I’m a wrapper-upper kinda girl.
2011 is going to get a nice moment on my blog and then it’s history. Not that it was bad, it’s just…history.
In my little world, here’s what 2011 was like, just to catch some of you up: Jack changed jobs mid-Spring, and it was not at all a step up. But sometimes God uses real life to show us what it means to go low, to show us what really matters, to find our sufficiency and worth in HIM ALONE! I began 2011 feeling awful, even after almost a year of therapy for adrenal fatigue/sleep disorder stuff, but in May, God began to raise me up! In June, I started running every morning. In July, I was able to run 3 miles at a time! I started sleeping 10 to 11 hours a night instead of 12-13. (That was a nice difference to me and my life!) I felt like myself again, and that self had been so far removed for so long, that “grateful” just isn’t a big enough word to describe how I feel. With summer going away, I haven’t felt awesome, but I have been, still, much much better than years before. I have a list of things I do to feel well. Would love to share with anyone in the same boat!! Also, God has put several relationships in my life that I get to invest in and be blessed by! I love you, Wednesday night college age girls!! We are also a part of Open House, a church plant in E-town, and we love our small family there.
Selah Jordan finished K in May and started homeschool 1st grade in June, and we have absolutely loved the freedom and meaningful time together that the homeschool life brings. There is a constant rearranging of schedules and routines, due to all kinds of things, but we do pray and try to keep first things first. Selah, as well as our whole family, has really grown in the Lord this year! She prayed to receive Christ as her personal Lord and Savior and was baptized Nov. 6th. She is investing her time in a quiet time every day and I have seen her minister this year in special ways to many people. We are all involved in FAITH homeschool co-op and we LOVE it. She’s actually moving on to 2nd grade now, and some of her curriculum is 3rd grade, which is one of the great things about homeschool (she can work on her level) but for all purposes outside of school work she will still be a 1st grader!! No skipping grades. She especially loves Science and Bible. She likes art but tends to rush through; and she likes piano, but getting her to remember to practice on her own is more work for me than her, so we have to figure out a system there. (Now I know how parents of my students feel!) Selah is a total and absolute joy, friend, and jewel.
Yemi Abigail has changed and grown and come alive this year!! She is so funny, smart, sweet, and beautiful. She is also mischievous and sneaky and goofy. She loves to make people laugh and lately the answer to any question posed to her is: “Cuckoo head.” She loves to play with her toys, especially puzzles, and even though she gets in trouble for it almost every day, she cannot resist sneaking into Selah’s room and ever so quietly playing with her barbies. She is addicted to movies, especially CareBears, Dora, and Elmo, even though she only gets to watch about an hour a day if that. She just now started caring about school type stuff (she’s 3) and is learning to write her name and asking to do homeschool. What amazes me about Yemi is that she is fully a child and enjoys it! Selah wanted to grow up, didn’t appreciate the simplicity of those years…Yemi is the opposite. She is in no hurry, and it’s wonderful! Because she’s not aiming to get approval through knowing things or being smart or whatever, you don’t realize what she knows until it just comes out one day…like when she counts something in Spanish or looks over in a field and says, “There is one white horse, 2 brown ones, and 1 black.” The “cuckoo head” thing really disguises a great mind in there!! But I say let her hide it and have fun as long as she can!
And in less serious and frivolous issues…in 2011…my Top Ten:
1)Favorite New (to me) Artists: Matt Maher, Phil Wickham, Addison Road
2)Favorite Purchases (I know this is corny but I love these things!): World Map shower curtain and a perfectly sized zipper cooler that holds our water bottles and snacks so we don’t have to eat out
3)Favorite Movie: Limitless and The Muppets (-awesome comeback, muppets!)
4)Favorite Online Find: Pandora, what an awesome concept! I enjoy it but also it has helped spread my songs, and I am really humbled and thankful for that. Honestly my music was just sitting there for a couple of years while I was ill and taking care of my family, etc. Now, people are hearing some songs and I am constantly shocked by the response. (It’s small, but it’s certainly more than the nothing going on before. I want to clarify that I don’t feel like I deserve for people to find and like my music, I am simply surprised and grateful that it is happening!!!!)
5) Favorite God Thing: Sister Bridge. Getting to partner with 3 ministries, share them (and their handmade, beautiful items) with my friends and family, and send gobs of money back to women in need…yeah, that was my favorite God Thing!!!!! Looking forward to Lord willing doing it again next fall. I can’t thank the women in my life enough for their care and investment in the women God loves around the world!!!
6) Favorite Books: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning; Brokenness by Lon Solomon; Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman; and then there are the books I constantly read year to year–Adoration by Martha Kilpatrick, 100 Days in the Secret Place compiled by Gene Edwards, and some other works by Fenelon and Guyon. These books I have mentioned have shaped my theology, and I cannot describe the peace and purpose I feel in my life and walk with God because of the questions answered and principles learned in these pages. Obviously, I highly recommend!
7) Favorite Exercise and Health Stuff: I’m always talking about Tired of Being Tired by Jesse Lynn Hanley; it’s phenomenal and was a huge part of God healing me. Also, I love Jackie Warner’s Power Circuit Training workout video; it easily was my top pick of the year because it has 15 minute weight lifting sessions that make a difference!
8) Favorite Netflix Find: Drop Dead Diva and Samantha Who? Very fun shows!! Watched them all at least twice.
9) Favorite New Song I’ve Written: I sang this at Behold the Lamb this year so a few of you have heard it, but it’s called This Year. It’s about God’s faithfulness and that whatever comes in 2012, I want to go there with Him. I want Him to do whatever He has to do to make me ready for His return.
10) Favorite Simple New Concept about God: He wants us to fully receive and revel in His Love. When we become Christians, we are saying, “Lord, nothing matters more to me than receiving this love that I don’t deserve.” But then maybe we forget and think we’re supposed to move past it, putting the focus on ourselves and what we can churn out for Him?? Nothing matters until we receive and revel in His Love, not ministry, not even obedience. We have to love HIS LOVE more than we love or want anything else (from Him, from life in general), and when we do that, life is a win-win situation. When His Love is all we want, everything else becomes even less than secondary…and since you cannot lose His Love, you always have your primary need met! Win-win!!! The loss we feel is when we love our lives and our opinions about what our lives should look like MORE THAN we love Him and His Love. We idolize our own lives and we say it’s because we want to live for Him and we say, “how can I live my life for Him with this problem in it?”…at least I say that. When this is happening, we simply have not tasted the goodness, the richness, the completeness, of His Love. We see trials as a hinderance instead of an opportunity to come to Him and prize His Love above all answers and help and solutions.
In 2012, let us drink deeply of His Love!