Well, Shirley Goodness and Mayhem has made it -
through an entire year of ups and downs.
When I was a little girl,
I would often look back on a year that had passed,
and marvel at how slow it went,
how wonderful it was,
and how little life had changed.
In more recent years,
I've been more apt to look back and shudder
at how quickly time evaporates,
how drastically life changes;
and how difficult change can be.
Not so with 2010.
For more than half of it, I was certain that
2010 would prove to be the most difficult year of my life thus far;
and that after being certain that 2009's challenges could
never be topped...
But as the curtains drop, the lights come up, the credits roll,
- the beauty and the fullness of this year overwhelms me.
Not every month was as profound as others were,
but scrolling through my archives there were definitely photos
that could sum up the theme of a month pretty well;
so I have twelve of them.
January - old dreams answered, new burdens born.
All it takes is one glance of this photo for me to be back
in that bumpy bus seat, bouncing down the streets of Santiago.
I had been patiently waiting for my time to go on such a trip
for years; and have longed for another since I got back.
This photo is of the little beggar girl that broke my heart there.
January was a month of fear, stepping out, exhilarating
adventures, miracles, and an aching heart.
And out of all that happened in that crazy month
(not the least of them being the start of this blog)
those dark, hurting, piercing eyes of that little girl in
the street are what will always stick with me.
And twelve months later; they can almost sum up my year;
for their grip on me is stronger now than it was then.
February - Lambs. And more lambs.
New life, frost bite (well okay, not exactly), and parrot-cats perched on me.
What more need be said?
March - Spring on the farm...
More lambs, tulips, and lots of thought over passing time.
Though I only posted about it once, Numbering my Days
weighed heavy on my mind.
April - Skirts for Haiti
April for me, can be entirely summed up in finally getting to see the
end result of a whirlwind project - the sweet faces of little
Haitian girls, and the skirts that we were so blessed to be able
to get to them. Of course I wanted to be there more than anything
else that month. But God dropped an opportunity for us to be just
a little bit of a help to them; and I was grateful for that.
May - an almost perfect month
When it comes to finding a day of beauty and perfection
that can't be improved upon; May seems to offer the widest selection.
At least in my opinion.
June - two decades completed; and Frances.
Remember Frances? The cute little unwanted lamb?
She was only here for a week before finding a new family,
but she sure got June off to a good start.
By the time June was over, I had two decades behind me.
The significance of that fact wasn't lost on me,
(those kinds of significance rarely are...)
My birthday is always a good heart-searching way to realize -
another year is half-way gone.
July - Loss.
I can't even let my mind wander back to the muggy days of
July without getting that lump back in my throat.
Within just a few weeks time,
we lost our big fluffy sheep dog, and among other things -
We've lost more pets this past Summer than any other year;
Haggai, Madeline, Fiffen, Scooter...
Not happy times, no, but pretty trivial on the list of all that
could possibly go wrong in life.
But losing our old farmhouse seemed further up on that scale.
I've been in the process of letting go, and letting go, for
many years now; but hadn't ever been pushed quite to the edge
of such radical surrender until those dark July days.
I'm so thankful now.
August - Goodbye, Old House.
It didn't all suddenly dawn on me this year;
but 2010 gave so many perfect opportunities to put my life
lessons to the test.
At the end of August, I wrote a post about Madeline;
mainly focused on giving up an old cat friend of mine yes,
but summarizing the truth that - the emptier my life became
of the things I would never choose to give up;
the more room there is for the Lord's will in my life,
and for the presence of the Lord Himself.
September - New life.
September was glorious, it really was.
It was so illustrative of the overwhelming joy that comes
after handing everything to God -
He gave us so much more than we had ever given up.
I wrote the most posts in one month in September;
fifteen to be exact -
it was just bubbling over with blessings, and joy,
and the optimistic hopes of a new beginning in a new home.
October - Texas.
That one word really truly can sum up October on its own;
for the entire month was indeed spent there!
After the dark, depressing Summer I'd just come through -
I didn't know how I could possibly handle Fall coming so quickly,
I felt like I had blinked and missed my favorite season.
But then I was handed a perfect, gloriously sun-shiney month
in a absolutely gorgeous part of an awesome state.
October was a gift.
I still can't believe how blessed I was to have that month spent
catching up with old friends, making new ones, and just
having quiet time to think and regroup.
God is so good.
November - redefining Autumn for me.
It might be safe to say I enjoyed Texas too much, for I was
thoroughly dreading a return to the frigid northern regions...
I expected November to be rude, abrupt, and dead.
The Lord surprised me with the most beautiful, warm,
and golden November that I can recall.
And even if it did snow on Thanksgiving;
I was ready for it.
December - the high water mark
I'll admit, December caught me completely off guard.
out from under me early on in the month.
It felt like the moment this entire year has been leading up to,
it was a moment of finally being able to hear articulated what has
been keeping me up at night; that I simply couldn't explain.
It has been an absolute tsunami ever since.
First the Love the Church conference, and then faith-testing
situations here at home, and listening to sermon after sermon;
(The majority at the moment - by Mr. Ludy at www.ellerslie.com)
I love this photo above - (taken on the way to Love the Church)
it's how I see life at the moment -
going forward, gaining altitude, and sun spots.
Mr. Ludy talks about our Christian journey being an 'endless frontier',
and personally, I love that. I love adventure.
I've always been a little irked in my mind that there's not as many
'frontiers' left in this world - man has even been to outer space.
So I love that I can spend the rest of my life searching, digging,
and rejoicing greatly in all that I find -
and yet knowing that there will always be more.
I'll never exhaust God's resources,
I'll never cease to be amazed by Him,
this journey will never grow old.
What an awesome promise that is!
Thank you all for being such faithful readers and friends in
my first year of blogging.
Looking foward to another year with great expectation,