It's that time of year again to reflect and ruminate over the year's happenings. Summing up 2009 in one blog post would be impossible, but I'll give you the Reader's Digest version...
January - I resolved to get my groove back in 2009 and I'm happy to report I did. God has done some amazing things in my life and provided me many unexpected blessings. Most importantly, He restored a joy for ministry and loving Him that I'd been lacking for a while. The year also started off with a bang as we were hit with ice storms and snow storms causing citywide power outages and shutdowns. Thankfully, no power outages for me, so the Red Rose Inn was a refuge for some.
February - I made a trip to Robinson Mountain. It's not really a mountain, but a place of hospitality and relaxation in the home of Mark and Sharon. What a timely trip this was as I needed a break from reality and being cooped up during the January storms. They surprised me with tickets to see Selah which was an unbelievable concert. The weekend was full of great discussions, sweet prayer, and Mark's infamous Indoor S'mores at the fireplace.
March - Our annual women's conference at my church was this month with Heather Payne, former Point of Grace member and member of my church, as speaker. I always look forward to these conferences as our women get a chance to really connect with God and others. In 2010, I'll be one of the three speakers at our conference, which humbles me and excites me all at the same time. I never cease to be amazed at how God uses one like me.
April - Although this officially was born in March, Open Arms Fellowship became a true reality in April. Our tagline, "We integrate, not segregate" sets the tone for the experience at our weekly meetings. It's very simple. We meet at Culver's after church on Sunday nights. We have fellowship (hence the name) and great discussions. I provide a pearl of wisdom each week and we always have a good table topic for discussion. Our Head Twit, Ben Sutton, makes sure our OAF Twitter page is live for those who can't be in attendance to follow along with the events. On Sunday nights when we don't have church, we typically plan an "off-site" that takes us to various places to keep the fun going....cookouts....drives to Shelbyville....you name it. We are official because we have t-shirts, a Facebook Fan Page, and our own Twitter profile. To those who haven't experienced it, this all seems a bit goofy. But for those of us who have, it's created some of the sweetest bonds in our family of friends at church.
May - My friend, Liz, made a visit over Mother's Day weekend which was a nice diversion to a holiday that is always difficult for me. And along with her visit, I was able to do a covert mission and deliver flowers to my friend Rod's mother at the 11th hour to make him look like the stellar son he is. Spring had sprung and after the long winter, I was ready to break free.
June - I broke down and finally got a Smartphone. A beautiful purple Sidekick from T-mobile. I affectionately named her Violet and quickly got addicted to the crack that is mobile technology. As my faithful blog readers know, Violet met her demise in October after a horrible data outage that lasted for three weeks and I now am a proud owner of the T-mobile G1 Google Android phone. She's not purple, but black...and named Pepper in honor of Tony Stark's (aka Ironman's) faithful assistant, Pepper Potts, who I dream of being on a daily basis. I love Pepper even more than Violet. I am one of those people whose phone is now an appendage.
July - My spontaneous friend, Amy, and I headed to the mountains of North Carolina for a weekend getaway. We stayed at this quaint little spot called Lakeview at Fontana and the time we spent together was priceless. Great coffee, great conversations, relaxing massages....it was just what we both needed. One of my goals for 2009 was to nurture relationships and the time we spent together on this trip surely met that goal. I am ever so blessed with invaluable friends.
August - Speaking of invaluable friends, my annual trip to Adel with Christie to visit Chad and Tracy happened in August. This year we had an added member to visit, baby Allison. I always love visiting Chad and Tracy. This year we had a good time watching them as parents, which was enjoyable and sweet. And I learned that I'm the best person you'll ever want to play Mario Kart with because you can always win.
September - I had minor eye surgery in September. Zap zap and sparkly eye once again. Another birthday came and went this year and the memory of my Mom's passing was rather vivid. Oh how I wish I could spend just a few glorious hours with her. She was a special lady that I miss and that I rarely make it through a week without someone telling me how much they miss her too. Someone said that very thing to me today. I pray I'm half the lady she was.
October - My OPCs rarely are able to get all five of us in the same room. But in October we made a quick overnighter to Chattanooga. We did nothing spectacular but hang out and spend quality time together, but it was so worth the drive. People may not understand that, but we sure do.
November - In my normal travel fashion, I headed to Viriginia to visit the Roederers in the middle of a Nor'easter. I can travel south and an ice storm comes...I'm like the Grim Reaper of weather when I travel. But, the flight was great and aside from being a bit inhibited due to the flooding of doing some of the things we'd hoped, it was a wonderful trip. I got to love on the sweet boys and spend quality time with a long-time friend that was in dire need of girl time.
December - Aside from holiday festivities and enjoying this special time of year, December has been a time of reflection over the past year. There are many more things I could ruminate about that happened over the course of these short 12 months, but many would take too long or simply seem a bit too unbelievable. But that is what makes this year so special. My number one goal was to fall in love with Jesus more. Through many circumstances, the One that loves me most, wooed me in a way I hadn't planned. For a Type A planner, getting out of the driver's seat has been hard. But once I surrendered and unbuckled myself and got out of the way, God blessed me in many ways. My prayer for 2010 is that my love for Him will grow ever more stronger and when I look back on "Twenty Ten" I'll be able to glorify and praise Him even more.