Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 Resolutions

The last couple years I haven't made New Years Resolutions. I figured they were pointless since people rarely keep them anyways. But this year I want a fresh start. I've realized that even when you don't make resolutions, there is something about a new year that makes you feel like you can get another chance. The truth is though, EVERY DAY is a new chance. At least that's what God says...

"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning.
Great is Your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
'Therefore I have hope in Him.'"
Lamentations 3:22-24

Because I have a few I've divided them into categories... Spiritual, Family/Marriage, Home, and Individual.

Now normally I wouldn't write these types of things down... You know for the two people who read this blog world to see. However, I figure a little accountability never hurt anyone...

Today I'll just cover the first category... Spiritual. I'll do the rest over the next few days.

1) Spend time ALONE with God, in His word: You see, as a family we do a really good job of reading the Bible and praying together daily... Unfortunately, I've used that as a mental "out" for not having to spend time with God myself. Like any relationship though, intimacy is built by spending that precious time alone. I certainly didn't develop intimacy with my husband in a group setting, and to assume that I can do that with God is just silly.

2) Serve at church: I've pretty much always been involved in serving until I was about halfway through my pregnancy. Now, I need to get back on the horse... a year and a half of just sitting in the pew chairs at church is much too long, and at some point I'm just taking advantage of all the people who ARE willing to serve at our church... Those people who greet us, brew and pour our coffee, seat us, lead us in worship, take care of our daughter, etc... I need to stop taking advantage of them and start serving beside them. I have just volunteered to start working with the Children's ministry at our church, so I'll be starting that again in the next couple of weeks.

3) Finally, Serving individuals: 2010 was a year full of me being on the receiving end of the body of Christ serving eachother at it's finest. We had four amazing baby showers prior to Ainsley's arrival (Thanks to Duke MICU and ER/PVR as well as our small group and my family and church at home in IN). When we had Ainsley we had countless meals brought to our home (Thanks to our amazing small group), visitors to support me in my new role at home(Aaron and Kelly from work!) and family who even cleaned my house and did laundry on their visits (Thanks to my parents and my in-laws!). We have had people volunteer last minute to watch our dogs when we're out of town, and then refuse payment, multiple times(Thanks Kelley and John)! My Daddy's funeral fell on the day before Thanksgiving and my sister's small group from her church all pitched in and made our family an amazing Thanksgiving dinner and brought it to her house for us. And finally, when we returned home we had many people bring us dinner for a couple of weeks (Thanks to the Dagers, the Pecks, the Salazars, the Tomlinsons, the Bowlers, the Lindstroms and Matthew's department at work). We have just been overwhelmed at how others have served us this year. This year I want to be acutely aware of how I can serve others on an individual basis. I've become fascinated with this idea of living life together, and although I'm not really sure what exactly that means yet, I think it starts with being willing to serve eachother.

Alright, well I think that's enough babbling for now... I'll be back to cover the other areas in the next few days...

And now, a complementary picture of Ainsley that has nothing to do with the post, but is just because she's cute :)...You're welcome ;)

It also may be a sneak-peak of an up and coming post...I know you're on the edge of your seats :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 in Review: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.... Blessed be the name of the Lord"

Well it's been a while since I posted. Looking back, for a while I had done an OK job at keeping up with posting a few times a month. Then it looks like the end of October we dropped off the planet... Unfortunately, although we didn't in fact drop off the planet, the year didn't quite end on the note we were hoping for.

We were looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year. Matthew was going to be on call at the hospital, and so most of his family and my parents were supposed to be coming to stay with us for 5 or 6 days over the holiday weekend. I spent the last couple of weeks of October and the first few weeks of Novemeber cleaning, organizing, etc in preparation for our guests.

The weekend before Thanksgiving Matthew was working and so we went to our church's Saturday night service. I was planning on spending Sunday working around the house and grocery shopping since our guests were going to start getting in on Tuesday.

That morning, as I do most mornings, I called my mom and talked to her while I was making breakfast and packing Matthew's lunch for the day. At 8:30 my mom got off the phone with me, as my Daddy's radio broadcast comes on every Sunday morning at that time and acts as her cue to make sure that he is up and getting ready so as not to be late to church.

At around 9 I got a call that shook my world and changed my life.

Sometime during the night, my Daddy had passed away.

He had fallen asleep reading as he did frequently, and when my mom went to wake him up, he was already gone.

Matthew obviously came home immediately, his brother and sister-in-law came and took the dogs and we drove to Indiana in record time.

The last month and a half have been a horrible roller-coaster. It's a nightmare. My Daddy was an amazing man and an incredible father. I hope to write some more about him and his life later, but I'm just not ready for that quite yet. However, my brother has written some wonderful posts on facebook. I will link to those below.

We had Thanksgiving dinner in Indianapolis the day after my Daddy's funeral. My sister Heather had some amazing friends who made us everything and brought it to us.

Matthew, Ainsley and I traveled to Indiana a few weeks later to try to help my mom get some things around the house done.

We spent Christmas in Florida with Matthew's family... and Ainsley had a lot of fun on her first Christmas.

New Years was pretty unremarkable.

This year it was all pretty different. I'm hoping next year we can enjoy the season a bit more, although I know that for my Mommy, brother and sisters it will never be the same.

2010 was the best year of my life.... It's the year that God gave us our beautiful daughter, the year Matthew and I became a daddy and a mama. Because of Ainsley's entrance into the world we have spent more time with family this year than in years past. We are truly blessed and enormously thankful.

2010 was the worst year of my life, as the year I lost my Daddy.

For the rest of my life I will look back on 2010 with bittersweet memories... the first memories I had with precious Ainsley, the last memories I have with my sweet Daddy.

In spite of all that has happened my entire family has an overwhelming sense of peace, hope and thankfulness. We are so grateful that my Daddy was never sick, never hospitalized, never had to suffer in any way. We are all thankful that my Daddy and our family as a whole never left anything unsaid.... We all knew how much he loved us, and he knew how much he was loved by us. Above all, we're incredibly thankful that we have hope in the gospel of Jesus that not only is our Daddy worshipping at the feet of the One who he spent the past 38 years of his life serving, but that one day we will be right there with him.

We have lots of exciting plans for 2011 that I'll share later. For now, I just wanted to post a quick update.

Hope 2010 ended beautifully for you, that your holidays were wonderful and memorable and that 2011 has started out in a great way.

I'm hopeful that this will be a year of growth, excitement and of growing in our knowledge of who God is and what He has for us.

Links to my brother Todd's notes are below.

"Lessons from my Dad"

"It's a Wonderful Life"

"Christmas in Heaven"

"Wisdom is knowledge in action."

"Nothing matters less than the score at halftime."