Wife site.  So when you get a free minute go check out who is on the team and all the different articles they have published on UW.

UW Contributor Page

In June we launched Wife After God and by the grace of God it has reached over 12,000 wives and still counting! I have received a flood of positive feedback from women who have been incredibly touched by this unique devotional and I praise God for how it is being used to transform marriages in a positive way.

To learn more about Wife After God or grab a copy go HERE!

Oh and I filmed this trailer which was a terrifying, yet incredible experience!   Check it out:

In July my husband and I had the opportunity to spend some time visiting my brother and his family while working remotely in Oregon.  That was an amazing gift that we are still impacted by.  It was just the type of trip we needed to regain focus for our marriage and focus our passion for marriage ministry.  It was also nice realizing how close I was to Lisa Jacobson, who I didn’t hesitate to connect with.  We had a beautiful chat at a little bakery where we got to know each other a little more.  She inspires my heart and carries a peace with her that leaves you wanting more!

During that trip God showed me the value of meeting wives from the UW Community in real life.  Blogging keeps me online, but building relationships in real-life are extremely vital! So I organized a meet-up in two different locations where I had the opportunity to share my heart on why I wrote Wife After God and I had the privilege of hearing from women in our community. It was so cool to see that happen and I am still grateful for the 26 people who came out to join me.

oregon-meetup

I also invited the UW Community to join me for an online study as we went through Wife After God together.  It was neat to participate in all the discussion about the daily topics provided.

I can’t wait to do it again this January! If you want to participate check out the details HERE! A Resolution Every Wife Should Do In 2014!

In August we provided a few more original T-Shirt designs, with a few more following that! Now there are many varieties of shirts with positive marriage messages being shared around the world.

Click the shirts to order one!

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Oh I also signed with an agent, which is a really big deal! A wise woman once told me the value of having an agent that truly believed in you and your message, as if it was necessary…so when God introduced me to Matt and Lisa Jacobson it was as if He had put every piece in place for me.  Their friendship is priceless and more than I could ever ask for.

In September I had the privilege of participating in a marriage series with some incredible Christian women titled Ignite The Fire.  You can check out the series HERE! I also began contributing for an awesome site that is a dedicated resource for families called For The Family.

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In October I spent much of the month re-writing my book – the one I mentioned finishing during the 2011 reflection.  I didn’t realize how much more I needed to add! This book is about the message of Unveiled Wife and the testimony of my first four years of marriage. I seriously cannot wait for its release! Details coming early 2014!

Sign up now to get notified as soon as it’s available!

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Also in October I took an older post that was still getting quite a bit of traffic and expanded on it! What once was 5 Encouraging Life Verses For Marriage also has links to other blogs published on UW written by contributors detailing verses that have greatly impacted their marriages – which also features this blog that was a big hit – 25 Verses To Pray Over Your Husband.

November 7th my son turned ONE! I cannot believe how FAST that happened. We tried to party, but Eliott was just not into it, except for the colorful balloons of course.  Being a mom is interesting, a role I thank God for!

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I really liked this article written by Jamie an UW Contributor: One piece of advice before getting married!

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I connected with Sarah Markley as we walked the storefronts in OC sharing our hearts with each other.  She writes on her personal blog and is very encouraging.

I continued to celebrate as the amazing Sally Clarkson invited me to join her team to present a workshop at the Mom Heart Conference in February! I was beyond thrilled to receive such an honor and I would absolutely love to see you there. There is still time to register! Click on the image for more details.

In December I spent time preparing for all the events I have kicking off the new year, including plans for my next meet-up which will take place January 11th 2014.  Among celebrating Christmas with family and friends and turning 28, I have been praying for all that is to come in the next year.

My husband’s beard.  No words can really describe how I feel about this beard trend going on. Its been growing out for 14 months now. I had to post a photo. Does your husband have a beard? If so what are your thoughts?

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I hope you all had a wonderful year! I am praying this next year is extraordinary!

Cheers!

2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 |

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