2023 – A Year in Review

Posted by abakersp in Reviews / Spotlights / 2 Comments

Well guys, it’s been a year. If I am totally honest – this was the hardest year of my life. One I couldn’t have gotten through if I didn’t have the Lord by my side the entire way. There has been so much – health issues, financial struggles, job changes, schedule changes, less reading time, and lots more. But here’s the thing, I don’t want to focus on the negative. Yes it stretched me in ways I never imagined. It grew my faith more than I could dream. And yes it was hard and still is hard, but I know God is going to use it for good. His word tells us so.

So here’s some of the blessings that 2023 brought me:

  • I got to attend Fiction Readers Summit in Michigan thanks to some of my bookish friends and my church family. This was not only a blessing, but an encouragement. I needed it more than they’ll ever know.
  • I blogged less even though I had great aspirations in the beginning of the year. Why is this a blessing? Because I honestly needed it. Life had my attention in other areas, ones that were more important, and I needed to be able to step away. And I thank you for understanding that.
  • I have two new part time jobs and one of them is at a library! Talk about dream job. Now, these jobs are not really what I had in mind for my next season of life, but it’s where the Lord has me right now. And while we still have a lot of financial struggles (these jobs combined are less then 50% of what I was making before), I know the Lord is going to sort all of that out as He has all year.
  • I grew closer to the Lord. Am I where I want to be? Absolutely not. But I am closer than I was in 2022, and that’s good progress.
  • I grew closer to my husband. We weren’t in a bad place or anything, but this year we have grown so close and I love it. We even pray and read our bibles together, something we hadn’t really done before. I am blessed beyond measure for this.
  • I was forced to reprioritize my time. I’m actually still trying to figure this one out, but it’s been good to take a step back and figure out what I need to do and when I need to do it.
  • I’ve learned to say no. I think this is probably the biggest take away from this year (other than my growth in my faith). I have not done a blog tour or social media tour in months. I have limited the amount of launch teams I sign up for. As much as I adore reading, and I LOVE these authors – I needed to step back. And honestly? It’s been freeing because I can read what I want to read and when I want to read it. And I’ve got good ideas of how to support those authors in 2024, so stay tuned! And PS – I hope to start adding these back in over the course of the next few months!
  • I’ve started to figure out what I want out of my life. I’m not going into great detail here, but I can tell you that 2024 is going to be a good year, a year where I am going to implement some different things, share about the Lord more, and just give life my all. I’m ready!
  • According to Goodreads I read 110 books. Now I know this is false because I read a lot more than that, but I read books that I’m not allowed to review or talk about, so I’ll just leave it at that lol. If you’re interested in all the books I can talk about – here’s my Goodreads profile. I’ll do better about sharing reviews here next year.

So what does that mean going forward?

Well, I haven’t figured that out completely yet. I have been praying about this blog, and I know the Lord is telling me to keep it. And so I will. What I am not going to do is say I’m going to post on a daily basis, or participate in all these weekly posts or challenges. Instead, I’m going to let things happen organically. Is it my prayer that it’s regularly? Yes. But if there’s one thing I learned in 2023, it’s that I need to follow the Lord’s leading, not my own.

So I’m not going anywhere. I want to keep reading, keep reviewing, and sharing about books. Like I said, I’m still working out scheduling and timing of when I can work on different things, but I hope to have that buttoned up pretty soon.

Thanks for hanging with me in 2023. You guys are the BEST! I look forward to what 2024 has to offer.

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