Hello 2012. Time to Celebrate!


Ah! What a year! I had NO idea what I was getting into when I picked my one word for the year.  I was hopeful in a very tentative way.  I remember wanting to kick up my heels and learn to enjoy life in whatever season I found myself.  I wanted to learn to celebrate God and celebrate where God had me as well as who God made me.  Plus, I wanted to learn to celebrate with others.  I didn’t want to be bitter or angry or jealous when God seemed to shower others with blessing instead of me….I wanted instead to learn to celebrate with them no matter what and to learn to see all that I could celebrate in my own life even when it didn’t seem like there was much to celebrate.  Now, I certainly didn’t always do this well and I haven’t always been the best at being content or happy regardless of the circumstances.  But all at once, God certainly gave me a TON to celebrate this year. Here’s a look my lists…

I will celebrate by embracing where God has placed me. // Totally am getting better at learning to love where God has me even if it’s not where I think I want to be.  If I had moved, I wouldn’t have received the provision and gifts that He had for me here. I am so thankful that I knew to obey by staying even when I didn’t want to stay.

            -I will make a home for myself. // I’ve lived in two different apartments and both have been awesome in their own unique ways.  I bought fun furniture and made things cozy.

            -I will find little things to celebrate each day. // This reminded me of my year of Joy and I did better at writing them down at the beginning but I still am learning to be ever grateful for all God has given me.

            -I will be faithful to the positions God’s placed me. // Graduate school, church, and jobs….God has blessed me abundantly and provided just the right positions at the right times.  I’m still in awe at how I can celebrate how He has orchestrated my jobs. 

I will celebrate by engaging and utilizing the opportunities before me. // Definitely tried! At times, I missed opportunities but I kept my eyes open and my heart open to be obedient. 

            -I will be drawn by God rather than driven by myself. // I’m so good at being driven and achievement oriented…this one needs some work, but I’m falling forward.  The sermon this last month included one on hearing and obeying…Plus Bishop John’s message from Rwanda stuck with me about being led by the Holy Spirit.  All things I have tucked into my heart.

            -I will continue to build my solid foundation. // So thankful for my people who hear my heart and build me up and encourage me and support me. Jesus Christ is the best foundation a girl could ask for and the people He’s placed in my life are sure a good support.

            -I will anticipate and experience God’s open doors and blessings. // Oh man, I so went from mopey and depressed and saying nothing would ever change to being open to risk.  Such a journey.  Such a hard risk.  So worth it. 

I will celebrate by enjoying life. //Life is far far too short.  I’ve seen loved ones go home to Jesus and I’m reminded again and again what a gift every day is.  

            -I will run a race with World Vision.//YAY! Chicago Marathon! Woot! Cold, fun, and I loved having people at the end of the race! Plus, God made it extra sweet by giving me a running buddy.

            -I will buy a dog. // BOAZ!!!! I love him. He tries my patience. He tests my ability to discipline and not give in. He challenges me. He loves me like none other. He is my favorite. If I didn’t love him so much, I’d send him away because goodness he can be naughty but thankfully he’s such a lover. 

            -I will go overseas. // After waiting and waiting and waiting, this was the year of traveling!  Here’s the list where I either went or at least visited the airport: Dubai, Sri Lanka, England, Rome, Greece, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Mexico.  Can we say wow!? I was just hoping for one trip and God blessed me abundantly! Plus, I got to go back to Africa!

Bonus things to celebrate: dating, getting engaged, getting MARRIED, a new job as a counselor, starbucks coming to town,tons of fun moments with church kiddos, vbs, kids camp, new babies, pregnant friends, iMessage, packages, visiting friends, making awesome greece friends, loving big, sledding and snow angels, making sweet wedding things, delicious wedding cake, mountains, oceans, zip lining, rappelling, snorkeling in a cave, exploring, a big wedding shower, being celebrated by others, and celebrating with others. My list could go on and on but here are a few highlights….there are SO many more that fill up the year.  I am ever so thankful to God and am expectant for what this next year will hold!

Now to go back to working on my 2013 word….


Marriage Lesson #569

Thankfully, I lived enough life and had God throw a few lessons my way before I got married so that I already knew what a lie it is to think that marriage will be this incredibly safe and secure thing…you’ll never have to worry about your weight or what you look like or anything because well he’s already said “I do” and life will pretty much be super safe and secure.  All that to say that I knew this…and had my lesson affirmed today.  Now, don’t get me wrong. Marriage is absolutely (in my humble opinion of being married for all of…9 days! ha!) wonderful, amazing, beautiful, awesome, and such a gift.  But, the whole idea that you’re in the “safe zone.” Yeahhhhhh not so much. The night before my wedding day (which was my favorite and I’ll make sure to share photos sometime!) when I was writing this long, sappy, funny, and sentimental vow type thing to be put in our sweet wedding box, I kept coming back to this one idea.  The idea that life is much more fragile than I think.  With tragedy, loss, sickness, choices, and just plain hard things surrounding me and the people around me, I couldn’t shake the incredible honor and privilege to even spend an hour as a wife let alone days.  To take this gift for granted, to take this man for granted…would be incredibly foolish.  Yet, throw back to the idea that, my goodness, to take my life for granted or to take any moment or opportunity for granted.  Life is such a gift.  Let me not waste a second complaining or missing an opportunity to share His Love or taking an extra moment to say, “I love you.”

So, today, when in the middle of the day I got a phone call at a time that clued me into the notion that something was wrong…I got to hear oh hey I’m okay but I fell at work and I hit my head and got a cut on my head and gashed open my wrist and banged up my shoulder….am I thankful that this husband of mine is okay? Absolutely. Am I naive to think that even if I say okay don’t die on me that he won’t? Nope…I’m not in control and even though I’m usually not a fan of that…it’s okay because I know the one who has won the victory and the one who loves us dearly.  Security in a husband is fleeting.  Security in a God who is good no matter what the circumstances say is where I’d rather be.