We've just about got the first month of the new year under our belts. We're already back to school after a two week break in December, and enjoying the routine. As a sophomore in high school, my plate is pretty full with about six subjects (Algebra 2, Apologia Biology, Systematic Theology, Writing, an easy Diagramming course, and History/Literature). I'm still taking piano lessons each week and I actually played for the first time at my church this past week! I was pretty nervous, but having squeezed in some practice before, it ended up going pretty smoothly.
As for my volunteer job at a barn in Huntington Beach, I'm still having a blast. I work twice a week and have a lesson once a week-if the ground isn't too saturated from all this rain we've been having (both a blessing and a hassle!). It's been pretty muddy the past few weeks, but hey, what can you expect when you work where I work? Right now, my super cool western instructor is teaching me how to barrel race-something I've always wanted to try. It's fast, and it's difficult at first, but it is so much fun. The best word I can think of to describe it would be 'exhilarating'. I love being there.
This year also began with my mom and I participating in a 30 day food challenge. According to the rules of the game, we are not allowed to have any kind of sugar for the allotted period of time. That means no gluten, no dairy, no legumes, etc. We can have any kind of meat, veggies, and all types of fruit, though. Certain nuts like almond and pistachios are also compliant. With only 8 days left, I've found that the hardest thing hasn't been letting go of sugar, but more of having a longer prep time for each meal. Even though it's been difficult at times, I'm glad I did it. I probably won't continue to the degree we've been doing, but my hope is that some of the habits I've built over the challenge time have will stick with me and keep me eating healthy.
God grew me a lot this past year, and I'm praying He'll use this coming one to grow me even more. He's filled my life with blessings and I will never be able to thank Him enough. He is a good God and He's always with us. No matter what!