My 2011 Year in Review

bye 2011. nice knowing ya

I feel compelled to do a year in review. I don’t journal and I don’t remember things when I try to. Only when something triggers a memory do I smile or cry over it. These facts are not very promising for a good review. Only a few key things come to mind.

The biggest event of our year was the engagement of my oldest daughter. I knew she was getting engaged that day but she didn’t. I was at a homeschool conference, waiting all day for the call that finally came. “Mom! I’m engaged!” I stood on the curb of the conference center and cried with my girl, the one who grew up while I was growing up. We were both happy and you can’t ask for more than that.

I turned 40 in 2011 and I think what they say is true. Forty is fabulous, except for the weight gain, hormonal shifts, eye-sight struggles, and well, nevermind. During this year, the most hilarious good news/bad news situation has presented itself. My dark chin-hair that I have to stay after has turned gray. I’m just not sure how to feel about that.

Another big event of my year was a performance of Messiah that I got to be in. It was such a highlight of my years of singing. It was also a huge growth experience that let me see what I could do if I practice and practice and pray and cry a little and beg for mercy and practice some more. And then pray again.

That positive experience sprang from all I learned in a small group I participated in this past spring. The study we did in that group significantly changed me. The book we used is called Changes that Heal. I will blog about it more later because I am going through it again. I will forever see this time as pivotal in my spiritual growth. The changes I went through as a result have netted me new friends, new perspective, even a new me. Now that I have hyped the book beyond belief, I will move on.

My husband and I had a great anniversary trip to Asheville NC this past summer. This anniversary trip stands out because we got to meet up with the couple who has become or great friends. You know who you are and we will never forget watching the evening primroses open so beautifully and standing for hours talking to you both.

The most recent big news is my husband’s new job. He got a great job as an electronics technician for a local company. After two years of running his own business to keep us afloat, God has gifted us with a much less stressful job with good hours and great benefits. The new year will be very new for us with stability and paychecks and everything!

Of course there were bad things in this past year. They seem fuzzy now. I vaguely remember some fights, some failures, some fatigue and some frustration. Surely there was all of that, but the God that loves us has smoothed so much of that over. What was meant for evil has turned out for our good and what was not smoothed over is still covered in the ever-present hope of His redemptive plan.

Now we look forward to a new year, a new job, and a new marriage! Fresh starts are everywhere and I am ready to see what’s next. What was the highlight of your year? Take a few minutes to reflect and share it too! Happy New Year!

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Springing Forward

I'm the short one in the back, clapping

I never knew before this year that in addition to eggs, bunnies, new dresses, and ham, the Easter season is traditionally when Handel’s Messiah is performed. Growing up, Messiah was a Christmas tradition in our house going all the way back to vinyl records. As mothers, we always hope these traditions take hold and find some treasured spot in our children’s hearts. Hopefully they are later hauled out by them when they are adults and have their own families. I fell in love with the music of Messiah on some intrinsic level and I have always played the modernized version of it, The Young Messiah, for my family.

In Junior High and High School, I was a chorus kid. We sang some high choral literature and some modern numbers too.  In one production, I did choreographed steps to Broadway musical numbers and was picked to play the part of Dolly Parton for a tribute to 9 to 5.  Continue reading