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New Year

Two months into the New Year and a brand new decade. The end of 2019 was a great for me I was able to go home and see my mom, friends and church family for Christmas. I was able to spend some time in South Carolina with the Blaikie family who opened up their beautiful home to me as a travel stop between flying to Michigan and North Carolina. The Christmas Eve services at Allen Park Presbyterian church were beautiful this year, what made them more special was sharing that wonderful night with my mom, best friends and my niece. 

Being home with everyone was treat and it is what I need to get through the second half of my YAV year. What I was not prepared for was planning to say goodbyes in many different ways. The first was to a church member who passed about the day after Christmas. He was young and a very vibrant member of the church community. He was a camp Counselor, VacationBible School Crew leader, Thrive Band member and a Deacon and going to his visitation to pay my respects to his family the day before I left Michigan really hit me hard. It made me think about how we need to live each day to the best fullest we possibly can, because there is no guarantee of tomorrow. The second was to my mom and friends, saying I will see you next year, was a common phrase I had engrained in my head towards the end of my trip home. 

What I did not expect was to get very sick towards then end of my quick journey home, to the point where my mom and I are at urgent at 8am when they open, 6 hours before my flight back to North Carolina on a Monday before the new year is about to begin. It was the roughest flight I have ever been on and I was miserable. I spent the next week in my apartment in bed, with my roommates checking in on me to make I was still alive. I am doing better now, I still have a rough cough that refuses to leave my body, but I am working on kicking it out of my system. 

It has been an adjustment to getting back to life as a Household of 4 people the past month in Asheville. We are getting back in the swing of things with our work at our sites and working with the residents at Brooks-Howell. Together as a group we did our first community Trivia Night at a local place and we came in 5thplace, our team name is The Flancys.

This year instead of doing a New Year resolution, I am doing a word of the year. My word is self –care. I have never practiced self-care well doing my college years and I burnt myself out trying to do way too much at once. I am planning on making some life style changes this year and I have a great support system around me,  here in Asheville and at Home in Michigan. I have joined a gym for the rest of the time I am here in Asheville and I love it. The staff are amazing and everyone is accepting of one another no matter your skill level. I have been going to gym on Wednesday night after work and on the weekends at least once. I have learned when to rest, I have become great and to say no to doing to many activates at once.  I am also working on going back to therapy and counseling, as another in my well-being.

Below is my address for the Year: 

Deanna McDonnell

Hands and Feet Volunteer

Brooks-Howell Home

266 Merrimon Avenue

Asheville NC 28801

Thank you for your prayers for this year as it goes on. Thank you for the phone calls, video chats, handmade cards, just taking to my mom and asking how I am doing. I really appreciate it all. 

I have not yet reached my 4,000 fundraising goal yet for my year of service. I am getting close. Please donate if you feel called to do so. Every donation helps support my year in Asheville. Make sure to put my name in the memo line so I can receive credit toward my goal.


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