Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcoming in the New Year! - 2013 Review in Photos and Closing Thoughts

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” 

― G.K. Chesterton

2013 in PHOTOS (try clicking on the different photos to see where they lead!)

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." 
-Mark Twain

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” ― C.S. Lewis, Letter to the Reverend Peter Bide on April 29th, 1959, found in Letters of C. S. Lewis, edited by Warnie Lewis

For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice.” 
― T.S. EliotFour Quartets

Each age has deemed the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer.” 
― Walter Scott

This past year has been full of change. Albeit difficult change, but good change nonetheless.

I look forward to both the highs and the lows of this new year. And pray with a sincere heart that I might serve unrestrained, live vibrantly, believe unashamedly, find joy in each new situation, and love as He so loved us. 

I am going into 2014 with a renewed sense of hope. This is a new year, and I have the wonderful opportunity to leave the past in the past. I want this year not to just be a year of change (as that will come all by itself), but I want 2014 to be a year of vibrant living. No regrets, no holding back, no break the chains of yester year and start afresh with a new found joy for life. Joy has been my constant through the trials and pain of this last year, and I look forward to living freely in the joy and grace of this new year. 

I've got plenty of resolutions, a plethora of new ideas and aspirations, and a boatload of loving I plan on doing in this year to come. <But despite all my plannings, resolutions, and changes that I hope to take place: I bring into this new year a constant that I know with all my heart will not change (and that no amount of failed resolutions or plans will change). That through it all, I have a stronghold in my God; a sure foundation in the Rock of my salvation. Now it may just be me, but that is the most reassuring thought imaginable. I know, without a doubt, that there will be some failed plans and resolutions this year. I know that I won't accomplish all I set out to do. But more importantly than that, I know that He is greater than all of that...and with His help I will accomplish exactly the right amount of resolutions that needs to take place in my life in 2014.

2013 brought new muses:

ALBUM: Favorite album of 2013 (you know, the kind you listen to over and over and over) was definitely, without a doubt, Native by OneRepublic. 

BAND: Although there were a few bands I was introduced to this past year, I'd have to say Sleeping at Last takes the cake. Singer and songwriter, Ryan O'Neal, has absolutely outdone himself with awe-inspiring masterpieces of lyrical beauty. Cinematic in nature, his songs capture the heart of his listeners with rapture at the simplicity and brilliance of his songs.

SONG: Well that's hard! Seriously, I've stumbled across so many favorites this past year. Selected Muses: Can't Stop (OneRepublic), Waited Too Long (Brett Eldredge), Earth (Sleeping At Last), The End of Myself (Daniel Craig), Believer (Audio Adrenaline), Best I Ever Had (Gavin DeGraw), and Sweet Tennessee (Judah & the Lion). <To name a few.

MOVIE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (based off the novel, The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien), was highly anticipated in 2013. And overall, was quite well-done and entertaining (although I was slightly disappointed with a few areas of it as I am a stickler to the book). So aside from The Hobbit, which didn't quite steal 1st place for me, I'd have to say Frozen was my favorite. Well-made, inspiring, and adventurous Disney production pleasantly void of all that "believe in yourself" baloney that so often frequents Disney's films (as well as plenty of the media). Frozen contained a beautiful relationship between sisters Elsa and Ana, that developed throughout the story and created a heart-wrenching scene of self-sacrifice. If you haven't already, go see it! Whether you're a Disney fan or not, I can guarantee you'll enjoy this film (if only a little). 

BLOG: My dear friend Annaliese at A Hopeful Indie, is one of my favorite reads. I love her photo choices, her heart for Christ, her personal and transparent posts, her branding, her encouraging posts, her style, and her! She has been an amazing inspiration, and dear friend, to me!

TEA: So mint/peppermint tea is still my all-time favorite, but this year I've been drinking a fair amount of Darjeeling tea (
Twinings of London). I've had Darjeeling before the year 2013, but I specifically drank a consistent amount of it in 2013.

BOOK: My goodness, I really have so many. As most of you probably know, I started a book challenge last October (<Check out the challenge here). So through the course of the challenge I read over 12 books, and acquired a few new favorites. But since I must buckle down and just pick one, I would have to say that my favorite book of 2013 is: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. <I have read this book before 2013, but recently fell in-love again with Chesterton's wacky, nightmarish, deliriously well-written adventure story of poets and anarchists, and hot air balloons and elephants; of costumes and secrets, of reality and dreams...of all the things that seem to so contradict each other and yet all play out a fantastic tale in harmony. Oh it most certainly one of my all-time favorite books. ever.

PHOTOGRAPHY ITEM: Nothing new in photography items in 2013 (rather unfortunately), but I do have a lot of photography aspirations for 2014 (including a new camera purchase). 

MEMORY: Christmas party with my work (Home School Legal Defense Association).
 I was taking the pictures that night (as I am the photographer for HSLDA), and although I knew all the guests that night (as they are all co-workers of mine) I felt as if I were at someone's posh party (and felt nearly invisible). By hiding behind the camera, I was able to document fits of laughter, catch a wink from one man to his lady, listen in (no, I am not a creeper) on snippets of conversations of politics or food, and all-around feel very much at home while still distinctly standing out. It really was a blast.

My hat's off (that is, if I was wearing a hat. And if I were wearing a hat, you can guarantee it'd be a top hat or some sort of Scottish cap) to the New Year! 

All text © 2013 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

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