Cupcakes and Sunshine: 2017 word of the year: community

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 word of the year: community


I think 2016 has been the fastest year yet. I blinked and then BOOM. We're here! Looking right at 2017! The end of some seasons, some big life changes, chapter closings, the start of new chapters, and a few adventures sprinkled in here and there. Through it all, God has been faithful. Through my doubts and insecurities, He provides and loves me more than I can imagine.

The New Year is one of my favorite days. Not because of New Year's eve/day itself (this past one was a great one! More on that in a little bit), but because of a fresh start with new goals and a yearly bucketlist of big dreams and travels. 

A few years ago, I had a friend who told me she started praying about a word of the year to keep in mind and I thought it was the greatest idea so I followed suit! Words are my favorite, and mean a lot. 

In 2015, my word was TRUST,
In 2016, my word was REST,
and I've been praying about my 2017 word of the year and have come to the word  
COMMUNITY.



I was off to a rough start in the beginning of my move to Dallas this past year, and I think my lack of finding community in Texas contributed to that. I knew a couple people from Georgia in Dallas, but besides that- I didn't know anyone! I think things continually spiraled down from there when I made "figuring life out in Dallas" a priority over relationships. I spent more time applying for jobs, studying for classes, and stressing about silly things over finding community. I have to be careful about where I prioritize my time because I can easily start believing the lie that I am doing this life on my own. Scripture says some great things on community, and my life has been changed by community. This year, I'm saying YES to community all around!!



I really want to be PRESENT and to find community in the in the specific places the Lord has me this year. I've broken them down to three areas I spend most of my time. 




School: I don't live on campus, which makes getting on campus a little more difficult, but this year I want to say YES to all school activities and gatherings. I want to study on campus and be present on campus. I crave people and relationships and want to know the people I go to school with!

My "Neighborhood": 


Okay, this picture^^ makes me laugh 1. because we didn't really know each other when we took it and now are great friends and 2. because we are all from Georgia, went to UGA, and WERE NEIGHBORS...and didn't know each other until we moved to Texas and started going to the same school... again. We all once lived in the same small neighborhood in Athens, GA within a couple hundred feet of each other- and really had no idea who each other was until we moved 853 miles across the country. 



I live in an apartment off-campus (my "neighborhood"), and really want to meet and know my neighbors this year. Our apartment has many gatherings and dinners, and I haven't been to one of them since moving to Dallas! (?!) This year, I want to meet and know my neighbors. People from all walks of life live in my apartment, and I am really looking forward to getting to know them. You never know- you might end up 850 miles across the US in the same city attending the same school with these neighbors!

Church: I am leading a small group at my church this year, and each of the ladies in our small group has decided to make our small group community a priority in 2017! I'm so excited for this one. 



The ladies in my small groups throughout the past few years have become some of my very best friends, pointed me towards Jesus, have held me accountable, have prayed with me and for me, and have encouraged me. The Lord has changed my life through small group communities! Can't wait to kick off 2017 with our group. 

I did start off the New Year with great company (/community) back on the east side of the US: 


A few of the old roomies got together for some hiking...

 



...eating, and board games to ring in 2017 in Chattanooga. And it was the very best time!!


I don't think it gets better than jammies and board games into the wee hours of January 1st. 

and also, everything is funny at 3:30am. 


Thankful to do life with these friends! 


We then headed back down to Georgia for Passion 2017. and WOW was it incredible! Worshiping with 55,000 other students and hearing truth from some inspirational leaders who have lived life saying YES to Jesus no matter what- just wow. God is so good, and I'm incredibly thankful to be a part of this community as well.

If this year is anything like the first week, then I'd be surprised if 2017 is not the best year yet!!

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