I love this time of year. I get a kick out of reading all of the "Most Tweeted Moments of 2011" and "Top Plays of 2011" and "16 Fashion Must-Haves of 2011" lists that fill every website, newspaper, and magazine. It's nice to see what I missed all year. Haha. But, truly, I love that this is the time of year to reflect on what was and embrace the clarity of hindsight in order to position yourself for what can be. For me, this is a season of hope and possibility and I get excited just thinking of what the New Year might hold.
But first, a few reflections on what went down in 2011...
We started the year off with a bang, well... more of a crash. Shawn spent the first three months of the year brokeback and I got very good at tying his shoes. Since Shawn had so much time laying (lying? I never get this one right.) around there was time to fill out applications to spend the summer in Mozambique. Just as Shawn was cleared to work, we were accepted to Harvest School and had a couple months to make as much money as possible (we were already 3 months behind in income), pack up our house, and do all the things it takes to get to Mozambique and back. It was during that time I learned that I never have to question if God has enough grace for me. It. Is. Sufficient.
Our time at Harvest School was, without a doubt, The Epic Experience of 2011. I will be reflecting on that for the rest of my life, so I can save those musings for later.
Since our return, I am reassured that God's grace won't run out on me. Life has taken turns I did not expect - or didn't take the turns I was expecting is more like it. But that is what makes my hope for the future even more acute. I know that I rest in the palm of His hand and I can trust in His loving kindness.
We did have a close second in the Epic Experience race this year. Honorable mention goes out to the most Incredible Vacation Ever. We spent five unbelievable days in Playa Mujeres, Mexico with our best friends and were able to RELAX. I left cold Minnesota feeling like a wrung out sponge that had been burning at both ends. I came back feeling completely refreshed and revived and a little sore from all the dancing. Thank you, Jesus! I started my 2012 vacation fund immediately.
I have such hope and anticipation that the good work God started in me will continue to unfold in the New Year. More of my destiny will be revealed and I will walk with more confidence. This hope has given me a second wind to keep pressing in and fighting for what I want out of life.
I'm really excited about our new role with IRIS Relief. Shawn took his first trip with IR in December on a two-week response into the flooded areas around Bangkok, Thailand. And while Shawn was shoveling mud out of houses and dressing up as an elf to raise money for an orphanage, I was Stateside helping to build teams for future relief trips. Check out irisrelief.org to see more of what we're up to.
I have a new appreciation for the unknown and for me, 2012 is all about embracing that adventure. I know that I have put my trust in a very safe place so regardless of the outcome I can rest secure. Plus, I'm going to back to Mexico for vacation.
Bring it on, New Year.