Why 2017 Was the Best Year of My Life

I have a really great life. I’m surrounded by a family that loves me and I love them, I have many wonderful friends, I know my purpose on earth and what I’m living for, and all of my needs are met. Sure, I have everyday struggles and challenges but in the grand scheme of things, my life is great! With the new year, I’ve been reflecting on the past year and pondering the growth, experiences, and lessons I’ve learned. And I can easily see that 2017 was the best year of my life! Why is that? I’ll tell you!
2016 was an amazing year! We packed up and moved to New Zealand and it was a year jammed packed with adventure and awesome experiences! We met so many great people and had so many great trips. But, 2017 was a year of stretching, learning, and growing. And it was the best!
After being in New Zealand for a year, we started to think about what our future held. We were in living in New Zealand on a 30-month Visitor Visa and we needed to start making plans to move or invest in permanent residency. So we started to pray. And we prayed hard. Our prayers weren’t answered right away. We were walking blindly into our future and just waiting for an answer. So we continued to look at our options and act on any promptings that we received.
Faith without works is dead. So we did our part, our research, our pursuing until we felt right about about plans. It was hard. It was confusing. Sometimes it was dark. But once we started seeing the light, it was beautiful. It was beautiful to see God’s hands in our future and planning. It was beautiful to see that He cares and that He wants us to make choices.
My faith grew tremendously as I had to rely more on God. I had to practice patience. I had to learn to act more and pray.

In May, what started as a simple conversation with my sister-in-law turned into a huge business adventure! I wasn’t looking for work. I wasn’t looking for a creative outlet. I wasn’t looking for more things to do. But, it fell in my lap and I ran with it. My sister-in-law and I have created a growing makeup business

where we teach women how to look and feel beautiful with the makeup as a customer or how to build a successful business as a team member. Michelle is the business guru and I am the beauty pro. We make a dream team! It’s been so fun to use my creativity and skin care background. It’s been fun to meet wonderful women. It’s been fun to build something from scratch and watch it grow. And it’s been great to see God’s hand in our business as we get constant inspiration and guidance. It’s been hard work. It takes a lot of time and energy to create a business, but it is also so rewarding!

2017 has been a year of health for us! My little family has been really healthy and happy this year. We’ve had few colds and all have healthy strong bodies. I still have areas to improve, but I feel very physically fit. I’ve tried to go on walks more often and take better care of my body this last year. We’ve kayaked and hiked a ton and have loved being outdoors doing physical activities.
At the beginning of the year, we had some really awesome trips. We visited the South Island, the Coromandel, Rotorua, and Rarotonga. After our life changing Rarotonga trip, we slowed down on travel for a few months as we focused on business.
But once we started having our prayers answered and deciding which paths to take, we felt like our family needed to travel more. After my husband secured a job where he can work remotely, we made plans to travel full time in 2018. We had a fire hose of ideas gushed at us. We worked hard and created a brand around our travel, Transparent Travelers, where we’ll document our world travels as our family of 6 explores the globe.
How many people dream of traveling? How many people just dream and don’t do? We didn’t want to be that way so we decided to act and make it happen! And we are! We leave in 2 weeks and are so excited…and anxious…and nervous! But, we know this experience will be life changing.

2017 was the best year of my life. Not because it was easy breezy. But because I learned, and stretched, and grew the most I ever have. Because I stepped outside of my comfort zone and pushed myself. It’s amazing to see the life you can make when you dream and pursue. I hope that 2018 will be even better! Not because I just hope so. But because I’m going to make it that way.