As I’ve been listening to people talking about the New Year and reminiscing about the events that took place in the old, I had to stop and try to sift through the hazy blur of my perceptions about the year to try to remember some of the details. It was definitely a unique year- my first full year without being in school, my first real-ish job, etc. -and it held some amazing answers to prayer and exciting times, as well as lots of challenges. The Lord has brought many new friends into my life and allowed me to reconnect with some old ones as well, and both have been big blessings.
I’ve been reading through my journal from the first part of the year to refresh myself on everything that has happened over the past 365 days. I decided to do this as I was trying to remember the events of this year in preparation for this post and I suddenly remembered that before this year I didn’t have a certain sweet nephew that I happen to adore (along with all my other nephews and nieces which I adore just as much). That’s how my memories of the past year run…there are huge things that have happened, yet it feels like the events and new people in my life have been there much longer than they really have.
2011 was definitely a work-filled, nose-to-the-grindstone, blinders on, keep-your-head-down-and-focus-on-the-finish-line kind of year. One intense stretch of busyness blended into another, and now I’m ready to look up and take a deep breath and enjoy life a little more. 🙂 I am definitely a goal-oriented person and I love periods of intense focus on accomplishing a hard-sought goal, but in the future I hope to be able to keep my view of life in a slightly wider-angled lens rather than being zoomed in on the details and responsibilities of the moment.
Highlights and important happenings of 2011:
I started two blogs! This one and A Cupboard of Books – my book review blog.
The start of a new church in the area- we had the great blessing of being a part of the first planning steps for the ministry early in the year, and our first service was May 1st.
Seeing protection and provision from the Lord after a storm knocked a tree limb on the transformer outside our house and sent 40,000 volts of electricity straight to our breakers
The addition of a sweet new baby nephew to the family. 🙂
My summer job at the farm from June-October
Completing 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November
My dad losing one job but (praise be to God!) switching to another better-paying one in December
Writing and being a part of the production of a Christmas play in October-December
This year I had the anticipated experience of studying the book of Isaiah in my personal devotions. I think Isaiah is my favorite book of the Bible – I learned so much about God and humility from it. The main thing that struck me from this study was how much God wants us to find our complete satisfaction in Him and go to Him for all our needs- whether they be physical or emotional.
Doing NaNoWriMo really helped me gain some confidence with writing rough drafts. I learned that I can write an average of 1,000 words an hour (if I have an idea of what I’m going to put down), and I had the longest plot I’ve ever come up with. It also taught me a lot about what writing a rough draft is all about – just getting the words down on the page- good, bad, or ugly.
New favorite author: Lynn Austin. Best Christian fiction writer ever. I have learned so much about writing simply from reading her books.
New favorite singer: (Well not too new…but the fact that he’s my favorite is new) Jim Nabors. Yes, Gomer Pyle has an absolutely wonderful voice. I’m really enjoying this cd that I got for Christmas, and I bought his Christmas album this past Christmas and really liked it too.
Goals/Dreams for 2012:
Get published. I very, very much would love to publish something, whether it be one of the plays I have written or something else. And get paid for it. Obviously.
Go on a mission trip/travel somewhere. Florida, California, Canada, New Zealand, Italy/anywhere in Europe (oh and specifically France- I have an idea for a story that takes place there so I really should do some research 😉 )are my top destinations at the moment. My newest wild dream is to go to London during the 2012 Olympics with Answers in Genesis to help with evangelizing during the events there.
Venture deeper into the world of sewing. I got some back issues of Threads magazine for Christmas and I want to try some more challenging projects. 🙂 I got this pattern the other day and I think that should fit the bill pretty well for a harder project. Hand tailor collar and lapels? Bagged lining? What is that?
Learn to draw with color. I got a book, also for Christmas, that teaches different techniques for using colored pencils and pastels. I have done a few pencil sketches but nothing in color, and I’d love to get acquainted with some different mediums. I have a pad of better quality paper and some Conté crayons coming in the mail. 😀
Conquer a few certain songs/styles on the piano. In addition to plain old getting better at it.
As 2011, with its challenges, victories, and blessings slips quietly away to join the chapters of the past, I thank the Lord for it and hope and pray to continue to see His hand at work even more vividly in 2012 as He allows a little bit more of the future to come to pass day by day.
“Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me. I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will…. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.” Isaiah 46: 9-11b
May the Lord bless you and yours richly this year and bring honor and glory to His name through us all!
*Photo taken from Weheartit.com