All things new


Just the other day, I was reminiscing with my mom about 2011 (i.e. The Worst Year Ever) – and while she said that she has blocked out a lot of those memories, to me they’re still vivid, still shocking. Cynthia Monahon calls trauma “the occurrence of the unthinkable,” and if we’re using that definition, 2011 was traumatic in so many ways. While the events of that year aren’t as viscerally painful as they once were, sometimes I still can’t believe that they happened.

In early 2012, I remember praying that God would “throw me a fucking bone,” because God doesn’t mind an honest swear, even if some people do. And while I don’t necessarily credit that prayer with the change, I have to admit – today, things are different.

2013 was good, so good, in so many ways.

I made it through two sisters’ weddings, as well as the remarriage of my father. I experienced four different managers at work. I bought a house. I lost a beloved dog, and gained another. I found myself in Los Angeles, Nashville, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, a beach in Florida, the summits of Colorado mountains, cocoa farms in the Dominican Republic, the shore of Lake Superior, and the seat of a bicycle (of all places). There were hours and hours of walking, hours and hours of silence, hours and hours of friendship, and many bottles of wine. I barely went to church, but I read my bible more than ever before. I chopped off my hair, and started the long, slow work of growing it back. I played my guitar. I met so many new people.

It was a rich year – not without heartache, but somehow without heartBREAK. And that was a welcome change, a gentleness I’d forgotten was possible.

Today, as I retire my 2013 calendar to the bookshelf that holds 10 years of its companions, I look ahead to 2014 – and I’m so excited. I’m just so excited for what’s on tap for this year. I can’t wait to see what the time brings – because despite my sparse church attendance this year, if there’s any promise that I love, it’s that all things are being made new.




  1. Bree Jeffries on December 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Happy New Year, Annie Parsons! May this years blessings being but a building block for those to come! Love you, friend.

  2. Christy Frost on December 31, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    You inspire me Annie. Happy New Year!

  3. Peg Achterman on December 31, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    happy new year – and I think I just need to keep this photo of you and the Fox somewhere convenient – it makes me smile.

  4. Michael on December 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Awww…what a great picture! Cynthia Monahon is right…the unthinkable. I believe that it is good to remember, if painful and shocking. I wish I had understood that when I was 16…alack. Absence of heartbreak is good! So is love. Happy New Year to you and Foxy!

  5. Greta on December 31, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Love this. You are beautiful AP!

  6. Miranda on December 31, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    What a great post, Annie. I hope I can join at least one of your long walks in 2014. Those have been a favorite part of my year for the past few years. I love you!

  7. Brooke on December 31, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Beautifully said. Here’s to the wonders that lie ahead in 2014! Happy New Year, Annie!

  8. Sheila on December 31, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Happy New Year, Annie! Love your writing. You say in words so many things the rest of us feel, don’t stop!

  9. Sarah on December 31, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    That’s so cute – you ladies are both beautiful! Happy new year – here’s to a good one :).

  10. mrs. chesney on December 31, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Love this.
    Love you.
    To a New Year…

  11. Callie Duke on January 1, 2014 at 4:47 AM

    bless you, sweet annie :)

  12. Paul Parsons on January 1, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    I am so glad that God answers honest prayers. And that His heart is good and His love is freely given. And that He has brought you through the trauma of 2011 and will continue to do that. I am so very proud of you and I love you so very much.


  13. [not the] Best Blog Ever on January 2, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    This post reminded me of a very favorite two-word saying:


    Hugs, Annie Parsons! Choose joy.

  14. Suzie Prince on January 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Loved this post, and the picture of you and your puppy is beautiful!! Happy New Year!!

  15. Ginger on January 4, 2014 at 11:17 AM


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