As November 2014 came to an end, my mother said to me “make it a December to remember, Bethy Boo”. Those 6 words ran throughout my mind for days. A December to remember? Surely it had to be! And, rightly so, the December of 2014 was an incredible time of year for me - a “new start” in so many ways, which filled me with joy and excitement for the New Year ahead. I welcomed in 2015 with a smile, and a conscious decision to make it not only a December to remember, but a year of Big Adventures!
Two thousand and fifteen… here's a recap of my year in short:-
January: Our Mini Honeymoon to Center Parcs, Cumbria.
April: My 21st Birthday! My family helped to arrange the most fantastic birthday celebrations for me (given that my 18th was a total letdown... Apart from Disneyland! But that’s a story for another time!).
May: Completed university, passing all modules!
June: Spent 2.5 weeks in Toronto/Mississauga with Phil’s Canadian relatives.
July: GRADUATION! Yep, you heard right! Little old (not-so-clever) me graduated from University!
September: We found out we were expecting our first baby! EEK!
December: Chester Zoo Lantern Walk, Our 1st Wedding Anniversary and hosted our first Family Christmas.
So yeah, 2015 was an incredible year and most definitely filled with adventures!
New Year’s Eve 2015…
I’ve not always been a fan of New Year’s Eve, as I’m not a big social butterfly (I get terribly anxious) nor am I a big party animal - so attending an event at our church sounded like a lovely little evening for me. However, that also turned out to be a pretty big adventure! That evening, I was 'changed' in ways I never thought could be possible. And, to finish this post… I’d like to share with you the testimony that I gave to the church that evening! (YES! I spoke in public too!)
Having graduated in July, I asked Pastor Steve & Yvonne to pray that the perfect job would find me, and that I would have work for September. I left it in God’s hands and carried on applying to every job that I thought was suitable. Now, for those in teaching, you know how hard it can be to “big yourself up” when writing your letter of application… and my brother now knows how rubbish I am at doing that, given that he rewrote mine several times! I left it on the back burner and went to a church conference; where I had a long conversation with a lovely lady from our church about self-confidence and self-belief - two things I have always struggled with, both about myself and my 'talents'. Upon returning home I started Supply Teaching, just to bring some money in. However, it didn't last long as I wasn’t able to work because of illness… Which turned out to be the 'wonderful' symptoms of Morning Sickness! Baby Hughes was cooking away inside of me and I had no idea! (A miracle in itself! See my post called “#HappilyEverHughes Extended Edition” if you’d like to know more!).
Whilst on the stage leading worship on NYE, something I never EVER though I was able to do (I’m just a backing singer, don’t you know?!), I could feel Baby jumping, kicking and dancing away as I sang! Two little miracles together - leading worship whilst my baby danced along! (The amount of encouragement and support I’ve had from stepping out in faith, from people who attended and didn’t, has been overwhelming!) It was then that I realised… I do have a job, and it is the best job in the world… I have been called to be a mum, and it is one of the most important jobs ever!
So, 2016… What lies ahead? Well, I totally disapprove of the saying “New Year, New Me” (a rant for another time!), and even more so of New Year’s Resolutions (why make them if you’re only going to break them?). But, my promise to myself for 2016 is to make it another year of adventure, love and putting those I cherish first! To me, that’s much more important than dieting, getting fit, eating healthy or whatever silly things people tell themselves they’ll do, even though they could do them at any time of the year!
So I challenge you… What is your promise to yourself? And how likely are you to keep it? ;)