Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's that time of year again...

Yes, a new year is just around the corner...2010.

I was reading back through my blog entry from January 2009...when I wrote about the benefits of goal-setting.  So I dug out my daytimer and found the goals I had written for myself. I wanted to see how many of those goals I had actually implemented and attained.  
That's part of the reason I love written goals so much.  When they are written with specific guidelines, one can use them to assess whether one has achieved them or not.  And why write a goal unless you plan on achieving it???

Over the next couple days, I will be reviewing my goals from last year and refining some unfinished ones. And then I will start creating my new goals for 2010.  Once again, I will refer to a fabulous book by Anne Ortlund, Disciplines of The Beautiful Woman, for insight and practical ideas for ordering my life & home. Josh & I will discuss some ideas as we plan for our home & children.  And most importantly we will be seeking the Lord and allowing Him to direct our plans and shape our motivations for the coming year.  

And we will be referencing these wonderful questions for contemplation by Donald Whitney. We have used these before to help guide discussion as we engage the new year and new goals. You can check it out on his blog, found at our church's new website! (yipee!!! it's still under construction, but is accessible. Check it out!)

Ohhhh, I get so excited to start a new year.  I have been so overwhelmed by the goodness of the Lord in the past 12 months. And in honor of His goodness, I think I'll review some of the highlights of 2009.

-Joshua had the opportunity to be in school at Western Seminary in Portland.  His time has been marked by solid teaching and lifelong mentors.

-We lived with Carey & Tarah until February...making memory after memory.  We were exceedingly blessed by living in their home and getting to spend time with them daily.

-The kids & I returned to Leavenworth and lived with Greg & Candy (Josh's parents) while Josh continued his schooling by commuting between Portland (for the week) and Leavenworth (for the weekend).  My in-laws are incredible...what can I say.

-I started back to work, thankful for a job that was simply "available" and had been kept "on hold for me", even after living out of state for months.  The ministry and influence I get to have there allows my faith to grow and be challenged.

-Grace Covenant Church, our growing church plant, blossomed by God's grace and has been a source of great encouragement, spiritual growth and joy. The Lord has blessed and continued to lead Josh and the elders as they follow (and keep up with) what the Lord is doing!

-Josh finished school in May and moved home permanently to be with us (what a happy day!). 

-Ella Mae turned 4 in June and we marvel at the gifts & abilities the Lord has blessed her with.  Not a day goes by that we aren't overwhelmed and thankful for her little life.  She is full of encouragement, sympathy and always has a song in her heart.

-We have enjoyed living with Greg & Candy, sharing in the joys of spring & summer in Leavenworth. My mind is full of great memories of trips to the farmer's market, adventures in wild remodeling, bears in the front yard and the excitement on my children's faces as they observed deer outside their windows almost every day.  

-In May, we went through the loss of a little child, who we will get to see in heaven someday.  The miscarriage was a sad and painful experience for our entire family and we are so thankful for the prayers of the saints and the tangible help extended to us during that time. 

-Soon after, we were overjoyed at the news of another pregnancy!  The Lord chose to bless our womb again and we wait with anticipation to meet this little girl. (coming in March..)

-Carey & Tarah joined the life in Leavenworth and have been a wonderful addition to our home and our church family.  Blessing others wherever they are, we are priveleged to have them so near.  They are gracious, flexible, servant-hearted, Godly people who are a joy to call "family". Their daughter Niyah was born in July and will soon be running around with her cousins.

-Levi turned 3 in November and is growing to be quite a wonderful young man.  He is full of compassion and care for his sister, a joy for the outdoors and a great desire to work.  We are so thankful that the Lord placed him in our family.

-Josh & I had the swine flu (in the fall) and are so thankful for our swift and safe recovery and the protection for our children and unborn child.  

-Challenges in our pregnancy (namely placenta previa and complete bedrest), have been quite challenging as of late.  But once again, we have been overwhelmed by the care and incredible help we have recieved from our family and friends. They have been the "hands" of the Lord in our life...and we are eternally thankful. 

I know I am leaving out so many specific events.  But it is good to recall and see the hand of the Lord in each circumstance.  May you take some time in these final days of 2009 to look back at the weaving of God's story in your life and the lives of those around you. 

Happy New Year...from our thankful family to yours.

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