Good-Bye 2018 by Liz Bradford

So Long, 2018!

WOW! 2018 is over! Here comes 2019…


What a year it’s been. Ups and downs. Insane stress and anxiety. But also joys and accomplishments I had only dreamed about.


The year started out rather innocuously. But then May happened… I’m still in shock at the crazy twists that month threw at me.

  • My three year old going into anaphalactic shock after eating flax seed. We knew she had food allergies, but flax? Apparently. I’m grateful for epi pens.
  • I gained a sister(-in-law)!!!
  • I decided to bite the bullet and self-publish my books (and signed up for Self-Publishing School).
  • My grandmother died…

I don’t want to do May again…

 

But let me back up.

 

As many do, I really enjoy choosing a word to focus on for the year. For 2018 I chose the word ZEAL. I was going to attack 2018 with zealous determination, especially when it came to my writing career. And holy cow, did I! But not the way I had anticipated. My goal had been to find an agent and move towards traditional publishing. Then I had the idea for another series (Check out this post). My thought with that series was to self-publish it as I moved The Detectives of Hazel Hill series towards traditional publishing. So, I started looking into self-publishing.


My husband then challenged me. “Could you have the first one published by Swordgirl?” (Swordgirl is a women’s conference I attend every year.)

 

My jaw dropped. “Maybe the following Swordgirl? There’s no way I can have it ready by October!”


I was still thinking timelines according to traditional publishing. It is truly amazing how much you can get done in five months if you set your mind to it. Oh, and have God’s backing. (I could NEVER have done what I have accomplished in the last seven months without Him!)


I’ll try to keep this long story short… after watching a webinar Chandler Bolt did and getting a free coaching call with someone from Self-Publishing School, I walked into my husband’s office to ask about money… I fully expected a “we can’t afford that!” instead I got “Who am I to stand in the way of what God has called you to?”


WHAT?!?!


I did it. I signed up and learned the ins and out of self-publishing. I published my first book by Swordgirl in October. And then a Christmas novella by Christmas (I was beginning to wonder if I’d have it done in time). WOW!


This year has been full on JOY and TRIUMPH!


But this year has also head an intense amount of stress and anxiety.
Honestly, I’ve never really struggled with anxiety. Of course, like most, I’ve had spouts of anxiety from time to time, but never would I have classified it as a struggle in my life. And I know it doesn’t come even close to what some of you experience from day to day. But the burning and tightness in my chest… I really wish it’d go away.


Whenever I feel it coming on I have to turn the music on and start worshiping. As my friend Mackenzie says, “Praise is the devil’s kryptonite!”


This year has also been marked with grief and regret.


I miss my grandmother. But what hurts the most, is that she’s not missing from my daily life. I wish I had made a point to connect with her more. We lived so far away, and that made it ‘easy’ to be distant. We had never been very close, but I didn’t do anything to change that. It struck me most poignantly when my cousin was telling me how she had taken my grandmother out for drinks. I wish that had been me. But my cousin lived near her, and I didn’t. That conversation made me realize how important it is for me to help my kids be close to my mom and dad. And that proximity really makes a difference.

Goodbye 2018 by Liz Bradford
My brothers and I with my grandmother


I’m glad that the last time I did see my grandmother I was able to tell her goodbye, knowing it was likely the last time I would see her. Although, I wish I had tried harder to see her again. I wish I could have made it happen. But I’m also glad that the last time I saw her she didn’t seem as sick as I know she was.

But she’s with Jesus in heaven! Praise the Lord.


What a year! Oh, and the year did include another trip to the ER and another dose of epi for my three year old. I loathe food allergies.


While 2018 held so much awesomeness, it held enough “yikes” for me to be done with it. Bring on 2019!!!


I am full of aspirations for 2019! Really, I may be crazy…

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As I listened to the sermon, I was challenged to pray a big prayer. A prayer bigger than I had ever dared to pray. I prayed it… and moved on with my day.

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***

 

She walked into the student center with a spring in her step. The new semester was off to a good start, so the second half of her sophomore year held a lot of promise. She and a group of other students were headed to a camp for the weekend to lead worship for a group of high school students, and she was excited. Read More

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