Monday, December 31, 2012

Stones of Remembrance 2012

Where did 2012 go? It has truly been a year of surprises, answered prayer, and major transition. 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 2012 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: At my conference in February, I met with multiple agents and editors to find a good fit for my manuscript. Mission accomplished. I signed a contract with WordServe Literary Agency this year and have the privilege of working with Sarah Joy Freese. What a blessing!

Stone 2: New job. Once again, I began a new job this year. Last year, I had the incredible privilege to nanny a little girl who made me smile more than I thought possible. But that time came to a close for both of us. In February, I accepted the position as writer for for the communications ministry at First Baptist Dallas. It has truly been a learning experience. My job has morphed and taken on new responsibilities, but God has been so good here. 

Stone 3: Haiti bound. In May, I spent a week in Haiti with a great team from my young adults ministry. I fell in love with the people, with Mission of Hope, and left challenged and encouraged by what the Lord is doing there. I can't wait to go back!

Stone 4: Reunited and it feels so good. In August, I flew to Missouri to see my best friend for the first time in over two years. The trip was an absolute blessing. I am still in awe of how the Lord has consistently knit our hearts together while states away. She is now engaged, and I look forward to standing with her at her wedding in 2013.

Stone 5: Mended relationships. I was ready to quit community, and the Lord restored beyond what I could have imagined. I learned much about the power of prayer, about dealing with conflict, and about authenticity.

Stone 6: Renewed team work. My young adults team took a weekend retreat to pray, cast a new vision, and have fun with one another. I am incredibly grateful to be part of this ministry. The Lord has used my team to soften my heart, increase my boldness, ignite a passion to serve, and push me to love Him more.

Stone 7: New car. I am officially an adult! This was another mark of the Lord's faithfulness in prayer. I paid exactly what I could, found the make and model I wanted, found a "new" used car, and even found my favorite color. The Lord's timing is perfect, and I am almost finished paying it off!

Stone 8: My brother graduated! I'm so proud of his hard work and business direction.  I'm also excited that he moved back to Dallas. Now I get to spend even more time with him.

Stone 9: Beautiful holidays. Over the course of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was able to spend time with both sides of my family. My uncle and aunt are both cancer-free this year! My granddad survived a wreck and was able to celebrate with us. My cousin got married, and his new bride spent her first Christmas with the whole family. My other granddad made it out of the hospital just in time to celebrate our Savior's birth. was a white Christmas. There is much to thank the Lord for this holiday season.

Stone 10: This year, the Lord taught me a great lesson in what it looks like to live abundantly. Haiti changed my mindset. Work became a tool and opportunity to both influence and be influenced. My friends changed my heart and taught me what it looks like to live in authentic community. I experienced adventure, challenge, and transition. It has been a year of growing, of spending my time on things that matter, and of learning to say no and rest when necessary. I learned a lot about dreams and obedience to the Lord. I learned that my dreams are subject to change and all for His glory.
So many exciting things are already on the calendar for 2013 - lots of travel, weddings, work craziness, and a big announcement! 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 2013.

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