Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Year In Review

What a year! I started 2011 in a very odd place. 2010 ended with relationships I had realized had ended too and would probably never be same if ever recovered so I entered 2011 whole-heartily seeking the Lord to fill that lonely space. I was extremely hungry for His Word & a new direction in my spiritual journey. The last few days of 2010 I asked the Lord to give me a Word for the new year & this is what He gave me:

"Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." Isaiah 43:19b-20a

At the time I wasn't sure exactly what that meant, but for what I was going through with various relationships, I knew I had to let go of them, cling to the Lord & move forward so He could begin a new work in me...& so I did.

A couple years earlier the Lord gave me a dream that disturbed me & I didn't know what it meant at the time, but by mid-January it was revealed. I began the journey of learning about spiritual warfare & how those you trust spiritually & seem to know God's Word cannot always be trusted. Pride, manipulation, greed, & control aren't always easy to detect especially when you love & trust those who are leaders & your friends. In 2011 the most valuable thing I learned was that I have got to KNOW what God's Word says, what it doesn't, to not just trust other Christian leaders, but to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS seek the Bible, seek the Holy Spirit & to trust His Word will NEVER contradict what the Holy Spirit is saying & vice versa. If the two don't line up, it's NOT the Holy Spirit, but a counterfeit.

I began a study of Redemptive Gifts (not spiritual gifts) & it was amazing to understand how God designed me, why I react to things a certain way, why I'm passionate about certain things over others, etc. Romans 12:5-9 lists them, & I HIGHLY recommend the study by Charles R. Wade called Designed For Fulfillment. The leader of my group really made us dig down deep into understand the power of the tongue & how we bless & curse others without recognizing it & how others have cursed us by things they've said to us. This is why Scripture tells to speak in love for the building up of others, because the power of the tongue can be deadly. This study helped me feel bolder about who I am in Christ.

I also began training to be a leader in a chronological Bible study for women my church is doing in 2012. It is going to be AMAZING!!! It was put together by Donna Gaines & Iva May. I also HIGHLY recommend it! If you live near me, my church is offering it at two different times, Sundays 4-5:30 or Wednesdays 6-7:30, childcare available & even if you aren't a member of my church, still sign up!!! These wonderful Godly women have put this study together so the story of the Bible is easier to understand, they've made it fit together like a puzzle so you see how everything relates & it all comes back to Christ. I cannot wait!

On the family front we've had our ups & downs in 2011. In March we had to move out of house for 6 weeks for extreme foundation repair. This was NOT fun for me! Thankfully we had some friends from church who let us stay in a "mother-in-law" suite on the end of their house. Being a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom of 3 young boys trapped in a small room day in & day out about drove me nutty! Shortly after we moved back in our house my husband & his business partner started a new business which meant his pay was significantly decreased until the company gets settled. The stress of money could have shaken us, but I am blessed to have a husband who trusts the Lord & prays. We know he is on the right path for his job & we know it will all come together in God's timing. We need for nothing that God hasn't provided.
I was actually able to accomplish some of my physical goals this year! I had hoped to lose 50 lbs, but ended up only losing 20. I'm not complaining because I know you only get what you put in, so I'm going to be thankful & proud of that 20 & keep pushing til I reach my goal! I also trained & ran my 1st 5K in March! I was very proud of myself & have started to train again & hope to reach a 1/2 marathon in 2012!

Some fun stuff that happen this was getting to meet 3 of my favorite Christian recording artists! The beginning of the year, I ran into Kari Jobe at a cafe when she was in town for a concert! Talk about a HIGHLIGHT!!! I adore her! I was able to see her 2x this year in concert! I also got meet Brandon Heath & Natalie Grant at a concert this spring. Favor abounded!

In August I was able to take a girls' trip to Chicago with 4 friends. It was wonderful! Chicago is a beautiful city! It was nice to get away & site see in a new city & take in the shopping, food, & all the tourism could offer! I'm pretty sure we hit all the major sites! It was a good break from reality.

This fall brought on a new election in my state & on the ballot was Amendment 26 which would've declared a person from the moment of fertilization & it would have led to shutting down cloning in our state, an end to abortion, & better treatment of frozen embryos from IVF treatments. Of course Planned Parenthood & other pro-choice groups leaped on our state filling even the smartest & wisest people with lies about what 26 could possibly, maybe, might, do & out of fear & no reverence of God's Word, the majority of Mississippians voted no. This amendment did a whopper on me! God told me long long ago He was going to use my past to bring Him glory, to share with others of His healing grace, & the truth of His Word. My time had come! After writing on this very blog I was contacted by a pro-life group to share my story on our local news, & from there the Lord kept calling me places to speak. You can read more about all of it here.

Even though it didn't pass God awakened many Christians in our state to rise up. You CANNOT be pro-life BUT...! You are either pro-life or you're not. Now more than ever I see why we have got to know God's Word, to trust Him, & to fight for Christian values & morals!!! It breaks my heart that Mississippi, known to be the heart of the Bible Belt, couldn't vote for something that is simply lined up with God's Word. In my opinion MS has lost the right to call itself the Bible Belt. Many in the pro-life movement are still working toward personhood & an end to abortion & I am PROUD to now officially be apart of this! I'm in awe of what the Lord has done in me through this! Humbled doesn't even begin to describe it!

This year again has led me to an end of some friendships & the beginning of others. Some of those others are merely through Twitter & homeschool blogs with other homeschool moms. It's nice to have that support from other moms walking that path! Another lesson I've learned is that we all get too easily offended over things that don't need to be offended about. I'd go into detail, but that's another blog I'm working on! :)

2011 is definitely ending better than 2010 did & how the year began! I'm incredibly excited to see what Christ has in store for me this year! I know I'm utterly blessed & thankful for everything, the good & the bad. I pray this year I continue to hunger for His Word, dive into the Bible & learn it deeper, apply it daily, & continuously seek after God! Jeremiah 29:11 doesn't mean a lot if we don't 1st follow Jeremiah 29:13!

I pray blessings over you all in the year of 2012! May we all seek after God & love others as He has loved us! 

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