Rachel Jenae

2010 Year in Review

I’ve always loved change.  When I was younger I loved the new people I’d meet, the new adventures I’d experience, the new world I’d see and most of all the unknown that would then be known.  As I got older changes became harder and harder. When I left my first college and moved to Dallas to make all new friends, a place where I knew no one, I realized maybe I didn’t like change as much as I thought.  It was hard.  But that didn’t slow things down or keep changes from happening.  A need to feel in control and understand everything in life grew stronger as my life changed more and more.  From the time I left home and graduated college I moved five times, attended three colleges, had seven jobs, flew overseas five times, attracted a third world disease from a mosquito and dealt with some major anxieties about my control of the world (which I thought I had).  Change, it had hit me with a left hook punch to the face! I was learning to let go one way or another!

Fast forward another five years to the end of 2009 and you would have found me at quite a different place in life. Resting and equipping was the theme. Listening. Sitting still. Learning patience like I would have never chosen.  Feeling God’s hand almost holding me down so I wouldn’t get up too soon. He knew what I needed.  I was at a steady, great paying job, surrounded by friends that love me, involved at the church I’d been at for six years, speaking occasionally at the college group, taking guitar and piano lessons and just resting in God’s provision.  It was good, but still a hard year sitting still.  It was hard because I was forced to deal with a lot of issues in my own character. It was so needed and so good, but honestly though, I never would have chosen it. Had I known what was coming next and how obeying in that season would only make this year so much sweeter…yes, I would have chosen much more willingly. Funny how perspective works.

So 2010 where to even begin!  I’ve said it over and over again, but this year has felt like a whirlwind! January could have been a year in itself!  So much happened in 31 days!  As I wrote even then, it should have been a sign for what was ahead!  I knew that 2010 was a year to remember what God told me 7 years earlier, but I had no idea how much he was going to do to move me towards those things.  While still working as a personal assistant at an investment company during the day, I also took on working part time for my brother and sister-n-law as their social media/marketing manager for a couple of new companies they started and found out how much I really love marketing! I also started doing some web management for my dad. I started going to a new church (which is a whole story in itself), my 28th birthday came with a big bang (thanks to my amazing friends and family), it snowed like crazy in Texas the beginning of February and broke some all-time records!

I made a lot of (what felt like) really hard decisions and saw the fruit from them almost immediately!  I lived with two amazing friends who taught me so much in a short amount of time! They taught me to rest more, to be spontaneous more and to not doubt myself as much.  Their encouragement and added laughter did more than they know!

I ran a 5k with some friends and the contestants for the Biggest Loser TV show!

I took a roadtrip to Nashville with some good friends to visit a few others!  Got my first look at Franklin, TN and fell in love with it!

In March I met up with my JBU girlfriends for a fun weekend together in northwest Arkansas!  We’re all in such different places in life, but can always just jump back in where we left off!  I leave those weekends feeling so refreshed and inspired to love others genuinly!

As spring rolled around I made a trip to Austin with one of my roommates to enjoy Easter weekend relaxing in her home town of Wimberly!  I also finally got to meet this guy in their backyard! Asked him about his grandsons in hopes I’d meet one in the near future ;)

I then flew out to Fresno, California with my mother to see some old friends and attend a wedding!

Into the summer I started playing some ultimate frisbee with a bunch of new friends… and amidst the 3 digit Texas summer heat, it was a blast!

I got to spend some quality time with my younger brother as he returned from his second year in Cyprus and lived in Dallas for the summer!  Here we are at the Rangers game on the hottest day of the year!  For real!

Then what seemed like forever finally came mid-summer when I was able to get my new 5D Mark II camera!  She’s a beauty and restoration is sweet!!!(The sad story of here)  I had done a few shoots earlier in the year and my hopes of things magically picking up with having a new camera were downsized as I realized how much I needed get out of the rut I’d been sitting in for far too long and kick it into another gear!

Some of my first shots with my new camera were of these guys and life on the farm I grew up on…. they begged me.

Into August I found myself feeling quite stuck.  Here I was with this huge investment, but had no idea what to do with it.  The idea of what I thought I wanted to do with photography just seemed unreachable.  God had refined the vision for my life so much in the last year that the idea of just shooting pictures was no longer even appealing.  But what I really wanted to do couldn’t just be done.  Or could it?  I read a blog on marketing that spoke to me so much on the choices we make.  I realized how often I hate making decisions because I don’t want to leave out something else.  It hit me how incredibly fatal this was in my decision making process and that it was time to make some big changes. Time to choose! I then attended the Millionaire Mindset Intensive in Dallas with my brother and sister-n-love and it was like this series of kick starts to my heart and mind!

At this same time I was getting ready to move out of my apartment and find a new place to live (my current roommate was going to live with some family for a season).  The week before we were suppose to move out I still didn’t know where I was moving, but felt this immense peace that God was working it all out.  This blog sums it up best!  It was all about just following God’s leading in the complete unknown.  Letting go and just trusting Him.  It was different than any other time in my life, it was a complete surrender to not knowing.  In January one of my goals for 2010 was to quit analyzing and trying to figure things out so much.  And that was the difference.  To quit trying to figure everything out in my own understanding.  It was one of the best decisions of my life to date!

I cried a lot this year.  Not sad tears, but overwhelmed tears of gratefulness!  Things I had almost quit believing could be; things I had almost given up on inside of myself…they blossomed.  Seeing breakthrough in areas of my life that I had contended for years for!  It was so much that my heart was overwhelmed with God’s goodness in a way I’ve never experienced!  And it wasn’t like I could put my finger on anything specific like a person or a thing… it was just life, my heart, my friends, my family… God at work surprising me every day!  And it reminded me that at the beginning of the year God had given me this verse, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled…they will be satisfied!” (Matt 5:13) He proved it to be true.

Then the fall came and with it more goodness.  A fun shoot with friends and then an engagement shoot of sweet new friends.

Took another trip to Austin with a bunch of girlfriends to float the river!

Then came October.  I moved in with a good friend for a month while in limbo and then hit up my 10 YEAR High School Reunion! Is that even possible?!!

I then made a big decision to go to the Making Things Happen event by Lara Casey in Houston.  It was a big investment, but nothing helps motivate us like sacrifice and just going for it!  I met 20 amazing women who have all become friends and greatly encouraged me over the last several months!   It was one of those things in life that I could have easily chosen not to do, but in choosing TO it has changed everything! I once again had to come face to face with all of the doubt, insecurities and fear circling around in my mind.  And hearing so many similar things be voiced by the other women who were leaps and bounds-incredible was like a light bulb of revelation going off in my mind.  It was time to kill fear again!   Here’s more on that!

And then it was time for Thanksgiving!  I spent 4 days at my parents house with just my dad, as my mom and younger brother were galavanting the country going to visit other family.  Since my dad had allll of these little guys below to take care of, well he couldn’t go.  It was a great 4 days of just me and dad.  Don’t think we’d ever done that before!  I left feeling refreshed and incredibly blessed by the fact that God has given me so so so much!  A family with such a great spiritual inheritance and that are seriously incredible!

After Thanksgiving I spent a weekend up in northwest Arkansas for our yearly girls Christmas shopping spree!  And of course got to see the rest of my brother’s fam at the same time!  Easily my favorite shoot of the year!

And then… well Christmas was here! My entire family was together for five days and it was awesome!  We rarely all get together anymore and never for that long, so it was great!  The first two days I slept a ton and didn’t feel so well-probably due to the fact that I’ve been going and going for the last month or so and my body didn’t know what to do but crash!  Definitely time to slow it down a notch! My mom out did herself with delicous food and having my niece and nephew there chasing a little puppy 24-7 was a blast!

After all of that, it really is hard to believe that was all in one year!  What a year!  It has been, hands down, the best year of my life to date!  From the way God overwhelmed my heart with joy, to the big and small breakthroughs in my personal and business life, to simply growing in confidence in who God has made me to be.  It was a year of tossing off the fear of man, following peace without trying to understand it all, coming to an understanding that no one else is responsible for my life but me, and just enjoying God’s love!  2010 you were one to be remembered!

So here’s to 2011 and all of the great things that are in store! A new website and blog are in the works!  I haven’t share it yet, but in two weeks I will be starting a new job!!!  I have been incredibly blessed at my current job and I know God has had me hear for numerous reasons, but a door opened quite unexpectantly last month for me to go work with a recruiting/staffing firm to help develop/grow their marketing/communications department and I accepted!  I am beyond excited with a twinge of overwhelmed/challenged lurking in there too!  Get ready, set, Go!  Feel the fear and do it anyways!!! So lots of change coming already in 2011!

I expect in the near future there will be a blog with goals and resolutions and stuff like that… if I get around to it!

Blessings on you all into this new year! 
Love,
Jenae

My Favorite Blogs of the Year:
Just Believe
God Dreams and Box Breakers
T…to the A…to the…N…to the K Christmas Goodies
Johnny and Tara Love