Glancing Back at 2018; Looking Forward into 2019

We’re already a few days into February 2019. That’s pretty crazy to me, blah, blah, blah. *insert assorted “the year is flying by already!!!” little nothings*

But since this is the first post on Penprints in 2019, we’re going to take a quick glance back at some highlights from 2018 and then look forward as I share some of my vision (i.e. my “word” for the year, the things I’m looking forward to, etc.) for 2019.

Let’s go, kids.

2018 2019


2018 was not an easy year for me.

A lot of hard things happened, much of which I won’t disclose, but many wonderful things happened too. In no particular order (definitely not chronological), here are some of those things.

  • Three of my flash fictions were acquired and published by Splickety Publishing Group.
  • I went to The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference with Arielle and Janie (sister and sister-in-law) which was so. good.
  • In February, I began to lead the weekly prayer night at my church in Wisconsin. I was privileged to lead it right up until the end of the year. I learned and grew so much through that experience about what it means to lead in the Holy Spirit instead of my own strength as well as the importance of being steadfast in prayer.
  • I went to Realm Makers 2018, and my soul was refreshed by time with my beloved creative peeps such as Katie Grace, Jeneca Zody, Nadine Brandes, Ashley Townsend, and more. :)
  • I got to hear Sara Groves in concert at an event with Arielle!
  • Fawkes by Nadine Brandes released. (Haha, you had to know this was going to be mentioned in this post.)
  • Splickety Publishing Group announced that it would be closing down at the end of the year. I started volunteering as a marketing social media assistant person thing for the reborn Havok Publishing, blessed to be able to work with Teddi Deppner and Kaitlyn Emery.
  • High Command (my newsletter) finally launched! (If you haven’t signed up, go ahead and fill out this form to receive the monthly-ish package of goodness to your inbox.)
  • I visited Texas in June 2018; on December 28, 2018 I woke up in a new home with three wonderful roommates and a new church in which to minister and to be ministered to.
  • I released Stars and Soul: A Sci-fi Flash Fiction Collection which received praise from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, Nadine Brandes, Steve Rzasa, and Just B. Jordan. (If you’ve been around Penprints for like, 2 seconds, you’ve heard that a few hundred times already, but I just get so excited and floored whenever I remember how blessed I was to receive those endorsements.)

Some of my favorite posts from Penprints from 2018:

*if you read nothing else here, read these posts

(I realize that that’s a lot of posts to include in my wrap-up. Out of the 39 posts that went up on Penprints in 2018, one third made this list of my favorites, but I’m actually kind of happy about that. I’ve grown a lot as a writer and blogger and am incredibly pleased with how most of the posts from 2018 turned out. Usually, I look back over the year and cringe over most of them; not so this year. It’s been a joy sharing these things so close to my heart with you guys.)


2019 will be wildly, radically different from any year I’ve lived so far.

For one, I now live in Texas instead of Wisconsin, away from my parents for the first time in my life.

My thoughts about my move and the new year can be summed up thusly: One bullet journal has been closed, and another has been opened. (C’mon, kids. There is no way in heck you thought we’d make it out of a post about a new year without a bullet journal reference [and if you’re surprised that a bullet journal metaphor has been deployed in this blog post, you must be new].)

For another, I am completely surrounded by so many people so deeply in love with Jesus and His gospel of peace. (For those of you who may not know or remember, I moved to Texas to join a church plant; FAQs may be found here.)

Such an environment is challenging, encouraging, and somewhat lonely all at the same time.

Lonely at times because I’ve only been here a month and am only laying the foundations of relationships. But it’s also lonely because fear likes to rise up and tell me that I don’t belong here with these people. It tells me that I don’t love Jesus enough to be here (which is ironic because I gave up much of what I love most to follow Jesus’ call here). It tells me that these perceptive, Spirit-filled people who talk about Jesus an awful lot will see through me and find me a fraud.

But I know that those are fears and insecurities that Jesus will grow me out of.

It is challenging because I know that with and through all of this Jesus will grow me out of many things. Which is challenging because there are some things I’m sure will burn a bit (or a lot) when He grows me out of them.

And it’s encouraging because I know that I have no idea how this year will go. I have no idea the people I’ll get to meet, the things from God’s hand I’ll get to witness, the change for better in me that is not in my hands but His.


“Secure” is my word for this year.


Thank you to Lauren Lulu Taylor for uploading this picture to Unsplash.

I am secure in the love of the Father. There is nothing that can shake me out of His love or favor.

I am secure in the salvation Jesus bought for me with His own blood. He finished the work, and all I have is grace.

I am secure in the sanctification that the Holy Spirit will keep working within me.

I am secure in the will of my King; He will bring His kingdom in and through my life.

I am secure in the strength of the Almighty; He will empower me to endure whatever trials He will use to refine me.

I am secure in the faithfulness of my God; He won’t leave.

I am secure in the goodness of my Father; He will give me good gifts.

I am secure in my identity in Christ; were all other parts of me stripped away or God asked me to give them up, that one defining gift will never be taken away or laid down.

I made this picture (inserted above) my cover for my 2019 Spotify playlist because it seems to fully capture my vision for 2019–light ever on the horizon, a father with his child, the child so fully trusting that her father will catch her.

The mood and motion and colors seem adventurous and trusting and joyful and hopeful and free.

*insert post bookend here*

That’s some of what I’m thinking of as we continue on in 2019.

Here’s to another year of that gif from Inception (you know the one), Lion King references, loveletters to fire, Nadine Brandes fangirling, and cracking myself up.

dream bigger 1.gif

(in case you’re new, this That Gif From Inception)

What about you? Looking back and then forward, what comes to your mind? What are some of your hopes for the year?

With love,


p.s. – it’s good to get back into this, kids. For a while there I wasn’t sure if maybe the season for Penprints was over in my life. But then God said, “I told you to rest, but when did I tell you to stop?” Thanks for reading and commenting (even though I’m The Absolute Worst at replying to comments, I read every single on and am so grateful for them).

After the fun of creating posts with God, this sweet community is my favorite thing about blogging.

17 Things from 2017 & 18 Things for 2018 [that’s a grand total of 35 things] [but, never fear, this isn’t a giant post] [oh, wait. it is.]

There is no intro for this post. Only greatness. (Am I being serious? No, but it sure sounds real swanky to say “There is no __ for __. Only greatness.”. You know I’m right. You know it.)

17 and 18


First, the seventeen things from 2017.

The six best books I read in 2017. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke – Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King – The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction edited by Tara L. Masih – Havah by Tosca Lee – The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson.

The six pieces of flash fiction I submitted for publication. The Necklace was accepted and published in this issue of Havok Magazine; the core of the story is the idea that all people are created in the image of God, and as such, we have the potential to mirror his image in all the purest ways despite the pull of our fallen nature.

Sense of Red, a dramatic piece that helped me deal with and express the boiling and red of jealousy, was rejected.

I wrote Captain-ish-ness to have lots of fun, but it ended up not being just funny to me. It was also about stress, not being what you’re supposed to be, not doing as well as you’re supposed to, and how when dreams come true, they aren’t always as shiny as you thought they’d be but that can be okay because of the people in the dream with you. And it still makes me laugh every time.

The Power of Nothing clocked in at eight drafts. Eight drafts. And we’re not talking about switching up sentence structure here and there. So many point-of-view changes, stopping and starting at so many different parts of the story, and trying to figure out if it made any sense at all. The sense it made to me was this: what we choose not to do is just as important as what we choose to do in our pursuit of doing to others as they would do to us.

In my personal opinion, Star-rise is the best flash fiction I have written to date. Gift giving, pure hearts, and true friendship are at core of this little story, and it makes me so happy whenever I think about it. Captain-ish-ness, The Power of Nothing, and Star-rise were all rejected, which was tough because I think they’re some of my best work.

Cap-tivated was the other story I submitted, and it was also rejected. As I look back at Cap-tivated, I can see that it isn’t much. At it’s best, it’s cute. At it’s worst, it’s cliched. And no matter how many times I reread it or think about it, I can’t find any sort of actual meaning to it. *shrug* Oh, well. The interesting thing is that I didn’t try to put anything into any of these stories; I found the themes and abstract ideas after I finished them, not before (or in the case of Cap-tivated, I found nothing whatsoever).

Three people and what they taught me.

My Grandma read through the entire Bible twice in 2017. Twice. TWICE. I’m doing well if I get most of the way through the Bible once in a year. Not Grandma. She went through one reading plan, but instead of patting herself on the back and putting up her feet for the rest of the year, she started in on another plan and finished that one several days before the end of the year. And another thing–Grandma doesn’t boast about anything (except maybe Grandpa’s raging good looks), so the only reason I know about it is because it came out in an offhand comment over Christmas. So three things to take away: 1) Grandma kicks reading plan butt and is more amazing than I had already presumed, 2) don’t ever be done reading the Bible, even if you’ve already read it once this year, 3) there is something incredibly noble, attractive, and godly about people who do beautiful things in secret.

This was a tough year for me, but as much of a tough year as it was for me, it was about five times tougher for my dad. He faced 8/10 same things as I did plus 8 of his own battles. It was one thing after another on nearly all fronts all. year. long for Daddy. Instead of folding up and crying in a corner (which is what I would do), he just kept moving, kept rolling with the punches, kept getting up in the morning, kept leading meetings, kept going no matter how messy or stressful or hard or all of the above things got. And he hardly ever said anything like a complaint. He exemplifies Christ-like perseverance.

There are many things that Luke says and does that have a profound impact on me, but this year, the One Thing would probably be a phrase I first heard him use on Thanksgiving break: “All things for the sake of the Gospel.” All things for the sake of the Gospel. All things for the sake of the Gospel. Including looking silly and clumsy since you can’t dance in order to make someone you don’t even know know that you value them enough to dance just to make them feel more comfortable. Including moving fourteen hours away from your closest friends and family to see Christ proclaimed somewhere where he is unknown. Including a hundred other things no one but God will ever know about. All things for the sake of the Gospel.

18 of the my goals and resolutions for 2018.

(We’ll revisit these on Penprints at the end of the year.)

  1. Devotions every day.*
  2. Write every day.*
  3. Finish draft five of Beasts and hand it off to betas.
  4. Launch newsletter (yeah, finally).
  5. Read 50 books.
  6. Read through the entire Bible (thanks, Grandma).
  7. Draft one new novel.
  8. Get through draft two of False Gods.
  9. Be discipled.
  10. Blog once a week.**
  11. Revisit Flickering Lights (yeah, this might turn into a novel).
  12. Write two letters/notes of encouragement a month.
  13. Discover and develop my spiritual gifts.
  14. Submit nine pieces for publication.
  15. Write two short stories (not flash fictions; short stories are longer).
  16. All things for the sake of the Gospel.
  17. Love people well. 2017 was the Year of Love in the Vague Sense (aka: no bueno). 2018 is the Year of Love in the Startlingly Specific Sense Laid Out in 1 Corinthians 13. I’ll botch this one sometimes (or a lot of times), but it isn’t a lost cause with the Holy Spirit.
  18. Rejoice in God. Jesus is the reason and source of all true joy, and it’s time for me to fight for my joy in him, to stop looking at the joy of my salvation as something that comes and goes but as a constant with and because of God.

* – I’m giving myself 15 “burner” days. Meaning, I have 15/365 days to miss on these things and that’s it.

** – continuing with the “burner” idea. I have 3/52 weeks to miss for the blog.

Let’s conquer 2018, kids.

What are your highlights from 2017? What do you expect from 2018? What will you make of 2018?

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – If you made it to the end of this post, let me know by giving someone who inspires you a shout out in the comments. I’ll give a shout to two people–Nadine Brandes and my boss, Anne. Nadine inspires me with her words of life, and Anne inspires me with her generosity and kindness in all things.