HT to BrunetteKoala for this:
Ten good things that happened this year…
1. I passed all of my 2007-08 college assignments. I also managed to get an 8000 word extended placement report and research paper done even though it took some 4 a.m.-ers which is ridiculous at my age with a family, a job and a social life as well as an academic life. What was I thinking when I started this degree, I wondered to myself!
2. Without going into detail, this year I have been so encouraged by individuals who have taken time to speak or write to me to give me specific encouragement. I never seek to do things in my job to please people or make them think well of me, I simply try the best I can to please my heavenly Father. Before anyone reading this thinks I am some sort of saint (as if!) I muck it up, I fail often, I criticise, I get grumpy or sad and I have to come back to him and to others again and again and say sorry. It's been a year of tremendous difficulties and yet tremendous encouragement. Ain't that just like God? :-)
3. God's provided for all our needs and more, including some very special gifts.
4. Going to Toronto to TACF for (my) third Families conference was just amazing. I was there once again to receive as much input as possible - teaching, prayer, advice and time. Got to spend quality time with the children's pastors at their home. I value and love them loads. To spend time with folks who do exactly the same job as you (although on a much larger scale!) is fantastic. This trip was rounded off with some quality family time in a rural cottage on Lake Huron.
5. I've stepped out into a new job into a new staff team I knew almost nothing about. But they are the most awesome group of people; sometimes I almost rub my eyes in disbelief that I'm actually here. I am growing to love them very, very much in just for short months.
6. My children have been a source of joy - they are growing up fast but yet are holding on to a childlike-ness in the right measure, particularly with regard to the move that has taken place. They have trusted implicitly that to be with mum and dad and with Father God directing everything that happens is by far the very best thing to happen to them, even when they are missing their grandparents, friends and old school. I love them to bits and am so blessed by how easy they are to be with. I am so grateful for the very close friends they have made here already.
7. The holiday club has undoubtedly been a highlight of the year. This happened during my last week on staff in my previous church. It felt like it was the best club ever. I think there were lots of reasons for this; not least of all because of the TREMENDOUS team and my right hand woman who assisted me in every way, Guacamole Girl, but because there was such a sense of God's presence - perhaps some reading this may recall the Monday morning when two of the elders came to pray with the team and then the last morning, the Friday, when we stood together as a team before God for one last time.....many children experienced God's love and healing power throughout the week.
8. The camping trip with my dear friends from the Costa squad (aka mums' playground gang) - so good to go away and do something completely different without it raining!!
9. Spring Harvest at Skeggy - again, "working hard" with several hundred 5s to 7s(really. It's a long day!) but being with our Powerpack friends, Nick and Kath, Heather, Chris......
It's an area of service that our whole family are involved in and this year our very good friends, the Merries, came with us to be on team too.
10. Spending time with some dear friends who travelled some distances to stay with us - you spoke such wise words to us - Kath and Nick, Gillian and George, various Carruthers in different combinations....! Love you, love you, love you <3
High point of 2008:
The Move. High, but didn't always feel it. Scary, yes. Challenging, yes. Life-changing - yes!!
Low point of 2008:
1. 8 June 2008 - the day I told my church I was leaving to serve in another. Audible gasp. Loads of tears. I cried a lot the day before (whilst watching Chris Tomlin on GodTV play at Frenzy) and on and off the next afternoon and evening. As did my husband. This was not a girl thing!
Why so upset? Because it was leaving family to step into the unknown in so many ways yet out of a deep conviction that it was a call from God to take all we had learned in our wonderful upbringing in our previous church (a) somewhere else and (b) so that we could be unrooted and disorientated to allow him to build something very new and beautiful in our lives and hopefully in others lives....
2. the month of November. Lots of stresses came to a head.
3. I was saddened by what felt like some untimely deaths this year...dear Elma in January, my 35 year old penfriend Gwyn in April and Ted Herbert in September.
Person of 2008:
Like BK, I can't really pick just one. Given the turmoil of leaving somewhere we have known our whole lives long to move somewhere new, my friends have been OUTSTANDING = every one of them, one after another.....we have been blown away by the messages of love and support that come still even tonight, 5 months after we moved away. We feel incredibly, incredibly loved and humbled and privileged that they care for us so much. If I experience ten percent of that in this new place, I will be blessed indeed.
Best film you saw this year:
Australia (got to say that as I saw it yesterday). So challenging and emotional on so many fronts - racism, stolen generations, the realities of war, love and romance, a child's future, the value of culture and custom ....
Best book you read:
The Shack - read in almost one go. Moving, thought provoking, revealing the heart of the Father.
Best sporting moment:
Watching the Olympic race where Usain Bolt won the 100m in *stunning* fashion....reminded me of a leaping springtime lamb!
What you are looking forward to most in 2009
Being able to have a permanent residence in this new city (we are living out of literal suitcases in temporary rented accommodation)
Thing you will miss least about 2008