In my braindead state this afternoon, I was trying to decide what to blog about.  I was unsuccessful on my own brainpower, and then decided to borrow a wonderful idea from Holly Furtick.  Here are my “9 Blessings from 2009”:

  1. My growing relationship with my husband Mason.  We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on May 31, 2009, and had an incredible year in ’09 learning and loving each other.
  2. My loving, healthy family.  Mom & Dad both celebrated their 50th birthdays, and I was even able to “be” Mom’s birthday present from Dad, surprising her by appearing in Korea on her birthday morning!  Yes, it was priceless.  I even got to stay through Mother’s Day, Megan’s birthday, and Michael’s birthday.  I love my family!
  3. I’m a youth pastor’s wife.  (Really, we prefer the term “Student Minister”, but YP is more commonly used.)  Every day I am learning what that means exactly, and after a year, I finally feel like I have allowed the Lord to set me free from myself to minister to the young women He has given me to steward.
  4. LIFT Camp 2009 was INCREDIBLE.  I cannot even word all that happened.  My life was changed, I witnessed our students allow God to speak, change and lead in their lives.  We are still seeing the effects of those few days in Le Tourneau, TX.
  5. The Job Search.  I began serious job searching around this time last January.  It seemed like a dead end, but Mason and I were both certain that was the step God was leading us to take.  I worked for a week in the Spring, and the job did not turn out to be a good fit for either myself or the employer.  It was difficult to process, but God used that week of income to provide for bills and unforeseen expenses.  (as well as the time to visit Korea).  After many interviews and simply trusting that God would provide the work in His time, I got a call back from NRES for an interview.  Of all the other interviews last year, I had an incredible peace with this one, and really wanted the job.  The morning we were leaving town for vacation I was offered the job–perfectly timed so that I did not have to sacrifice my time devoted to Camp, Missionary Reunion, or Michael being here.  I also became a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant!  This fall has been an incredible challenge, but full of excitement and learning new things.
  6. Michael the summer houseguest.  Mason and I loved having Michael come live with us for the summer.  Since we only have a one bedroom apartment, he had to inhabit our living room area on an air mattress (that is, until Mason popped a hole in it when he bounced Michael off one day; Michael spent his last week on the couch).  We had a blast with him here, and he fit right in with us and our youth group.
  7. Friends.  God has blessed both Mason and I with so many good friends around the world.  While we often feel distant from our nearest and dearest, I am so thankful for email and social networking like facebook, twitter, and blogging to keep up with everyone.  These have helped ease the sting of distance.  The best part of this distance is another blessing: both Mason and I have drawn nearer to the LORD as we are less reliant on friends and family for support.  Particularly when we have ministry concerns, frustrations, and burdens, and there is no one “safe” to express them to, God is always there, and will never gossip, misunderstand, or be offended by your honesty.
  8. NANC Certification.  I have had a passion for biblical counseling since I was in high school.  Thankfully, the Lord led me to Boston Baptist College, which began their Biblical Counseling program when I arrived.  Through that program, I was able to not only begin NANC’s Track 1 (towards counseling certification), but also the majority of the Theology Exams required for the 2nd stage of NANC’s training.  I was finally able to submit my exams and application packet!  The next goal for 2010 is to finish the 50 hours of counseling observed by an experienced counselor.
  9. New depths in my relationship with the Lord.  Learning to truly listen to God, and stop talking to myself has been a theme for me this year.  It’s pretty incredible to finally stop jabbering to God, and allow Him to speak to my heart, guide my thoughts, and live connected to Him.  To be praying, and know that God is speaking to my precise situation…yeah, that’s a pretty cool feeling.  🙂  Now, to get to the point that it doesn’t take me 2-3 weeks of pouring my thoughts out to Him before I’m ready to listen.  I want to have that in an instant; Communion with God is so crucial to living a righteous life–I can’t afford not to.