Friday, December 30, 2011

Stones of Remembrance 2011

2011 has been a whirlwind! Where did the time go, and why is my brain struggling to remember all of it? Because of all the hits on last year's reflection post, I decided to continue the trend.

In the Bible, stacked stones often represent a memorial or altar intended to remind people of God's faithfulness in a specific circumstance. In Joshua 4, the Israelites finally inherit the land promised to them by the Lord.

"And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God." 

As I reflect back on the past year, I have my own stones of remembrance: moments that shaped me, lessons that changed me, people who influenced me, and a God who never left me. As we usher in the new year, I hope you will join me in looking back on 2011 by celebrating and marking with stones of remembrance all the Lord has done. If you don't know my Jesus, there will be no better way to bring in the new year than to allow Him to be Lord of your life.

Stone 1: New job. 2011 began with a new writing job and a class through the Christian Writer's Guild that satisfied all that I missed in grad school.

Stone 2: In February, I headed back to Colorado for a my first big writing conference where I met with agents and editors to pitch my book idea, gained more insight into my field, and discovered a new network of writers who love the Lord. It's amazing how my rejection from grad school translated into a story bigger and better than I could have penned.

Stone 3: Friendships built. This year, my community group celebrated a year together. I am blessed to do life with these Godly women. Last year, I was lonely. This year, I have more community than I know what to do with and new friends added all the time.

Stone 4: Godly counsel. In April, it was back to Manitou Springs, Colorado where I spent several days under the teaching and coaching of Doc Hensley, DiAnn Mills, and Jerry B. Jenkins. I was "forced" to lead a devotional one morning which reminded me that despite my age, the Lord has a purpose and a plan. I can make a difference now. I ended the trip by conquering the Incline with my friend Amy. I can cross that off my bucket list!

Stone 5: Renewed creativity and inspiration. Where has this been locked up? There are so many story ideas and possibilities rattling in my head that I have to constantly remind myself to focus on one thing at a time. But I'm not gonna lie...I'm pretty excited about what's in store!

Stone 6: A new team. In August, I began serving on a young adults team at my church for The Porch. Every week, I am blessed with the opportunity to greet those who enter, pray for them, share the gospel, and encourage. My team is rock solid and running whole-heartedly after the Lord. Their walks encourage mine.

Stone 7: A story complete! I finished and submitted my first book in September. My website is launched. Now begins a new journey of trusting the Lord. Stay tuned. This blog will begin a new direction this year.

Stone 8: Dreams fulfilled. This year was full of travel within Texas and out. I was blessed with the chance to spend time with my cousin and her husband in England, Ireland, and Scotland for 3 weeks. Living the dream! Florida was the next stop with a Beach Camp for youth. That trip taught me more about myself, more about trusting the Lord, and more about speaking the truth in love than anything in a long time. A couple of my girls accepted Christ! San Antonio was another stop where I spent the weekend with another cousin and met up with one of my best friends from Focus to explore the historic city.

Stone 9: Family. This has been a rough year with several untimely deaths and two family members with cancer. I ended the year with a funeral of someone I loved dearly. A couple years ago, my reaction to these deaths would have been much different. My current reaction is a testament to the Lord's work in my life, and I am so thankful. I don't understand His ways, but these deaths didn't surprise Him. He has a plan and He is still good.

Stone 10: Above all, I learned to trust the Lord in a new way this year. I set out to study the great I AM's character. When I know who my God is, then I know and can trust who I am in Him. I have committed to practice being thankful in all things. Wow, it changes my attitude. The Lord is good in this time of waiting and wondering and asking what He wants me to do. In Him is my confidence, joy, and purpose. I pray I continue to learn that in 2012. 

So many exciting things are already on the calendar! Stay tuned! Follow me on Facebook and twitter. Join this site. If nothing else, pray and grow with me this year as we anticipate the big things the Lord desires to do in your life and mine! 

Happy New Year from Texas! May God richly bless you no matter what comes in 2012.

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